Articles

May 8, 2020
Funeral And Cemetery Consultants Dan Isard The Director Finance 101 The Staffing Challenge

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
Funeral And Cemetery Consultants Dan Isard When Tradition Isnt Tradition Anymore

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 […]
May 8, 2020
Funeral And Cemetery Consultants Stephanie Ramsey HR Reality Check 17

HR Reality Check: Case Study #17

Scenario:  Delmond Funeral & Cremation Services is a multi-location business owned by Ken and Stacy Delmond. The business employs more than 20 employees between its various locations. The funeral directors move freely between the various locations as needed, and are licensed to sell preneed on behalf of the business. Recently, while preparing for a family that was coming in to arrange for an imminent death, Stacy pulled the preneed contract that was written a few years ago by one of their funeral directors, Darrin Rodgers. Stacy realized that she did not recognize the insurance company named on the contract as the policy provider. She then began researching their records and discovered that there was no indication that the business had ever had a relationship with the insurance company. Further, the funeral business had never received commissions for selling preneed insurance […]
February 26, 2020
Funeral And Cemetery Consultants Dan Isard Finance 101 Marketing With Roi

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
Funeral And Cemetery Consultants Dan Isard Finance 101 The Online Marketing And Service World

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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