Succession & Advisory Services

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Business Succession Planning and Advisory Services for Funeral Homes and Cemeteries

All too often, those of us in the profession help families through unexpected deaths. We extol the virtues of pre-planning, either for pre-arranged funerals or purchasing pre-need cemetery interment rights. So why is it that when it comes to our own business, we are not walking the same talk or heeding advice that we give to the families we serve?

As a business owner, understanding the empirical results of your financial and operational performance is the first step in establishing your business strategy. The future is unpredictable, but with our tailored succession planning and advisory solutions, Foresight can guide you through the process to further grow your business and secure your Funeral Home or Cemetery’s legacy.

If you are actively considering how to transition your business to the next generation or owner (or even if you are not currently considering transitioning your business in the short term), it is time to start planning now and “pre-arrange” your contingencies. Here are reasons why businesses should initiate succession planning well in advance:

  • Smooth Transitions: Early planning allows for seamless leadership transitions, whether due to retirements, unexpected departures, or other situations. By identifying and mentoring potential successors over time, the organization can ensure a smoother handover of responsibilities.
  • Talent Development: Starting early provides ample time to select and develop high-potential employees who can step into key roles. This helps potential successors acquire the skills, experience, and confidence necessary for successful leadership.
  • Minimize Disruption and Mitigate Risk: Unexpected events such as health issues or sudden departures can disrupt operations, erode stakeholder confidence, and lead to decreased market share and performance. Early succession planning minimizes these disruptions by ensuring a capable and trained successor is ready to step in.
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  • Knowledge Transfer: Long-serving leaders often possess valuable institutional knowledge that can be difficult to replace. Starting succession planning early allows for effective knowledge transfer, preserving critical information and insights for the future.
  • Long-Term Strategy: Succession planning is not just about filling immediate gaps; it is about aligning leadership development with your company’s long-term strategy. Starting early ensures that leadership candidates are aligned with the organization’s vision and goals.
  • Stakeholder and Community Confidence: The community, employees, investors, and partners have greater confidence in a business that demonstrates preparedness for leadership changes. Early succession planning reflects a commitment to organizational excellence and resilience.
  • Competitive Advantage: Businesses that can swiftly adapt to leadership changes are better positioned to navigate challenges and seize opportunities. Early succession planning enhances your business’ ability to remain agile and competitive.
  • Cultural Continuity: Leadership transitions can impact business culture. Early planning allows the incoming leaders to learn about and embrace the existing company culture, facilitating a smoother cultural transition.
  • Avoid a lower-than-expected sales price – Having a well thought out succession plan that is supported by your knowledge and command of your business’ key financial components will give you the opportunity to expand the value of the business by making necessary modifications to improve cash flow and operations. Even if you are years away from transitioning ownership, being prepared by having a succession plan in place and maintaining your business’ financial strength places you in the best seat possible.

In summary, starting a succession plan early is an investment in the future stability, growth, and sustainability of a funeral home or cemetery business. It provides ample time for identifying, nurturing, and preparing the next generation of leaders while minimizing disruptions and risks associated with leadership changes.

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Foresight’s Approach to Business Succession Planning and Advisory Services

When working with clients on a business succession plan, our approach is to understand the unique needs and circumstances of your family business. By cultivating a relationship of trust and confidentiality, we work together to develop a customized solution that aligns with your business’ culture and long-term goals.

We understand that the process can be overwhelming. There are three key elements to beginning your business succession plan:

  • Timing: It is never too early to develop a succession plan. A profitable business succession plan begins at least five years in advance of your exit. This allows ample time to execute necessary steps and maximize your business’s value.
  • Understand the Options: Start to think about your options for selecting a buyer. Your reputation and legacy are the bedrock of the value of your funeral home or cemetery. Identify a buyer who upholds the traditions and values you have nurtured over the years. Potential buyers can include family members, dedicated employees, fellow funeral directors, or reputable consolidators.
  • Enhance the Value of Your Business: Your business is valued based primarily on the consistent cash flow that your funeral home or cemetery produces. Knowing the enterprise value of your business sets the benchmark for your desired sale price and enables you to make improvements that boost its overall value.
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The Advisory Service component of our Succession Planning is what sets Foresight apart and makes us the partner of choice for many funeral home and cemetery owners. Using both experience and proven strategies, we advise our clients on how to improve profitability and grow their business to ensure a brighter financial future. We offer open and honest advice and support you every step of the way.

