Blog

January 30, 2024

Know Thy Business

Building your success on awareness and a plan. As we begin 2024, I am humbled to be a part of this business and finance column going forward. We have some big shoes to fill after the wisdom Dan Isard has brought to this column for decades. My focus is going to be on planning, awareness and accountability in your business. I want to challenge you to make 2024 the best year it can be and then grow from there. I believe that awareness, or understanding, is a core principle in business success. Awareness of yourself, your business and your community is what charts the path forward in these turbulent times. The more you understand your present situation, the better prepared you will be to adapt going forward. A key part of awareness is knowing where we are today and where […]
December 28, 2023

My Parting Thoughts

I have been blessed. I have worked my lifetime doing what I love and with people I respect as clients or co-workers. Truth be told, I can’t believe I earned a living. It was not work but a pure joy … most days. Now, I get to ride out of Dodge on my own horse, sitting upright. This is my last column, for I am now retired. The company that I founded, The Foresight Companies, and have reinvented for four decades, is continuing in the hands of my partners, Chris Cruger and Doug Gober. In fact, Chris will continue to provide thought-provoking ideas in this space going forward. In my swan song of a column, I would like to thank the members of the cemetery profession and all ICCFA’s members. More than that, I would like to beseech you to […]
December 28, 2023

End-of-Life Celebrations for Your Furry Companion

Serving Pet Families Can Be a Worthwhile Proposition Written by Chris Cruger with Alice Adams My friend, Andra, called to tell me her beloved Schatzki, a beautiful 12-year-old German Shepherd, was in hospice, her voice choking with emotion. “I’ll call you as things move along,” she promised. “I cry every time I say ‘hospice,’” she confessed before ending the call. A few days later, Schatzki succumbed in Andra’s arms as the vet administered the euthanizing injection. Her vet was partnered with a local funeral home offering end-of-life services for pets. Two uniformed and neatly groomed attendants waited in a removal vehicle until Andra had said her tearful goodbye. While the vet summoned the waiting attendants, a friend led the sobbing woman out of the room for a glass of wine. While Schatzki was in hospice, Andra made arrangements with the […]
December 28, 2023

Finance 301: My Final Column

After 39 glorious years, which went by in a nanosecond, this issue marks my final column before I turn over this printed space to Chris Cruger, my business successor. I’m also fortunate to hand over ownership and control of The Foresight Companies, which I founded four decades ago, to Cruger and the irrepressible Doug Gober. Selecting them as my successors was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made, but it took risk, patience and trust by all three of us to achieve a great outcome. With that said, I now seize my chance to bid you, my audience and friends, adieu in my own way. Well, not really “my way” since there will be no math involved. Past I entered the world of funeral service at an amazing time and, ultimately, the evolution of my career was totally on […]
November 28, 2023

Funeral Service at the Crossroads Part Three

Part 3 of 3 Written by Chris Cruger with Alice Adams Will you succeed in your profession’s new era? Then consider transitioning to transparency a matter of survival. Remember “The Emperor’s New Clothes”? That folktale may have been your first experience with the word “transparent.” As the story goes, the emperor was duped by a tailor, and the new clothes he had ordered were not as they should be. As he marched through the city, his subjects were afraid to tell the emperor that his clothing was transparent – clear, see-through – and that he was, in fact, totally naked! Transparency in business is similar (without the nudity). Transparent businesses publicly share information about their company – information traditionally kept private or revealed only in-house. Transparency today is essential. It is about being real and often carries different meanings from […]
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