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2024 Convention Schedule Announced!

2024 Convention Schedule Announced!

Join us for the most impactful and dynamic event of the year – the AFDA 2024 Convention! We're thrilled to announce that the schedule of events has been unveiled, promising a rich time of inspiration, knowledge, and networking opportunities. Prepare to be inspired,...

2024 Convention Schedule Announced!

Join us for the most impactful and dynamic event of the year – the AFDA 2024 Convention! We're thrilled to announce that the schedule of events has been unveiled, promising a rich time of inspiration, knowledge, and...

read more

What Small Businesses Should Watch Out For with AI

Artificial intelligence can be a valuable tool in your toolbox for business needs. However, businesses using or contemplating the use of AI should be mindful of its risks and limitations. This technology is still in its early stages of use and development. Before...

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Addiction Treatment Help

Addiction Help is the only addiction and mental health website founded by a board-certified addiction specialist, a long-time recovering addict, and the spouse of an addict. They provide reliable information about addiction and recovery to guide addicts and their...

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Pay-Per-Click: Worth the Ad Spend?

By Faith Bennett “Should I run Google Ads this year?” As you begin creating your 2024 marketing plan, you may find yourself asking this question. While Google Ads can help some businesses, they’re not always the right investment for everyone. But first, let’s back up...

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Front and Center

The market for preneed trust services is changing, currently being affected by two trends: more families seeking unique end-of-life celebrations but also families that are more budget conscious after two years of surging inflation. It’s those two things – sustaining...

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What Happens During the Loan Application Process?

By Live Oak Bank  Small business owners often ask us about the loan application process. What is required to apply for financing and successfully complete the process? How long will it take to receive funds? Whether you need financing today or are hoping to gain...

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Set Your Marketing Budget for Success, not Failure!

I talk to a fair number of funeral home, cemetery and B2B decision makers responsible for their firm’s marketing activities and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these same folks say: “We tried doing _(fill in the blank)______, and it doesn’t work.” Well, In...

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Demystifying AI and Its Role in Funeral Service

Because artificial intelligence has a broad range of practical applications – from automation and data analysis to customer service and gaming – the topic often triggers different responses in different people. AI continues to advance and evolve, driving innovation in...

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How could a Small Business Loan Help your Funeral Home?

If you have ever considered taking out a small loan, you are aware of the potential challenges and complexities that can befall you. To help guide you through this, read this breakdown of common loans and the preparation process for this. Live Oak Bank is an...

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Death and Social Media

What the families you serve need to know.By Jessica A. Koth Since Elon Musk took the helm of the social media platform. Recently, he made headlines again, but this time, his actions may be impacting the families you serve. In May, Musk announced that Twitter would be...

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Positive Business Leadership: Roles Of The Leader

Written by Live Oak BankSmall businesses with positive leadership roles are more likely to have effective management, rewarding cultures and productive teams. Although some individuals have natural talent and excellent leadership skills, all business owners and...

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Fight Fire with Fire… Prevention!

Three steps — Let this be a guide in helping prevent a dangerous or deadly fire at your business. Take a look at the following to see how these action items could be applied today. 1. Educate your employees on the consequences of a potential fire at your business.The...

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Your Winning Team: Hourly & Part-Timers As A Foundation

By Gabriel Ngo “Culture is defined and created from the top down, but it comes to life from the bottom up” – Mike Smith, former NFL head coach (Atlanta Falcons), 2008 Coach of the Year You are probably already thinking that this quotation is all well and good, but who...

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Protecting Your Funeral Home from Natural Disasters

When it comes to weather and climate disasters, the clock is ticking. As the likelihood of a major climate event impacting your business surges higher each year, disaster recovery planning is critical. Should a climate or weather disaster strike, your employees and...

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Determining your Funeral Home’s Market Value

You’re ready to sell your business and use the proceeds to help finance your retirement or your next venture. There are a number of ways to determine the market value of your business. Tally the value of assets. Base it on revenue. Use earnings multiples. Do a...

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Why We’ll Still Need Funeral Directors 100 Years from Now

Technology disrupts every industry, and we’ve all been witnesses to it — old GPS systems, replaced by Apple Maps and Google Maps. Production and fulfillment workers, replaced by robotic systems. Old cameras, replaced by iPhones. Blockbuster, replaced by streaming...

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Grow Time: Make a Plan to Grow Your Business

We plan everything in our lives, and growing a business should be no different. Planning for smart growth can increase your chances of success. Humans have a natural tendency to focus on our strengths and what we enjoy, then avoid the rest. The business planning...

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Grief Brief: Loneliness

Yesterday my brother came to dinner, and our topic of conversation drifted to his recent loss. During our conversation, he said he could handle the loneliness but couldn’t handle being without his wife. I thought our conversation would be an excellent introduction to...

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4 Things You Need to Know About Planning Your Own Funeral

At the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association, we know that funeral planning is the last thing people want to do when grieving the loss of a loved one. As such, planning your own funeral is one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones. By planning your funeral...

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Selected Leadership Academy Celebrates Graduating Class

2021-2023 Graduating Class Honored as New Participants Welcomed CHICAGO, Ill. – May 10, 2023 — Members of Selected Independent Funeral Homes’ Leadership Academy created another memorable Leadership Conference in Chicago, April 25-28. The event kicked off with...

