John McQueen

February 21, 2021

Together Forever…Maybe Not?

Growing up I was exposed to many great television shows depicting life in a family business. Most are TV Classics that are unparalleled even today.  From Sanford & Son to The Jefferson to my all-time favorite, Dallas, each show was unique with mixture of business and family dynamics.  Some episodes were funny, some were sad, and others were downright unbelievable, but that is what made them great.  The realism they portray of life in a family business is more accurate than many will admit. Another show that depicts life in a family business, one which we can all understand well, was Fisher & Sons Funeral Home in the hit show Six Feet Under.  The show opens with the father, Mr. Fisher, who was the local undertaker, being killed by a bus when it slams into his new hearse.  The accident […]
January 22, 2021

The Royal Flush

When thinking about succession planning, I am reminded of the musical legend Kenny Rogers and his famous song entitled “The Gambler.”  The most iconic words of the song are “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, you gotta learn to play it right.  You got to know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em; know when to walk away; know when to run.  You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table, there’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”  The sage advice that gambler gave the young man aboard the train one night is also sound advice when considering succession planning. Succession planning can be a real gamble if it is not done properly.  With proper planning, “every hand’s a winner”, but without it, “every hand’s a loser.”  According to the recent 2020 […]
December 21, 2020

 Talk Dirty to Me!

In funeral service, it’s all about that dirty word.  Businesses and families alike have all been faced with major challenges in 2020, largely in part due to COVID-19 and the devastating effects it has had on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which includes financial independence. Funeral service is no different … or is it? If you have been in the profession for any significant length of time, you have heard someone say to you, “Well, at least your business is recession proof, because people are always going to die.” Although this may be a true state­ment in many ways, we have seen the effects of what happens when family and friends cannot come together to honor, celebrate and remember a life well lived. In many instances during the pandemic, we have seen our business shift to one of […]
December 21, 2020

Charting Your Course

The late Winston Churchill said it best when he said, “Fear is a reaction; Courage is a decision.” As we usher in a new year and what appears to be a new administration in power at the federal level, there is one certainty on the horizon…change!  Some changes many hope to see include the eradication of the COVID-19 virus, elimination of masks and other restrictions, and the return of freedoms we all enjoy.  Other changes bring worry and anxiety over the strong likelihood of increased income tax rates, including capital gain hikes, the effects of the rising minimum wage, and the potential for sweeping legislative changes that may negatively impact your business.  Although we may not be able to alter the course of history moving forward, we do have the ability to choose whether to react with fear or to […]
November 23, 2020

What is for Dinner?

Hopefully, it is not your own client base at a discounted price. One of the biggest trends in funeral service for the past 20 years or so has been the creation of “discounted” funeral operations.  Some of these operations have been created as start-ups by entrepreneurs looking to find their place in funeral service.  Many have been started by existing “traditional” brands that either recognized a need in their market, or often, felt pressure from other low-cost operations that were eroding their customer base.  Yet, the most dangerous of the group are those that jumped onto the bandwagon of opening low-cost funerals because they heard a presentation at a convention or knew a colleague who did so and therefore felt they needed to do so.   Low-Cost operations play a significant role in the world of funeral service nowadays, but entering […]
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