Articles

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

HR Reality Check: Case Study #20

Scenario: Meyer-Landis Funeral & Cremation Service has been serving families in the northern United States since the late 1800s. Currently the business is owned by Brian and Jackie Landis. They pride themselves on excellent service to their families and train all their employees to adhere to their credo, “Our community and the families we serve are our first priority and deserve to be treated as we would treat a member of our own family.” As COVID-19 became a reality earlier this year, this motto became a talisman for Brian and Jackie as they have experienced a fair number of COVID cases. At the request of their more vulnerable employees, they have limited those individuals’ exposure by adjusting their schedules or responsibilities. In fact, one of their senior licensed funeral directors elected to retire, and they have not yet been able […]
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

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 […]
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 […]
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