Accounts receivable management

May 8, 2020

Step 4: It’s Tax Time Again

Tax planning issues, four decisions to make for your business return and things your accountant should know. I’m going to open your 2020 vision on taxes based on some quotes. So, while you may not believe me, believe them. Taxes are so important to plan because they are a huge cost to your business with no return on investment. “Our new Constitution is now established and has an appearance that promises permanency, but in this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin, 1789 Those of us in funeral service have a unique perspective. We have seen how the government, via the FTC Funeral Rule, has messed with “death,” and via the IRS, “taxes.” This quote has survived 221 years but will not survive another 100. The problem is most funeral home owners […]
May 8, 2020

When Traditional Isn’t the Tradition Anymore

Never in my 35 years in this profession have I shied away from a fight, and it’ll be no different when addressing the subject matter here. I was recently in Singapore, and upon our arrival, there were Christmas trees, Christmas music and Christmas decorations everywhere. That may not seem unusual to us, but it seems to make little sense in a country that is 42.5% Buddhist, 14.9% Muslim, 8.5% Taoist, 4% Hindu, 14.8% atheist and only 14.6% Christian or Catholic. For these 5.7 million people, Christmas is a nontraditional holiday (not a holy day). And while this casual observation by a nation of nonbelievers must be disconcerting to people who believe Christmas is one of the two holiest days of the year, the Singaporeans have simply taken the traditional from the tradition. For them, decorating for Christmas is something to […]
February 26, 2020

Step 3: The Online Marketing and Service World

Six marketing dimensions to implement now. Last month, I provided to readers the vision to understand key points of marketing and advertising and made reference to some matters the online world addresses. Normally, for an article dealing with technical points, I would do it slowly, giving some basics and then moving to more complicated matters. Unfortunately, we do not have time to go slowly! So, let’s deep-dive into the topic, and keep your eyes open. Following are six key points to implement now or you will miss the proverbial boat. Remember, your competitor is reading this column, too! The funeral service online world is used for communication, marketing, education and service. Have Your Own Website  There are some 19,000 funeral homes in the country, some 14,000 of which are privately owned. I would estimate that about 10,000 of those privately […]
January 11, 2019

The Sledge Hammer Approach to Business Planning in 2019

A new lineup of coverage in this column for 2019, starting with cash and receivables. I am a child of television. When I was born, it was black and white, just three channels, it fed into my house through the air and perfected on the screen by how I’d twist the antenna wires. (I know, that explains so much…) Today, there are a thousand stations brought in via satellite, super-duper color and even 3-D watching! The audio is movie theater-quality surround sound. But still I am fixated on home repair, restaurant makeover and hotel refurbishing programs. If the star of the show can’t wield a sledge hammer, I flip to one of the other 997 channels. Business is the same way. The Director has introduced the 2020 Vision concept to raise the bar on the importance of planning for the […]
November 2, 2018

Help Consumers Choose Your Firm

Financial and operational plans aren’t the only aspects of strategic business planning. Astute owners will also consider marketing. My fear in composing an article on strategic planning is repeating myself. Funny that I don’t have that same fear when telling jokes to an audience, but to an audience of readers, I am concerned about this. Strategic planning brings out this fear because every year for the 44 years I have been doing management and financial consulting, I write on this topic. Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, I return to this subject. I’ll take a different approach this year. I won’t talk about financial or operational aspects of advanced planning, but marketing. Funeral home owners/managers are terrible marketers, and the reason is simple: To market, you must first understand why families come to you. But the fact is, most firms […]
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