Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study

December 22, 2020

Succession Planning in 2021: If You Won’t Do it for Yourself, Do it For Those You Love

 Simply put, succession planning is the strategy of passing on leadership roles, and often ownership of a company, to an employee or group of employees. Sounds simple, right? So why is this so difficult to do? – Its because there often isn’t the depth of leadership or skills within a small, often family-run funeral or cemetery business. It is also because many of us have problems letting go! Not long ago, the NFDA and Foundation Partners Group published a study called “2020 Funeral Business Planning Survey” about the state of Succession Planning in the Funeral and Cemetery Industry. The study showed that more than 50% of Owners plan to retire within the next five years (25% within the next 24 months) and more than 50% of those have little or no plan!  In a profession where we preach preparedness and […]
December 21, 2020

Technology Adoption Is A Must Nowadays…But Not A Silver Bullet

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition, and myth frame our response.” – Arthur M. Schlesinger (Historian) As always, I like to begin with a quote…firstly, to hopefully whet the brain’s appetite a little for the reader, and secondly, to provide somewhat of a theme for what I am about to write. In our recent Foresight Focus White Paper entitled Five Ways Technology Is Changing The Profession, we highlighted certain findings from our 2020 Foresight Funeral & Cemetery Consumer Behavior (FFCCB) Study on how the pandemic had changed consumer behaviors and forced our profession to adopt technology in order to continue serving families.  Those five highlights included the following: Investing in and embracing technology. Becoming comfortable with virtual communication. Being transparent with online information. Making it simple for consumers to interact with you. Failure is an option. For […]
December 21, 2020

Charting Your Course

The late Winston Churchill said it best when he said, “Fear is a reaction; Courage is a decision.” As we usher in a new year and what appears to be a new administration in power at the federal level, there is one certainty on the horizon…change!  Some changes many hope to see include the eradication of the COVID-19 virus, elimination of masks and other restrictions, and the return of freedoms we all enjoy.  Other changes bring worry and anxiety over the strong likelihood of increased income tax rates, including capital gain hikes, the effects of the rising minimum wage, and the potential for sweeping legislative changes that may negatively impact your business.  Although we may not be able to alter the course of history moving forward, we do have the ability to choose whether to react with fear or to […]
December 21, 2020

Ask the Experts! Your Questions on Pricing Answered by The Foresight Team!

We  want to continue to provide you with insight and guidance on Pricing. For this month’s column, we spoke with Doug Gober again as he answers more popular pricing questions. Continue reading below as we provide information on competitor pricing and package pricing! Question: Should I match my competitors’ prices? Doug Gober: The critical element of pricing should be how you want to be seen in the marketplace. Because the market is so segmented, it is challenging for a funeral home to be all things to all people. It would be beneficial to define who you want to be in the marketplace rather than who and how your competitors are. This idea of determining your position is certainly more important than seeing what your competitors in the market are doing. In some cases, you may not be at the same […]
November 23, 2020

The Operating Plan

One of the greatest mistakes that funeral home and cemetery owners and management make when putting together a strategic plan is confusing it with other types of planning. A strategic plan is a tool that provides a framework to accomplish a mission with efficiency and impact. If it is to be effective and useful, it must clearly define the goals, the action steps, and the resources to accomplish them. Typically, the Strategic Plan covers a timeframe of three to five years but must be constantly monitored and adjusted into clear annual operating plans. No matter what you call it, the key is that you have a plan. What is an operations plan? In short, it lays out who, what, when and how of your daily operations for the next year. It is meant to define how human, financial, and physical […]
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