August 28, 2023

Finance 301: Chapter 20: The Critical Importance of Being Your Own Best Example

The chemistry of funeral service is changing dramatically and I fear the profession is at the point of crossing the Rubicon, i.e., the point of no return. Funeral providers currently face declining funeral gathering rates, meaning they won’t need (and might not be able to afford) their 10,000-plus-square-foot buildings. Thus, the average revenue per call is declining because when a family doesn’t hold a gathering before the disposition, some five points of sale are eliminated from your general price list. Funeral service today is just that, a service. For you youngsters, prior to the early 1980s and the issuance of the Funeral Rule by the Federal Trade Commission, funeral homes were in the merchandise business. They sold the casket and all the other services – embalming, facility use, livery, etc. – were pretty much included in the price of the […]
August 16, 2023

Crafting Connections: Understanding Your Digital Presence

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, funeral homes and cemeteries face new challenges and opportunities in connecting with their communities. In this blog, we will delve into how to improve the foundations of your digital presence for your funeral home or cemetery .   Local Search Ranking Performance: For funeral homes and cemeteries, local search ranking determines how easily potential clients can find them when searching for funeral/cemetery services, arrangements, or other relevant information. Google, as well as other prominent search engines, use the IP address of the user’s device to determine their approximate location. This helps Google understand which area the user is searching from. High local search ranking ensures that the funeral home’s website and information appear at the top of search results, increasing its visibility and chances of being chosen by those in need.   Search Engine Optimization […]
July 27, 2023

On the Hunt

Putting together a winning team employing hourly workers and part-timers as a solid foundation. “Culture is defined and created from the top down, but it comes to life from the bottom up.” – Mike Smith, former Atlanta Falcons head coach and 2008 NFL coach of the year You’re probably already thinking that this quote is all well and good, but who has time for culture when your business is short a li-censed staffer or two (if you operate a larger business) and the other licensed staff is on vacation this week? I get it. Businesses across all professions and industries have been battling staffing shortages and talent retention challenges. To that extent, funeral home businesses are no exception. They are not only part of the rule but also have licensing requirement issues (in some states, dual licensing) to contend with […]
July 27, 2023

Your Website Can Be the ‘Apple Store’ of Deathcare

Upping Your Game as a Virtual Business “HARD CONVERSATIONS” and “NORMALIZING DISCOMFORT” are two concepts that funeral, cremation, and cemetery professionals handle and deal with daily. We all recognize the ideal of “being your best on the family’s worst day,” or something very similar, and take it as a rule in serving the families who come to us. Certainly, we all have been called on and have exemplified this in person through various aspects of serving families who need our services. But how do we continue to do this (much less do it better) in a “brave new world” where more and more consumers depend on the internet—whether it be in educating themselves before deciding or by reading reviews from other client families when deciding about choosing your firm? I published an article on e-commerce in the July 2022 issue […]
July 27, 2023

Ask the Analyst: Acceptable Addbacks and Adjustments to Your EBITDA Figure

One of the important steps to take when considering selling your business is to review your financial health. Part of this is to review any addbacks or adjustments to your EBITDA Figure. As this is of high importance to potential buyers of your funeral home or cemetery, we asked Jared Tanke to walk us through some examples. Question: I am reviewing my 2023 information to prepare for a potential sale. What expenses can be added back to my financials? Jared Tanke: When it comes to evaluating the financial health of a funeral business for potential acquisition, one key metric that buyers often consider is EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization). However, it is important to understand that EBITDA alone may not always provide a complete picture of a company’s profitability. To accurately assess the true financial performance, buyers […]
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