Dan Isard

May 29, 2023
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Old Cemeterians Don’t Retire

I have attended ICCFA Conventions for decades.  I go back to the ACA and when most people knew about half of the membership without looking at the lapel name cards!  Yet, most cemeterians don’t seem to retire.  Since the ICCFA morphed from the ACA and ICFA, today’s membership is a blend of cemeterians, funeral directors and cremationists.  So the matter of retirement is not just a cemeterian problem, it is an industry wide problem.  It is just the cemeterians have less options to plug the financial asset gap available to funeral home owners and cremation company owners.  Allow me to elaborate. Paraphrasing Old Benjamin Franklin, there are only two things that are certain in life, retirement or death before retirement.  As to the later, people can buy life insurance to provide for those they are responsible to care for.  As […]
May 29, 2023
Blurred picture of a laptop and keyboard on a desk.

Finance 301: Chapter 17: The Importance of Technology

Funeral home owners and staff, for the most part, are technophobic. Despite this, every reason exists for them to embrace and effectively use technology to improve both their business and their customer service. So, I beseech you to either embrace it or hire some 17-year-old kid to do it for you. Funeral service has always hated technology, however. The last technology this profession universally adopted was gravity! Cremation remained a limited service before we could automate a crematory. The first manually operated cremation in the 1880s actually took three days to complete. Even with the automation of the modern retort, a few fires still destroy the crematory, and sometimes the building, each year. Another technology – the telephone – helped save time but, most importantly, gave way to the answering service. Why? Because nothing costs funeral homes more money than […]
April 19, 2023
Funeral And Cemetery Consultants Dan Isard The Director Finance 301 Importance of the Side Hustle

Finance 301: Chapter 16: The Importance of the Side Hustle

In the disco age, the “Side Hustle” was a dance move. For me, growing up in Philadelphia, the side hustle was something altogether different. Today, that phrase has been resurrected by “gig workers” and others looking to make a little extra cash. Now, I’m not suggesting that funeral directors should try to generate extra money by dancing or otherwise. I’m just thinking about the future because the future for funeral service is vexing. I see costs for labor skyrocketing, assuming you can even find licensed people to hire. I see the number of price-focused consumers rising from the current 5% of at-need families to almost 20%. I see more pressure on the amount of revenue generated per call due to limitations on consumer spending, shortfalls on preneed crediting rates and the increasing preference for cremation. Unfortunately, any time businesses experience […]
March 20, 2023
Cover of Succession Planning document

Succession Planning

What Is the Solution for the Continuity of a Perpetual Business? The age of most companies in the United States is relatively young. Even those huge companies on the Dow Jones (DJIA) are on average barely 20 years old. When we use the concept of a cemetery, they are intended to be perpetual. Perpetual is forever, which is longer than 20 years. While the anticipation of an on-going concern might be into perpetuity, no company on the DJIA can assert that they are committed to running their company in perpetuity. That is what makes a cemetery business so unique. Funeral homes are a bit different in their on-going concern mentality. Funeral home owners have a mentality of a perpetual provider. However, their historical reliance on a building makes the funeral home a business that is immobile. This means the business […]
March 20, 2023
Funeral And Cemetery Consultants Dan Isard The Director Finance 301 The Importance of Estate Planning

Finance 301: Chapter 15: The Importance of Estate Planning

A cobbler with no shoes is just unheard of, and a funeral director without an estate plan should follow suit. How can you – someone who confronts daily the reality of death – ignore the fact that all of us are going to die at some point? If you respect the fact that you will die someday, then you have the right/obligation to plan how you want to transfer your assets to those around you. This article offers some insight into the key points of estate planning. ASSET TRANSFER METHODS There are usually a few things you’ll want to accomplish when creating your estate plan, the first of which involves determining who should be protected by the use of your assets until your death. Next, decide how to provide for the transfer of those assets to the intended parties. Lastly, […]
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