Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study

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 […]
January 22, 2021

The Royal Flush

When thinking about succession planning, I am reminded of the musical legend Kenny Rogers and his famous song entitled “The Gambler.”  The most iconic words of the song are “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, you gotta learn to play it right.  You got to know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em; know when to walk away; know when to run.  You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table, there’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”  The sage advice that gambler gave the young man aboard the train one night is also sound advice when considering succession planning. Succession planning can be a real gamble if it is not done properly.  With proper planning, “every hand’s a winner”, but without it, “every hand’s a loser.”  According to the recent 2020 […]
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 […]
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