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58 years ago today – The Kennedy assassination. . .and the story of the Kennedy casket

Imagine it is lunch time at the funeral home you work at when you get a call from the hospital two miles away that you need to immediately bring the best casket you have to the hospital.  And, by the way, it is for the President of the United States. That’s the call that Vernon B. O’Neal of O’Neal’s Funeral Home received on November 22, 1963 — 58 years ago today.  O’Neal happened to be the only person at the […]

Business Finance Products

My hunch: Inflation, other factors will lead to rapid acceptance of “Online Direct Cremation”

Thursday night into Friday morning brought Minnesota’s first snowfall of the 2021-2022 winter season.  It was light, but created slippery conditions outside that forced me onto an indoor treadmill run on Friday morning.  My 2 1/2 mile daily run is punctuated by the fact that I have a lot of stamina. . . just not a lot of speed.  On an indoor run, the result of that fact is I get about 25 minutes to catch up with the morning […]

Business Products

Extending your revenue lines from a big picture point of view

Back in about 1990 I made funeral arrangements for a 55-year old who died of a sudden heart attack.  His widowed wife eventually talked to me about an idea for our funeral home which was based on the premise of what we now call “Aftercare”.  At that time our funeral home did not have a formal program, nor had we really thought about it. The widow, who later became our “Aftercare Coordinator” believed that we should be helping people — […]

Business Products

The Segmentation of an Industry

I recently read this article from The Irish Catholic where Joseph Behan of Hibernian Funerals explained that Covid-19 has changed many things about death care in Ireland.  For instance, he told of the “Tell us Once” format where instead of notifying the post office, the credit union, your bank and others of your death there is now a movement to tell the government of the death and everyone with a need to know gets notified from that notice. He also […]

Business Cemetery Products

Back to the Future

The World Series has been played for the past two weeks and I’m a baseball fan. . . and former little league coach.  I’m “Old School” and don’t particularly like the “data-driven” strategy decisions used in today’s game of baseball.  I like the past when you watched a hitter’s feet move to determine if they could hit a curve-ball rather than “check the charts”. In Death Care there is old-school also.  This article from Atlas Obscura portrays a wonderful picture […]

Business Products

Funeral homes adding “assisted death” to service options

What some people term “Death with Dignity” is a growing movement that I confess to know little about.  However, the acronym MAID, which stands for “Medical Assistance in Dying” and is part of the Death with Dignity movement is becoming better known and accepted.  Legal in Canada since 2016 the Medical Assistance in Dying Movement has grown from about 1,000 instances in 2016 to about 7,600 instances in 2020. And, the Death with Dignity movement in also moving forward in […]

Business Products

The Experiential Funeral

Via e-mail marketing the other day I received an invitation from our friends at the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) to take in a free webinar partially titled, “Families prefer experience over extravagance“.  The topic hit home with me and I think points out a very important detail about what the consumer public is willing to spend money on. . . . and why that may have an effect on how we offer our death care services to them. […]

Products

“Coffin Pod” launched in Northern Ireland to protect from Covid-19

Family-owned Quinn Hearse and Limousine, headquartered in Northern Ireland recently received funding from the United Kingdom’s Innovate UK Fund, Invest Northern Ireland, and others to develop the “Coffin Pod”.  According to this article, “The Coffin Pod is a sealed glass pod which will allow funeral directors to transport coffins safely, and allow families to have open coffin wakes while observing social distancing measures.” Here’s what Patrick Quinn, a Director of the company said in the article, “Innovation and new product […]

Cemetery Products

Going to Great Britain? Make sure you stay here

The City of Sheffield is located north of London and not too far from both Manchester and Nottingham in Great Britain.  Sheffield’s City Cemetery was built in 1836 in response to the overcrowding and poor conditions in Sheffield’s churches.  Today, 87,000 souls rest eternally in the cemetery, but you can also spend a night there. Cemeteries, in the age of cremation, are having trouble raising revenue and there have been all kinds of options including movie nights, historical tours, and […]

Business Cremation Products

Will pet cremation be the next “Big Thing” in the funeral home business?

Every once in a while I come across a couple of items that are sometimes related and it makes me think about potential business aspects of the items when combined together.  That recently happened to me once again — late in September I received a marketing e-mail from the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) regarding “Pets and Cremation”.  And, just on Tuesday, Funeral Director Daily did an article on “Customer Acquisition vs. Customer Retention.” It made me wonder. . […]