The Foresight team is excited to announce that we are introducing a new blog column! When we first started our Ask the Experts and Ask the Analysts columns it was our goal to use these blogs to answer the most important questions funeral and cemetery professionals had about their businesses. With this is mind, we wanted to bring a new perspective to these vital questions: the viewpoint of owners and operators. We are honored to introduce you to Stephen and Diann Anderson, formerly of Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services. Each month Stephen and Diann will provide insightful information to help you improve how to operate your businesses. To start our column, please allow us to introduce you to Stephen and Diann as they tell us their goals for the “Ask the Owner” blog column:
To the Funeral and Cemetery Profession,
Greetings to you all. As we reach out, we are reminded of the shared journey that binds us together in our unique profession. Each one of us has chosen this path driven by a common desire: to make a genuine impact on the lives of those we serve. This drive has been ingrained in us, and for some like me, it runs even deeper, shaped by a family history entrenched in the world of the funeral service profession.
Early on, the curtain that veils our profession was pulled back for me. The commitment it takes to serve our community through this avenue is not to be underestimated. The dedication we display, being at the beck-and-call of duty 24/7 – day in and day out for years is the embodiment of the pledge we have taken. This level of commitment often translates to many nights of disrupted sleep, forsaken vacations, and missed personal moments – all sacrifices made in response to the inevitable moments of loss that touch our community.
Upon completing my education and proudly earning my license, the idealistic aspiration to guide families through their grief reached its zenith. This emotional connection forms the core of our profession – an intangible yet deeply spiritual essence that sets us apart. It is our genuine concern, our innate “Give a Damn” attitude, that courses through our veins. We are now equipped to stand beside those facing profound loss, offering them solace and support.
But beyond this emotional core lies the practical realm representing the worldly side of our work. Adhering to regulations, navigating labor laws, financial management, pricing strategies, marketing tactics, and dealing with competition -these are the demands that, if not managed with care, can erode our initial dedication. It is the business aspect that has the potential to fray the fabric of our service and dull our “Give a Damn” spirit.
In fact, my wife Diann and I encountered a crisis of purpose after facing life-altering events. Our “Give a Damn” spirit seemed fragmented, and we began questioning the true impact of our efforts. We pondered the influence we had on our team, on families, and on our community. The path forward was hazy, and perhaps you too have wrestled with these feelings. Remember, these emotions are not unique to our time. Even in the Bible, in the 19th chapter of the book of 1st Kings, Elijah grappled with a similar dilemma. This struggle has been a constant thread woven through the fabric of every generation.
So, what shall we do? What if we shifted our perspective? What if we redefined how we engage with client families, guiding them towards decisions that bring them greater comfort? If we do not take the initiative, others surely will. With a team of funeral directors and embalmers at our side, why not empower them to educate not just the families we directly serve, but our entire community? What if we recalibrated our focus to prioritize service over sales? What if we positioned ourselves as the go-to experts for end-of-life care guidance?
Diann and I decided to embrace this challenge, embarking on a journey that was riddled with challenges, occasionally agonizing, and often necessitating advice from trusted colleagues. Yet, in the end, it was undeniably worthwhile. We emerged from this process stronger, better equipped in our craft, and earned the privilege of being the trusted guides our community turns to in times of need.
If this resonates with you, if you are eager to reignite the flame of making a true difference, let us chart a course to get you back on track. Over the next few months, Diann and I aim to share insights on how to preserve your core service while rebuilding or realigning from within. We will delve into topics like defining your purpose and mission, crafting a distinct brand, shoring up your business foundation, evolving into trusted advisors, and fostering a vibrant business culture.
Remember, your service holds immense value – not just for the families you serve, but for your colleagues and the broader community as well. Rediscover that unwavering commitment within you, and couple it with a foundation of solid business acumen. Stay tuned as we embark on this transformative journey together.
With warm regards,
Stephen and Diann Anderson
Anderson Funeral and Cremation Consultants
Do you have a question for Stephen and Diann? Email firstname.lastname@example.org today for a chance to have your question spotlighted in their upcoming blogs!