John McQueen

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 […]
November 23, 2020

Are You Prepared for Your Future?

Develop a firm plan of action that increases financial stamina and improves customer experience. Preparation requires planning. We plan for all sorts of events that may never impact us: fire, theft, accident, natural disaster. We plan for the birth of a child, birthdays, graduations and weddings. We even plan for the inevitable – our demise! So, if we plan for so many other things, how come so many of us do not plan for the success of our business? Is it too time consuming? Perhaps. Are we simply complacent? Probably. Is it even necessary? Most definitely! Defining one’s strategy, identifying needs, allocating resources, setting priorities to reach certain benchmarks and instituting control mechanisms to identify potential pitfalls are all part of the strategic planning process. There should be short- and long-term plans in place for your business – for its […]
October 25, 2020

An Extra Olive

The olive is an ancient symbol meaning ‘let us make peace’.  It is also that tasty treat found in your favorite martini.  Relationships can be much like a martini – simple and clean or downright dirty.  But the best martinis come with an extra olive – preferably stuffed with goodness.  The same is true of our relationships with our local hospices. For some in funeral service, the word hospice invokes negative thoughts fostered by an adversarial role between the two businesses.  Yes, hospice, just like your funeral home, is in business.  Like any business, hospice’s primary role is to promote their business, not yours.  Sometimes, hospice, like many businesses in their quest for growth, overreach into areas that place them either in direct competition or at a minimum in an adversarial position.  Examples may include trying to open a funeral […]
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