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Pushing Up Daisies: Videos v. Journaling

I often write about the healing power of journaling when it comes to grief recovery. When my grandson died, I found that writing and prayer were the most successful recovery techniques that I practiced. They not only brought me comfort, but they also helped me heal....

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Dos and Don’ts of Funeral Surveys

When a family leaves your care, you want to know that you’ve served them well. You likely wonder: How would the family rate their experience with our staff? The building and equipment? The attention to detail? How did they hear about our funeral home? Would they...

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Fire Hazard Safety Survey

You’ve worked hard to help make your business successful, but something as small as a frayed electrical cord could turn into a large fire and wind up costing your company millions of dollars. When was the last time you took a fire safety survey and asked yourself...

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Key Employee Life Insurance?

As a business owner, you know that your employees are an important asset of your business. Each business has individuals with specialized skills, knowledge, and valuable customer relationships that are critical to its success. If your business relies heavily on key...

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On a Scale from 1 to 10, What’s Your Burnout Level?

It's common as funeral service professionals to experience burnout. The nature of the job, including a demanding work schedule and being emotionally available to families, can create a cycle of constant stress and fatigue that expands beyond the workplace into every...

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Making Best Impressions

Spring Course Begins April 3 What impression do you make? Do you provide consistently high-quality experiences that families and loved ones remember forever? Making the best impression is key. Making Best Impressions will provide many valuable skills and tips that...

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One question to avoid asking first to online preplanners

Todd Carlson, EVP and Chief Sales Officer at Funeral Directors Life, explains. Connecting with people who want to preplan online is difficult if you don't have a way to reach them. You need an option for them to start the preplanning process right from your website...

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10 Dos and Don’ts of Livestreaming

Funeral livestreaming isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, 42% of people feel comfortable attending a funeral online - a 121% increase in 10 years. That’s why you need to offer a livestreaming option now. Tyler Ward, Digital Sales Manager with Encore Livestreaming,...

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Arkansas Nurses Honor Guard

Arkansas Nurses Honor Guard is a nonprofit organization that recognizes and pays tribute to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the nursing profession. They pay tribute to these individuals upon their death at their funeral or memorial service with a...

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How to Honor a Loved One’s Memory on Social Media

When a beloved family member passes away, it is important to remember and honor them in the best way that we can. One of the most common ways to do this is through social media posts, as many people now use these platforms as their primary means of communication and...

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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...

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Chapter 8: Recruiting and Retaining Talent

Nothing is worse for a columnist, especially one in the darkening days of his career, than to repeat himself or herself endlessly. If you do that, you become the print version of that elderly uncle who tells you for the seventh time in two days the same story from his...

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Chapter 7: Gender, Race & Funeral Professionals

I have seen many changes in the funeral service profession during my career. Some of these changes created challenges to the business plan with which funeral directors were indoctrinated, such as cremation and funerals without merchandise. Some involved operating...

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Are You Prepared for an Unexpected Absence?

In the unlikely event that you don’t make it to work tomorrow, do your co-owners and key employees know what to do to keep things running smoothly in your absence? If you are the type of business owner who is very hands-on and who does it all, consider the following...

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Chapter 6: The Truth About Compensation

The single largest cost of running a funeral home comprises salaries, benefits and employment taxes. Together, they make up employee compensation. In the 1980s, when some casket companies spent $250,000 on their NFDA booth build-out and another million dollars on an...

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Chapter 5: Estate Planning & Business Succession

I got my start in the financial services world by selling life insurance across the kitchen table to young families. Once, as I met with a 20-something couple, the husband told me it was ironic we were meeting because they had just found out the day before that his...

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Is Your 2023 Budget Ready?

It's officially budget seasonWhat do you really need in your budget for 2023? We put together a list of funeral home essentials to get you started.1. Plan ahead for conventionsThere are 2 things to think about when planning for your trips: which conventions to attend...

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SFLIC Announces 62th Anniversary

SFLIC completes its 62nd year of conducting business with a portfolio of final expense whole life and preneed insurance and service designed exclusively for the funeral profession. SFLIC-62nd-year-announcement-to-AFDA-10-2022Download

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Chapter 4: Pricing Considerations

As I attempt to transfer the knowledge I’ve learned over five decades in funeral service, I find I must ask questions as often as I answer them. Read Full Article

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Chapter 3: A Preneed Game Plan

In last month’s column, I outlined the questions you must address for preneed to serve as a positive part of your business and planning. As noted at the end of that article, I intend to answer those many questions in this month’s article, so please, read on. Read Full...

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Chapter 2: A Preneed Overview

The first large-scale speech I gave at an NFDA convention was in Orlando in the 1980s. In the room next to me was an industry “expert” whose presentation denounced the use of funeral directors as salespeople and asserted that preneed was an inferior way of promoting...

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Chapter 1: The future is cremation

Planning for the future is a critical task that all companies have to engage with, regardless of how new or old your company is.This series from Dan Isard at The Foresight Companies looks at practical steps and knowledge to help keep the ship stable long into the...

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