Business Financing

July 27, 2023

Finance 301: Chapter 19: Key Performance Indicators You Should Follow, Part II

As I explained in last month’s column, key performance indicators (KPI) are simple mathematic equations that can help you run your business. When calculating these analysis points, the results are usually shown as a fraction, but if you divide the numerator (the top number) by the denominator (the bottom number) and multiply it by 100, you end up with a percentage. For example, let’s say you want to determine what percentage of your revenue your auto expenses take up. If your total auto expenses are $50,000, and your revenue is $1,000,000, then that fraction is written as 50,000/1,000,000. If you divide the numerator by the denominator (50,000 ÷ 1,000,000) and multiply the result by 100, the percentage is 5%. Now, knowing whether 5% is good or bad business-wise is another story. That takes a frame of reference, and I have […]
June 27, 2023

Know Your Key Performance Indicators and How to Calculate Them

We all look to compare ourselves to others. In the world of business, we can only do this by relying on a common set of indicators. These indicators are called Key Performance Indicators or abbreviated as KPI’s. In the cemetery business, there are only a few reliable KPI’s.I have studied this phenomenon for 40 years. As I reach the end of my career, I feel compelled to raise the subject and explain why it is so. Here Comes the Math KPI’s are expressed as a percentage. As you remember from seventh grade algebra, the percentage is computed from a ratio. To understand the KPI for overhead, you have a nominator that is the Expense over the denominator which is Revenue. Therein is the problem of establishing a KPI for cemeteries. The Revenue is inconsistent because some cemeteries have an emphasis […]
June 27, 2023

The Fourth Generation

Breaking free from old-school beliefs will lift your firm and the profession. Written By Chris Cruger and Alice Adams We’ll begin with the question, “Why are all funeral homes not the same?” Don’t they all remove decedents from the place of death? Don’t they all use the same equipment for first calls? Don’t licensed funeral directors meet with the next of kin? Aren’t the options for services and final disposition the same? Stepping back in history, opening an undertaking parlor meant having a wagon and team of horses to carry the decedent to the churchyard or nearest burial ground. Some combined undertaking with owning or working in a hardware, furniture or general store that doubled as their casket or coffin suppliers. Then they waited for someone to die. When the second generation showed up on the scene, there were telephones […]
June 27, 2023

Legal Reality Check: Understanding Pre-Need Contracts

Legal Reality Check: Case Study #5 Scenario: Peter Smith is a third-generation owner-operator of P. R. Smith & Sons Funeral Home & Crematory in northeast Florida. He’s in his first few years leading his firm, following in the footsteps of his father, Mark, and uncle, John, who had followed in their father, Paul’s, footsteps. Through the pandemic-heavy years of 2020 and 2021, Peter’s progressive thinking and technology-forward approach allowed the family funeral home to thrive and gain market share throughout the communities they serve. Investing in a complete website redesign in 2019 is one decision Peter attributes to his early success. It transformed the website into a topnotch, “front door” virtual site that truly informs the consumer of the business’ unique designations, options, features and value proposition. The site presents the funeral home’s pricing strategically and transparently. The website also […]
June 27, 2023

Finance 301: Chapter 18: Key Performance Indicators You Should Follow

Part One During the past five decades of my career, I’ve had to learn the funeral service profession’s key performance indicators. (We cool geeks just say KPI.) Many of them I had to disprove. Many I had to segregate based on operating factors. Many of them I had to defend from stupid but assertive people. This month, I will try to influence you to follow these KPI as of 2023 and for the foreseeable future. First, you need to know what a KPI is and why we, as business operators, use them. A key performance indicator is a uniformly accepted analysis point that helps you run your business. These analysis points usually involve a computation of at least two key points of operation. For example, dividing revenue by total cases results in a well-known KPI called average revenue per call. […]
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