October 24, 2022

Ask the Expert: Competitor Pricing

We want to continue to provide you with insight and guidance on Pricing. For this month’s column, we spoke with Doug Gober again as he answers more popular pricing questions. Continue reading below as we provide information on competitor pricing. Question: Should I set my prices lower than my competitors to gain market share? Doug Gober: The critical factor when determining your pricing should be how you want to be seen in the marketplace. Since the funeral and cemetery market is segmented, it is a challenge to be all things to all people. It would be in your best interest to focus only on your business and define who you want to be in the marketplace rather than what your competitors are doing. This idea of determining your position is certainly more important than seeing what your competitors in the market […]
October 24, 2022

Ask the Analyst: Understanding Property Value

Understanding the value of your business is vital. Not only is it needed if you were considering selling your funeral home or cemetery, but it is also important to know to operate strategically and efficiently. One of the major components in your valuation is the property value. We asked Senior M&A Analyst, Jarod Bernat to further elaborate on this significant element of your business valuation. Question: Why do you value my property at “X” amount in your valuation when surrounding commercial real estate is worth X+100? Jarod Bernat: Real estate values seem like a straightforward topic since it is public record to see the exact sales price of recently sold comparable properties in your market. Thus, it would make sense to think your property would be comparable to those in value. However, this real estate value is decided by the […]
September 29, 2022

HR Reality Check: Case Study #24

Scenario: Troy and Tammy Lexington run Lexington Funeral Home & Cemetery, a generational funeral home/cemetery combo in the southern United States that has served their community for almost 100 years. Currently they serve more than 600 families a year with case count on an upward trend. Troy and Tammy bought the business from Troy’s father and uncle 10 years ago. They are both licensed funeral directors but find a significant portion of their time is spent managing the business. However, they still roll up their shirt sleeves to help with daily tasks as needed. Several of their employees were inherited when they purchased the business and have many years of experience in the funeral industry in various positions throughout the operation. Their business has grown steadily over the years, leading them to increase their staff. A few of the “original” […]
September 28, 2022

Finance 301: Chapter 9: Trust But Verify

As this column has been memorializing the key points of knowledge I have acquired and want to pass on to you, here’s another to remember: Nothing prevents problems better than writing things down. I have found that many life-changing matters can occur when business owners, employees or both go on nothing more than a handshake and their memory. President Ronald Reagan summed it up when he repeated an old Russian proverb: “Trust but verify.” Now, I am not an attorney, so I am not giving legal advice here. I have been a business owner for 40 years, however, as well as an employer, expert witness in more than 100 cases and one who has paid for a few points of litigation, so I have learned a few things about the law. In my experience, I tend to see funeral directors […]
September 28, 2022

Ask the Analyst: Setting Targets for the New Year

At this point, funeral home owners and cemetery operators should have their 2023 strategic business plan near completion. One of the important elements in your plan is your targets and expectations for the coming year. We understand that this can be complicated due to the lingering impact that the pandemic has had on our businesses. We asked Senior M&A Analyst, Jarod Bernat to further elaborate on whether these areas need major adjustments. Question: How do I adjust my targets and expectations coming out of the pandemic? Jarod Bernat: This question has many different variables affecting how one may have seen the pandemic affect their business, and how they can expect the business to change again coming out of the pandemic. What we have seen with our clients at Foresight is that due to gathering restrictions during the height of the […]
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