Articles

February 29, 2024

When It’s Time to Say ”YOU’RE FIRED”

If you ask business owners to make a list of things they dread, having to fire an employee probably ranks right up there with an IRS audit. Both can keep you up at night and make you wish you didn’t own the place. But as much as they might dread it, eventually, most business owners are faced with having to terminate an employee. This article is intended to help when you are faced with that decision. First, I believe that no employee should be fired by sur­prise. They may be shocked when you actually do it, but they should already know that their performance (or lack thereof) has not been acceptable and that their job was at risk before they are terminated. I recommend that you conduct periodic job reviews and/ or have a progressive discipline policy. By reviewing performance […]
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

Legal Check: Pet Business

Scenario: Stewart Spector is a fourth-generation owner-operator of Spector & Steinberger Funeral & Cremation Services in Smyrna, Georgia. The business changed to its current name from its original name of Spector & Sons Funeral Home in early 2010 when Stewart’s key employee, Nell (“Nelly”) Steinberger, bought into the business. This was also the year that Stewart and Nell started their pet end-of-life service business, Rainbow Bridge Pets, since both were animal lovers as well. Spurred on by Nelly’s passion for the environment and greener alternatives, they decided to make the investment and offer only flameless cremation for their pet families, installing only a resomator in their newly built facilities. Because both Stewart and Nelly believed so much in flameless cremation or aquamation/alkaline hydrolysis as a “greener” alternative to flamed cremation as well as it being a “gentler” process, it was […]
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 […]
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