Dan Isard

December 21, 2020

To Pet or Not to Pet

 The Changing Landscape of the Deathcare Industry My first entry into the funeral business came through the pet business, at about age 5! One of my friends had a bird die, and we kids wanted to have a funeral. We used a shoe box as a casket. My mother had just dug a garden with rose bushes, so we placed the shoebox beneath one of the rose bushes. A few days later, a kid had a turtle die and we went at it again. We were enjoying ourselves while my mother could not figure out what or who was digging up her garden. Then Herby’s gerbil got sick. We got another shoe box and prepared to bury that gerbil. But when my mother came to investigate, the gerbil escaped; and I was never allowed in her garden again! The pet […]
December 21, 2020

Industry Spotlight: Taxes

In this industry spotlight, we bring you key insights into tax planning. In planning for your tax year to end, if your business or businesses are a calendar year end, there are some things for you to do.  Keep in mind, regardless of the fiscal year end of your business, you as an individual are a calendar year taxpayer. With the election of President Biden, it is well understood there is a strong likelihood for a change in the income tax rates including the capital gains rates.  Therefore, there is a benefit to capture income this year at the presumptive lower tax rates. Here are my top 10 things to do to close out the 2020 Calendar Year: Make sure any bonuses that you want to be paid are paid out, especially to anyone that has an ownership in the […]
December 21, 2020

Step 12: Tying It All Together

Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. In September 2019, my publisher shared with me his idea for 2020’s editorial theme: “20/20 Vision.” Thus, we meticulously laid out the focus of each month’s article and left my December column – the one you’re reading right now – to arrange all of the pieces and tie the previous 11 months together. Well, guess what? It can no longer be done! For the record, in 30 years of writing articles for The Director, I have never all-capped a sentence. Moreover, I’ve worked with my publisher for at least 25 years, but he did not take the novel coronavirus into consideration. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 220,000 people and scarred the health of millions more, turned his plans and your business upside down! As a study my company […]
November 23, 2020

Industry Spotlight: The Rise In The Low Cost Funeral Providers

In this industry spotlight, we bring you key insights into low-cost funeral providers. In my 40 years in funeral service I have seen a rise in the quantity and legitimacy of low-cost funeral providers.  In the 1980’s if someone was “donating their body to science or their university” they were often thought of as a nutjob.  Those people that chose to use the services of Neptune Society or other low cost regional or national providers of the time were scoffed at by their friends.  Family fights would often break-out when the kids found out the parents made their choice to be cremated.  In the early consumer studies known as The Wirthlin Report, consumers chose a funeral home based upon price less than 5% of the time.  However, since the 1980’s the rise in value seeking consumers has turned mainstream.  Why? […]
November 23, 2020

Step 11: Valuation and Business Succession

The top five uninformed mistakes people make when buying or selling a funeral home. First, dear reader, understand that our relationship involves mutual responsibilities. As the author, I write. As the reader, you, er… well, you read. I promise never to lie to you in my monthly columns. You promise never to plagiarize my articles. Given our sacred relationship, I must therefore make sure you understand this month’s subtitle: “The top five uninformed mistakes…” Note it does not say, “The five uninformed mistakes,” but instead, “The top five uninformed mistakes.” In 35 years, I’ve simply seen too many mistakes to list them all in a 1,500-word article. Maybe, after I retire, I will write another book about all the errors people make. Secondly, dear reader, understand that these errors are not limited to buyers or to sellers but to both […]
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