Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study

March 22, 2021

Leading People and Managing Things in Succession Planning

“Funerals just don’t happen by themselves.” – said every Funeral Director ever No, funerals simply do not happen by themselves.  They require expertise, planning, coordination, teamwork, management, and leadership in order to successfully serve a family and perform a funeral service—not to mention the consistency to do this over and over again at the highest level of performance. So why is it then, that the same typically does not occur in succession planning for most funeral home owners?  In a November 2020 Funeral Business Planning Survey published by an outside research firm in partnership with the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), nearly three out of four (73%) respondents do not currently have an exit strategy or succession plan, despite more than one-third planning on retiring within the next five-years. Now, I won’t get into the reasons why this typically is […]
February 21, 2021

Funeral Service Reimagined In A Post Pandemic World

“Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou (Poet/Activist) This quote above seems so simple, does it not?  Do better when you know better.  But as often is the case, simple things are incredibly difficult to do…especially when everything has been changed by a world that has experienced Covid-19.  Dealing with and adapting to change is difficult enough for most, much less dealing with and adapting to a change that has forced its way into literally every space of our lives. In continuing to spotlight various perspectives of interest from our 2020 Foresight Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study (FCCBS), Foresight Focus recently published a third White Paper entitled, How Covid-19 Changed The Role Of The Funeral And Cemetery Professional.  In it, we examined what wants the consumer revealed […]
February 3, 2021

Foresight Focus Whitepaper: How COVID-19 Changed the Role of the Funeral and Cemetery Professional

  How COVID-19 Changed the Role of the Funeral and Cemetery Professional Whitepaper DOWNLOAD NOW Introduction One of the key findings in our recently published 2020 Foresight Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study (FCCBS) centers around how the ongoing pandemic had generated an unforeseen impact on the role of the funeral and cemetery professional. More specifically, the pandemic has affected not only how funeral homes and cemeteries serve their families in the present reality but has also shaped a reimagined role for funeral and cemetery professionals both in perception and reality. The outcome is an elevated position and profile as “last responders” in the eyes of the consumer. Most families walk into our funeral and cemetery facilities uncertain about what to expect. Negative depictions in the media further cloud their opinion. It only takes one bad apple exposed by the […]
January 25, 2021

The Future is NOW for Funeral Service

With the COVID-19 vaccine now rolling out, it is our greatest hope that the pandemic will soon be behind us. Unfortunately, the pandemic has already proven to have permanent implications on our profession as we repeatedly highlighted from our Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study. Our profession has historically been behind the times in terms of embracing technology and new ways of doing things, but the pandemic changed that in the blink of an eye. Everything from the buying and shopping process, the necessity of physical attending services, and the influence of technology has had in all aspects of our profession. It is obvious that the consumers are talking, and we need to listen. I want to summarize a several critical points: Funeral homes need to adapt and evolve. Now is the time to embrace new ways of doing things. […]
January 22, 2021

Industry Spotlight: Business Succession Metrics

In this industry spotlight, we want to highlight key insights into business succession. Every business will be sold or liquidated someday.  Given the choice, sold is usually much better.  Today there are about 19,000 funeral homes in the United States.   This is down from about 21,000, only 20 years ago.  To understand business succession metrics, you need to understand the following: How we lost 2,000 funeral homes? When did the total population has increased by about 20,000,000 Americans? What is the Average Age of American’s increased slightly? When did the mortality rate increase? We lost these businesses as active businesses because three dynamics: The business real estate was more valuable for general commercial purposes than it was as a funeral home The profitability of funeral homes is limited and as expenses increase, especially for staff and benefits, the profit decreases […]
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