Business Financing

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

Step 5: The Staffing Challenge

With an annual loss of more than 1,700 directors with five or more years’ experience, will staffing issues be owners’ most daunting challenge to come? In the 1980s, when nationwide rates were 7% or less, I predicted that cremation, coupled with the implementation of itemized pricing (as mandated by the FTC Funeral Rule), would be the biggest challenge funeral service would face in my lifetime. It’s now 2020, I’m still alive, and I was right. So now I’m going to give the next eon of funeral home owners my prediction for the future: The integration of staffing and licensure will be the biggest challenge for the next 40 years on many levels. This topic falls in line with this month’s editorial focus on the new breed of funeral directors. New Bs, as I will refer to them, are our salvation […]
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 2: Marketing With ROI

If you look at marketing and advertising as expenses, you won’t expect a return on your investment and therefore won’t get one. Promoting your services to families has never been more critical. Marketing is the word we use to talk about the subject, but we must understand its definition to confirm that what we do will have the desired outcome. The definition I like to use is, “the act a business takes to promote its services and merchandise.” By deconstructing this definition, we can make sure we’re doing the best job of marketing the business. Many think advertising and marketing are the same. They are not. Marketing is a larger process that includes advertising. Marketing is global communication about your services and products. It includes but is not limited to public relations, publishing, and promoting related third parties and services […]
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 […]
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