July 30, 2016

Who Do We Hire? Finding That Needle in a Haystack – The Independent – Summer 2016

Employers repeatedly find themselves trying to fill positions within their business. The most frequent question when this occurs is; “Who do we hire?” Such a simple question can lead to hours of frustration. Don’t panic, there is a process you can use to help overcome the challenge of prospecting through candidates to find that needle in a hay stack. Step 1. Make sure you have a job description for the position to be filled. You don’t have one? No problem you can make one following these steps: I. List the specific duties or tasks you want this position to fill. This can encompass many different things depending on the position. Meet with families Handle first calls Write obituaries Apply for death certificates Embalm bodies II. Describe the scope of the position. What is the purpose and responsibilities of this position? […]
July 29, 2016

Ready For a Buyout? – Finance 101 – August 2016

Dear Dan, I am 54 years old and finally ready to buy out my father. I really should say Dad is 78 years old and finally thinks I am ready to buy him out. Regardless, my lawyer is telling us that we should use a cross-purchase agreement and my accountant is telling us to use a corporate redemption agreement. I don’t see the difference. Both ways, I own the business and Dad retires (finally). I’m sure you know the difference and can sim- ply tell us which to use. Signed, Finally Ready to Buy in Findley Dear Finally Ready, Your question is a very common one, and most people don’t know which agreement to use. Let’s start by explaining each route. A cross-purchase agreement is an agreement between shareholders – if one party sells, the other party buys. A corporate […]
July 15, 2016

Combination Operations: The High Ground of the Marketing Battlefield – American Cemetery & Cremation Magazine

As I look at the past and future of the death-care profession from my perch of 30 years, there are only a few obvious conclusions. These conclusions deal with the past and project the direction of the future. The most obvious of all is this: The cemetery and mortuary combination is the most powerful marketing entity within this business. If you wonder how that applies to your business, let me demonstrate by writing about four different examples. I will show how this one absolute axiom applies to your business. The Single Location Funeral Home without a Cemetery You own a funeral home. You do not own a cemetery. You have a tough road ahead. Every time you bring a burial family through the gates of a cemetery, you are promoting that cemetery. That cemetery serves only two types of families: […]
June 30, 2016

A Southern Boy Talks ‘Bout Selling

I am honored to have the opportunity to share information with my fellow Southerners in order to demystify how to make educated decisions when it comes to selling your funeral home. I will proceed in simple terms and speak (with a Southern flair of course). Most funeral home owners are as busy as moths in a mitten and don’t have time for the distraction of thinking about the future. The decision for a funeral home owner to sell their business comes from different angles and the funeral industry is wrought with misinformation about this subject. Some owners decide to sell when seeking retirement. After years of serving families, late nights, and missed events, the thought of living out life at a much slower pace is attractive. Others desire to “take their hands off the wheel” allowing either children or key […]
June 28, 2016

Cemetery Impossible – How should I handle a family who wants what would be our first private mausoleum?

MANAGEMENT/MAUSOLEUMS Having a family who wants to build a private mausoleum can be a daunting prospect if you don’t already have a section for private family estates. There are a lot of things to consider before you give the go-ahead. Dear Cemetery Impossible, I have a family who wants to build a private mausoleum on our cemetery property. Currently, we do not have a section within my cemetery that is set aside for a private family mausoleum. The footprint of their desired design would cover eight gravesites. I thought I could sell the rights to build the six-person mausoleum using the eight plots at the current price per plot. Can I also charge a fee for our consulting work in meeting, designing and building of the structure? I have so many questions about doing this. Can you help me? Dear […]
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