Articles

March 22, 2021

A Year in the Life: The Push We Needed

The pandemic has presented overwhelming negatives, but there have also been some positives for the profession’s future. I remember sitting down with our staff one last time for a team lunch before we sent everybody home to work remotely. We didn’t know much about this crazy virus and certainly couldn’t have imagined that we’d still be dealing with it one year later. I was one of the naysayers and thought it was being overblown, but I still told people to be prepared to be working remotely until after July 4. It sounded silly then (to all of us). Now, I would take July 4, 2021, as a target date for that return to normal. I imagine most of us would. The past 12 months have been like none other in our lifetime. We have been stretched to limits we never […]
March 22, 2021

HR Reality Check: Case Study #21

Scenario: Morten Funeral and Cremation Service is a high-volume business on the East Coast. The business is owned by Jim and Jane Morten who took the business over from Jim’s dad, Tom Morten, more than 15 years ago. This multigenerational business has served the heavy-populated area for more than 100 years. Jim and Jane have a great team of employees that support them in providing excellent service to the families in their community. However, there is one area of concern with their employees that continues to be a rising challenge for them. As the population in the area continues to grow, the roadways have become more congested. The number of incidents in which their employees are involved in car accidents are increasing. There appears to be an alarming trend where their employees are the ones at fault for these accidents. […]
March 22, 2021

Chapter Three: Survival

The magnitude of the pandemic means you must reexamine your business from every angle. The past 12 months have been the longest in the history of mankind as we endured agonizing experiences caused by COVID-19. It was on March 11, 2020, that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. And funeral service changed. Just as those who survived the Great Depression were never the same, everyone in America (and the world) will never be the same. In the world of funeral service, we have seen every dynamic of the business change – from the behavior of consumers and their support teams to the professionals. As consumer behavior changes, funeral service professionals must adapt. And while funeral service typically does a bad job reacting to change as a profession, the magnitude of the pandemic means you must revisit everything you […]
February 22, 2021

The Future of Green

Consider additional growth paths to draw coming generations, some of which are already exerting a huge influence on their aging parents. When we think about “going green,” our minds are often directed to today’s “green movement” or, as some call it, “green revolution.” But going green is not a new concept. Although many think the movement began in the 1970s after the conclusion of two world wars and a shift in the United States from an agrarian society to an industrial society, a green movement also began in the 1830s and was defined as a movement to protect the ecosystems. Still earlier versions of green movements began centuries prior, when countries such as Germany, France and England began practicing sustainable forestry management during the medieval period. Communities in Asia also practiced soil conservation through terrace farming and other agricultural practices […]
February 22, 2021

With 25,000 Across the United States, I’d Say Accounting for Cemeteries Is Pretty Important

Can there be a more boring subject to discuss during a worldwide pandemic than accounting? If that is what you are thinking, I disagree. Accounting is the oxygen to keep your business alive. You don’t understand it, so you denigrate its existence. Invest eight minutes into reading this article. If I have not changed your opinion, send me an e-mail yelling at me for wasting eight minutes of your time. If I have succeeded, go out and get a tattoo that says, “Accountants are cool!” The problem with your lack of appreciation for accounting is because your accountant is not making it important. Most cemetery managers think there are three reasons for accounting: Tax Return Accuracy Regulatory Compliance Trust Management If this is your honest opinion, that is fine. It is just like saying, when you go into a restaurant, […]
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