Resources for Funeral Homes

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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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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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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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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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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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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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2022 Twitter Trends & What They Mean for Deathcare

By Welton Hong Twitter recently mined its data, analyzing billions of tweets for the past two years, to discover what's on top when it comes to trends. In its Twitter Trends Report 2022, the social media platform revealed three important considerations for marketers:...

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Digital Marketing Series – “Video”

Read the next installment in our tactical series looking at how your funeral home can set up a comprehensive digital marketing plan.Content shared with permission from Funeral Directors Life. 05-VideoDownload

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Digital Marketing Series – “Google Ads”

Read the next installment in our tactical series looking at how your funeral home can set up a comprehensive digital marketing plan.Content shared with permission from Funeral Directors Life. 03-Google-AdsDownload

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Digital Marketing Series – “Website”

Read the next installment in our tactical series looking at how your funeral home can set up a comprehensive digital marketing plan.Content shared with permission from Funeral Directors Life. 02-WebsiteDownload

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Digital Marketing Series – “Know Your Audience”

Marketing in this day and age can be a mystery. Old tried and true solutions like the newspaper, the yellow pages, and the radio are losing prominence. In their place we have Facebook, Google Ads, and YouTube. If you are like most funeral directors, you are worried...

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Learning the Ins and Outs of Tweeting

This article was originally published in ICCFA’s Memento Mori magazine and is reprinted here with permission. Welton Hong is the founder of Ring Ring Marketing and the author of Making Your Phone Ring with Internet Marketing for Funeral Homes. Learning the Ins and...

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Records Retention Guidelines

We are often asked about how long specific records should be kept. Discarding records that should be kept poses a wide range of potential tax and legal problems. Keeping reports too long wastes precious space and resources. But how long should the company’s files be...

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Not Everyone is Suntan

By Tim Collison, CFSPCopyright: The Dodge CompanyReprinted with permission from the Dodge Magazine One of the basic truths of human existence is that we are all creatures of habit. We develop patterns in almost everything we do, and the longer we continue these...

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Finance 301: Chapter 1: The Future is Cremation

By Dan Isard The Foresight CompaniesEarlier this year, I turned 68 years old. I mention this because I feel I bear a responsibility to this profession, one that has allowed me to build a company and serve more than 3,000 of its members during my career. While I have...

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New ERAVE Guidance for Funeral Directors

The Arkansas Department for Health has recently issued new training and guidance both for Funeral Directors and for Medical Certifiers, which walks through the entire process step-by-step. The resources are available as videos showing the actual steps on a computer,...

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Offering Practical Support & Building Community

As families go through the mourning process, it provides a great opportunity for wider community to give wraparound support to the grieving family, for whom much is in turmoil. Here is a guide that can be shared with friends and family of practical ways to lend...

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IRS Increases Mileage Rate for Second Half of Year

Starting from July 1, 2023 there will be new mileage rates as announced by the IRS.The Internal Revenue Service earlier this month announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the final six months of 2022. Taxpayers may use the optional standard...

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Cybersecurity for Your Funeral Home

When it comes to cyberattacks, everyone thinks they’re safe. You may think “Why would they want my information?” or “I have nothing to hide.” However, if a cyberattack happens to your funeral home, you’ll realize how detrimental it can be to your business. This guide...

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