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Understanding the Value of Your Business to Enhance the Value of Your Business

How much does it cost you to turn your lights on every day?

At Foresight, we recognize that understanding your business’s financial health and progress is essential for sustained success. Our Succession Planning and Advisory Services examines key performance indicators and financial drivers, to discover the strengths and weaknesses of your enterprise, offering strategic solutions that ensure long-term financial strength.

A thorough business review is a vital part of monitoring the growth and progress of any funeral home or cemetery. By providing crucial insights into your business’s financial and operational health. Our understanding of market dynamics and consumer behaviors will enable you to make informed decisions to maximize opportunities, and address areas that need improvement.

We provide a detailed review of the company’s operations to answer the following:

  • What are my business goals and objectives?
  • Is my business performing to meet my expectations?
  • What is my Return on Investment?
  • What market opportunities am I missing?
  • Does my business plan need to be revised and updated to meet my succession goals?
  • Are we operating in alignment with organizational objectives?
  • Is my business ready to elevate to the next level?
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Annual Services

  • Business Valuation: Foresight will produce a valuation of your company as of the most recent fiscal year end. This will identify factors driving value and limiting value. We include a management summary report for your review and present our conclusions.
  • Budget: We review the historical operation of your business and collaborate with you to anticipate your future. We prepare a budget of anticipated Revenue, Cost of Goods and Overhead. The Foresight team will monitor your performance throughout the year against your budget.
  • Pricing Review: Foresight will review your current GPL and make comprehensive pricing recommendations for your business. This review includes a proposed pricing recommendation for merchandise mark-up and service fee. We make package pricing recommendations when appropriate and provide an accurate and attractive GPL for consumers.

Quarterly Business Review

Our quarterly business review identifies where you stand relative to budget and targeted goals. We will discuss the results and the necessary actions required to keep you on the right track.

This business review will be presented using quarterly financial data and provides over 90 data points including:

  • Revenue Per Call measurement and analysis
  • Cashflow analysis
  • Payroll and headcount analysis including employee and owner compensation breakdown
  • COGS and Merchandising analysis
  • Balance Sheet criteria including Cash, Receivables, Debt management
  • Preneed examination
  • Comparisons and measurements from including regional and national business averages
  • Profit distributions measured several different ways
  • Identify areas of staff training for greater productivity and profitability
  • Personal compensation
  • Profit distributions
  • Rent distributions
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Quarterly Market Share and Digital Performance Review

When reviewing your business performance, it is important to understand your customer base and market positioning as they are key factors to your business’s success. Consider updating your marketing plan just as often as your strategic business plan. A market share analysis will reveal where your business is currently positioned in your competitive marketplace. This information allows you to make recommended adjustments to increase your presence in the community you serve.

Foresight will provide you with a quarterly review of your business online presence focused on local search ranking performance, Search Engine Optimization issues, online reputation scores and online directory presence.

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Specifically, Foresight’s Digital Key Performance Indicator Analysis focuses on the following:

  • Local Search Ranking Performance
    • How well is your business ranking for true-shopper Internet searches in your area?
  • Search Engine Optimization Issues
    • Suggestions to improve Google, Yahoo!, and Bing ranking.
  • Online Reputation Scores
    • What are consumers saying about your business?
    • Uncover any low review scores that need attention.
  • Online Directory Presence
    • Review online business listings to ensure information is accurate and not missing important contact information.

Why Choose Foresight for Your Business Succession Planning and Advisory Services?

At Foresight, we are passionate about the funeral and cemetery profession and are strong advocates of independent ownership and fostering the next generation of leaders into the funeral profession. Our singular focus is that we care about our client’s success. Foresight’s Succession Planning and Advisory Services empowers your funeral home or cemetery to thrive in a dynamic market. Let’s have a conversation about your succession planning and advisory service needs. Contact us today to discover the Foresight Difference.

  • Advisory

    Amy Silva Rigtrup
    Silva Funeral Home
  • Family Succession

    Victor March
    March Funeral Homes
  • Advisory

    David Skinner
    Sheehan Hilborn Breen Funeral Home


Our Team Has
Your Future in Focus