Thought Leadership

May 29, 2024

Ask the Analyst: Preparing for Internal Succession Planning Conversation

Many times when our clients think of succession planning, they only think of the financial aspect of it. While this is a very important component, there is more too it when you are first getting started. In fact, one of the first steps is having the internal conversation with yourself and your team. We asked financial analyst, Taylor Weber to share her insights on this important first step in the succession planning process. Question: Other than financial planning, how can we start to prepare for Succession Planning Conversations internally?  Taylor Weber: We often emphasize the equation plan + execution = success. This principle is particularly crucial when determining your exit strategy. With 55% of owners preferring to sell or transfer their business to a family member or current employee rather than a third party, succession planning becomes a vital and […]
May 29, 2024

Ask the Owners: Reviving a Noble Profession

A Crisis of Misunderstood Purpose: Why Funeral Homes Must Innovate to be Relevant and Attract Talent Written by Diann Anderson, formerly of Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services Is Your Website’s “About US” Tab Serving a Purpose? The funeral profession and most funeral home businesses are steeped in a rich history. If you take the time to click on the “About Us” tab on most funeral home websites, you will be able to read all about the history of that funeral home business. What you will be told is who started the business and how it has been handed over to the succeeding generations or how the business progressed with adding to the facilities and purchasing other funeral homes. You will read of the longevity of the business, conveying the message of stability; however, a history lesson doesn’t tell a potential […]
May 29, 2024

Dust to Dust

Across the ages, we’ve come up with some very creative ways to dispose of our dead. Yet to be answered for the future is what part funeral service will play in the circle of life. “In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3:19 NKJV According to the Book of Genesis, God’s curse upon mankind for eating the forbidden fruit was a life of labor and that all would die and return to the earth. The Christian burial rite expresses it as, “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” The opening song of The Lion King, composed by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice, calls it the Circle of Life […]
May 29, 2024

I’m Looking Through You

How to adapt to growing consumer demand for transparency and strategically navigate the FTC’s oncoming pricing requirements. Last month’s article, “Understanding Your Recovery Cost,” by Nelson Thulin, focused on appropriately pricing your services in order to cover your overhead costs. As a follow-up, this article focuses on what you should do to make your business more transparent to consumers once your pricing is in order. This involves answering three questions, which I will share in a bit, as well as understanding today’s consumers and the implications of why they increasingly demand transparency from businesses. Regarding the latter, it’s important to remember that the families you serve are simply a subset of consumers at large. This means they are influenced by the growing ease and experience they gain by patronizing Amazon, eBay and other online retailers. In practically every online experience […]
April 28, 2024

Ask the Owners: Through the Eyes of a Child

How Seeing My Dad in His Casket Helped Me Mourn His Death Written by Diann Anderson, formerly of Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services We are continuing in our series of articles “Strategic Evolution Blueprint for Funeral Home Owners”.  In previous articles I wrote about the importance of embracing change and having a “Strategic Evolution” blueprint for your funeral business.  I have also covered topics like rethinking consumer needs in the funeral profession, the difference between three very different funeral home business models, and why I encourage you to think outside the funeral home box so to speak and start thinking “What’s my Mission?” as it pertains to the operation of your business.  This month, I want to encourage you to reframe your thinking about ceremonies and specifically the importance of having the decedent’s physical body present for the ceremony.  My […]
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