Gabriel Ngo

June 23, 2021

Back to the Basics of Leveraging Technology: Building a Robust Website

“When used right, technology becomes an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it” — Jim Collins, Good to Great The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us in the profession—client families, guests, funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries—into having to adopt new ways of doing things. And once we are open to doing things in a new way, we can never really go back to doing things exactly how they were done before. It is human nature. We have been forced to lean on technology in order to serve families—virtual meetings online (via Zoom, WebEx, etc.) for arrangement conferences, DocuSign to obtain signatures for contracts and approvals, online streaming of services, etc. However, this article is not about pioneering technology in deathcare services, nor is it about technology for tech’s sake. Internet, virtual meetings, and streaming services are no longer […]
May 24, 2021

Buying and Selling – The Cost of Time

“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin (Founding Father and polymath) As the aforementioned quote suggests, this writing will focus on potential timelines as well as reasonable expectations of the time it takes to either buy or sell a funeral or cemetery business—when performed correctly.  And just as how I had written about Succession Planning a few months ago, and how like funerals, it just doesn’t happen on its own—that it requires leadership of people active in the process and management of schedules and time.  The buying and selling process is a resulting culmination of your succession planning, and it too requires time management because it simply does not happen overnight.  However, before we discuss what the time costs of buying and selling businesses entail, let’s quickly review what the processes for buying and selling a business […]
March 22, 2021

Leading People and Managing Things in Succession Planning

“Funerals just don’t happen by themselves.” – said every Funeral Director ever No, funerals simply do not happen by themselves.  They require expertise, planning, coordination, teamwork, management, and leadership in order to successfully serve a family and perform a funeral service—not to mention the consistency to do this over and over again at the highest level of performance. So why is it then, that the same typically does not occur in succession planning for most funeral home owners?  In a November 2020 Funeral Business Planning Survey published by an outside research firm in partnership with the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), nearly three out of four (73%) respondents do not currently have an exit strategy or succession plan, despite more than one-third planning on retiring within the next five-years. Now, I won’t get into the reasons why this typically is […]
February 21, 2021

Funeral Service Reimagined In A Post Pandemic World

“Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou (Poet/Activist) This quote above seems so simple, does it not?  Do better when you know better.  But as often is the case, simple things are incredibly difficult to do…especially when everything has been changed by a world that has experienced Covid-19.  Dealing with and adapting to change is difficult enough for most, much less dealing with and adapting to a change that has forced its way into literally every space of our lives. In continuing to spotlight various perspectives of interest from our 2020 Foresight Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study (FCCBS), Foresight Focus recently published a third White Paper entitled, How Covid-19 Changed The Role Of The Funeral And Cemetery Professional.  In it, we examined what wants the consumer revealed […]
January 22, 2021

Paycheck Protection Program: Part Deux

“Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.” – Helen Gurley Brown (Author/Publisher) On January 8, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) re-opened its acceptance of applications for capital access from both new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers beginning the week of January 11th.  Community banks and financial institutions began accepting first draw and second draw PPP applications starting the week of January 11th.  All other participating lenders were allowed by the SBA to begin accepting PPP applications shortly thereafter. The SBA also issued some new guidance surrounding this round of PPP which authorizes up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through the application deadline of March 21, 2021.  Key PPP guidance updates include the following: First time […]
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