Blog

July 21, 2021

Ask the Experts! Your question about the timeline for selling your business in 2021 answered by Foresight!

Selling your funeral home or cemetery business continues to be a one of the hottest topics with our readers and the profession. We were recently asked about the timeline for selling your business by the end of the year. Doug Gober provides his insights on this important question. Question: I am ready to retire and want to have my business sold by December 31,2021. Am I too late? What do I need to do to have this done by the end of the year? Doug Gober: The short answer is no. You are not too late. However, there are many qualification statements that need to be considered to make your transition happen. First, you must be prepared to focus on the task at hand. There are so many small elements of a transition; whether big or small, that can become […]
July 20, 2021

Survey Says…Cremation is Still a “Burning” Desire

How do you ignite a conversation in a room full of funeral directors? Toss in the word “cremation.” It will spark conversation—some good, some bad. But in all cases, you will witness myriad emotions. It may be hard to believe that some funeral professionals are still adamantly opposed to cremation. Rather than embracing the opportunities that can be found in cremation, they are still fighting for a return to the way things were “in the good old days.” For most of us, we recognize those days are gone, and it is time to embrace ways to create opportunities with cremation families. According to the recent Performance TrackerTM Analysis: 2020 COVID-19 Impact Report, 55% of all cases in 2019 resulted in cremation. During the recent COVID pandemic, our industry saw a 5%–10% increase in cremation disposition cases for 2020. Although cremation […]
July 20, 2021

It’s All About the Team

Strategy for building a winning one for your firm. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – MICHAEL JORDAN As this quote suggests, talent alone does not guarantee that you will win in the long term. Still, you might wonder why I chose a sports quote to relate to funeral service. Both sports and funeral service are zero-sum games when it comes to competition. Someone wins, another loses. In funeral service, we have no control over the death rate in our community in any given year – we can only control how many calls we can secure and serve. One death call for you means one less death call for me as your competitor. Zero sum. The same can be said about competing for and retaining human resources in the funeral service profession. While the pandemic forced all […]
July 20, 2021

Chapter Seven: The Staffing Crisis

How long will this peril haunt funeral service businesses? If you measure funeral service by universal crises, the crisis echoing in the 1980s was the FTC’s Funeral Rule. In the ’90s, the crisis was heralded as The Rise of the Acquisition Companies. Ironically, the crisis of the 2000s was The Fall of the Acquisition Companies (although it seems that everyone who hated them then somehow loved their money when they were ready to get out later, and now the market has crashed). Anyway, I would label the challenge of the 2010s The Cremation Crisis, as a 50% cremation rate became a reality in the United States. What about the 2020s? While it’s still early, I believe that for those of us who survived a pandemic and now progress from looking day by day to longer term, this span’s awakening peril […]
June 23, 2021

Nonprofit Boards Are Not for the Bored or the Inexperienced

I got the following letter about a year ago: I have been a successful business owner and was asked by my local cemetery to come onto their board almost 20 years ago. In the past few years, I was made the president of the board. I can see that we need to be more than a graveyard but so many of my fellow board members do not take an interest. They show up to our quarterly meetings just for the free lunch we provide. As president I am paid a salary and have the day to day responsibilities for the nearly 400 interments we provide and the care of our 80 acres. Yet, I cannot get board approval for any of the changes we need to make to provide for the future. Am I alone in having a bored board? […]
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