Business

What do you see on the Horizon?
Business

What do you see on the Horizon?

The other day a funeral service professional asked me, “What do you see on the horizon for funeral service?”  Since I have not put out any predictions for over a year I thought I would just give an answer on what comes to mind first for me.  Instead of a long, thought out answer sometimes it is just a good exercise to say what comes to your mind first. So, here I go.  And one of the things that sticks […]

What are your alternative plans?
Business

What are your alternative plans?

A recent fire in a Canadian funeral home has caused the funeral home’s operating license to be suspended due to the fact that the building is no longer suitable to operate a funeral business out of.  You can read a short article here about this situation in Nova Scotia. According to the article the licensing authority says that the suspension will remain in effect until repairs have been made and the funeral home business is able to operate. Just reading […]

Finding the Right Managment
Business

Finding the Right Managment

I came into the funeral business somewhat reluctantly at age 19 when my father suddenly passed away and mom needed someone who would be interested in carrying on the family business.  I’ve said many times, the Lord knew what he was doing, because as I reluctantly got involved I learned I was pretty good at being a good funeral director/businessman in a small town.  I ended up loving what I did and was able to not only help people in […]

Own the Message
Business

Own the Message

I happened to see this article from the Wise County Messenger the other day.  There is nothing wrong with the article and sometimes news gets out like this.  However, it reminded me that when you are in business, and especially personal service businesses like the death care industry, you want to really “own” the message that is being put out on your business. This article deals with the closing of at least one location of a funeral business.  Interestingly enough, the […]

How do you hold on to Heritage Families?
Business

How do you hold on to Heritage Families?

All businesses that want to grow and prosper need to acquire new customers.  That is a pretty simple concept.  But one thing I’m always amazed at is how so many times business take for granted the customers that they have already acquired. Think about that for a moment. . . . if you can continue to pull customers you already have back to your business, then it makes it easier to grow simply because you are never going backwards.  And […]

Foundation Partners adds Arizona Firm
Business

Foundation Partners adds Arizona Firm

Earlier in January it was announced that Foundation Partners Group had acquired the Angel Valley Funeral Home & Old Pueblo Crematory in Tucson, Arizona.  According to a press release from Foundation Partners that you can read here, Mike and Dee Dee Orcutt had owned the business for about ten years prior to this change of ownership. Mike Orcutt stated, “I had spoken to Foundation Partners several years ago, but we were not quite ready to retire at that point.  When […]

Being Efficient versus Cost Cutting
Business

Being Efficient versus Cost Cutting

So many things about business fundamentals cross over from one industry to another.  I’m writing this article on Sunday and thinking about a meeting I will have tomorrow in the role I play as Chairman of the Finance and Operations Committee of a Big Ten university.  We are working on the budget and tomorrow I’m meeting with the President, the CFO, and one of my board colleagues as we work our way thru the $4.0 billion budget that has to […]

Know your vendors. . . an update. . . .perspective
Business

Know your vendors. . . an update. . . .perspective

Today I was looking through some ideas and came upon three subjects that, while not all open for in-depth stories and opinions, I thought were interesting enough in their own right to just mention and let you take a look yourself if you wanted to delve deeper into the subject matter. The first item that I came across comes under the subject “Know your vendors.”  It consists of a news video and story that you can see and read here […]

Thinking outside the box
Business

Thinking outside the box

Sometimes what seems like the obvious isn’t always the best.  Yesterday we wrote about trying to bring the volume of your services number to a larger number and how that could help by reducing your costs per service.  One way we suggested doing that was by an acquisition in the same geographic area of your existing firm. Another way to increase volume, without the costs and commitment of an acquisition, is by establishing a facility in another part of town […]

Working towards an acquistion
Business

Working towards an acquistion

A really nice article about Leo and Jeff Marshall, the father/son team that has owned and operated the Marshall Funeral Home in Greenville, Michigan since 1967 was published in the Daily News of Montcalm and Ionia Counties of Michigan the other day.  You can read the article here. It is a really fine article that articulates virtually everything good about the funeral profession over the 51 year ownership of the business by the Marshalls.  It talks about hard work, congeniality […]