Funeral service accounting

June 23, 2021

A Beacon of Hope

Position your firm like Lady Liberty and earn the trust of your community. The year was 1876 and America was celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence when the French government presented the United States with a gift to honor the celebration. The colossal neoclassical sculpture known as Liberty Enlightening the World (the Statue of Liberty) was created by French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, who crafted it from sheets of hammered copper. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who designed and constructed the Eiffel Tower, created the steel framework that became her endoskeleton. This gift of friendship between two nations was dedicated October 28, 1886 and became known fondly as Lady Liberty. It would become a beacon of hope for millions of immigrants arriving in America via Ellis Island. She also became the epitome of the American dream, one based on the […]
June 22, 2021

Chapter Six: Community Service as Ministry and Marketing

Whether you call this effort aftercare, community service or outreach programming, there are many ways to market the value of your ministry. Imagine you turn on your television and see a barker screaming, “I have a solution that will boost your business, increase average revenue per call, reduce bad debt, grow preneed and increase case count!” (If you’d change the channel, I wouldn’t blame you.) In the 35 years I’ve been researching the topic of community service performed by funeral homes, however, I can tell you straight up that doing community service properly will indeed increase average revenue per call, decrease bad debt, grow preneed services and increase your case count! It will also increase facility utilization (prepandemic, at least). Now, the question: “Why does community service create so many key benefits for my business?” There are three reasons. First, […]
May 21, 2021

The Reimagined Funeral and Cemetery Professional—Post Pandemic

As we were all learning to work the ‘new normal’ into our lexicon The Foresight Companies conducted a study focused on consumer attitudes toward the funeral and cemetery profession in the post-pandemic era. The findings around the role of our profession were simply astonishing. The pandemic has altered not only how funeral homes and cemeteries serve their families today, but it also has produced a reimagined role for funeral and cemetery professionals both in perception and reality. The result is an elevated view as “last responders” in the eyes of the consumer. When a death occurs, most families arrive at funeral and cemetery facilities with unsure expectations. Emotions are high and the need for quick decisions can cause even more stress. Is it that much of a surprise that consumers feel a disconnection between the opinion of our profession and […]
May 21, 2021

Chapter Five: Reinvesting in Your Business

Making sure the investment is worth the return. As a business owner, I’m sure, you feel very proud of your firm. You might even assume that everyone in your community knows about your business and watches every time you mow the grass or paint the outside. And there’s no doubt they will contact you within minutes if you raise your prices, right? The reality is that most people call on a funeral home only when there is an emergency or an imminent problem; they rarely know about price changes, painting or lawncare. In fact, despite investing your money in or inheriting your business, you might have discovered that many people come to your firm thinking Ol’ Man Jones is still in charge. Well, you chose to control your own destiny. You made the decision to be a business owner because […]
April 21, 2021

Cemeteries Embracing ‘Direct to Consumer’ Cremation Businesses

In many states, you have combination funeral/cemetery businesses; but in some states, you do not. Many cemeteries have tried to stay in their lanes offering only interment options. Most funeral homes have stayed in their lanes, only dealing with the funeral and care of the body, without any interment options. As fewer bodies are interred and only a fraction of cremated remains are permanently inurned in a cemetery, this means cemeteries must take a different path to maintain their relevancy and their cash flow. When allowed by law, the solution could be establishing a funeral service business that focuses on direct cremation services. Semantics Is More than Just Words Semantics, from the ancient Greek, is the study of words and their meanings. Often, the words in our business and life provide a limited image of what we are trying to […]
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