A man giving a presentation

 

Written by Lexie Graf

 

Recently, I was able to attend The Funeral Service Business Plan in New Orleans. This intimate conference was hosted by Kates-Boylston Publications.

 

If you didn’t get a chance to attend this conference, no worries. I’ve highlighted each of the 9 Steps to Business Success presented by individuals in the funeral profession.

 

Missed the first part of this two-part blog? To read steps 1-5 of the Funeral Service Business Plan, click here

 

Step 6: Lose Business, Earn Money?

Though the title of this presentation may seem unlikely, Bill Williams of Funeral Services Inc. did have sound advice on making this business model work. By charging more and taking on less calls, funeral directors can spend their time offering higher quality services.

 

By taking the time to produce a better business, funeral directors can earn more money with less business. People are willing to pay more for a service that offers more. With this extra time, they can internally invest by training staff more extensively.

 

Step 7: Building Your Team – Hiring and Retaining the Best

Building a quality team is key to having a successful funeral home, and Mark Jorgenson of Global Recruiters of Cincinnati presented on how to do that. Three truisms he said recruiters should follow are: Past history remains the best predictor of future performance. Time kills all deals. Many have the ability to do the job, fewer have the will to do it.

 

A few tips he had were to have a solid job description, parse job responsibilities by time, and give reviews often — the first review after 30 to 60 days and then a more formal review after 90 days.

 

Step 8: Building Bridges – How the Funeral Industry Can Help Post-Hospice Families

This topic was presented by Lanise Shortell. Lanise is a certified grief recovery specialist. She has 25 years of experience working as a pediatric and perinatal hospice nurse.

 

Lanise discussed that when hospice and funeral professionals build bridges, they can provide better quality care to families. When partnering, they have more resources to provide compassionate care and help families during their time of bereavement.

 

Step 9: Why Growing Your Business is Key to Your Future and How Small Firms Can Make It Happen

To close the conference, Doug Gober of Gober Strategic Capital presented on ways to grow your small firm.

 

He emphasized the importance of giving non-religious families non-religious options. Also, funeral homes need to continuously invest in their website if they want to stay relevant. Using Google to advertise and have a local listening is vital to your funeral home’s growth as well. Finally, he showed us images of outdated vs. well-designed funeral homes, and wow is there a difference!

 

On this second day of the conference, American Funeral Director announced their “Funeral Director of The Year.” Bruce Buggs of Buggs Funeral Home in Melbourne, Florida was honored to accept this award. Bruce has been serving his community since 1990. He prides himself is providing compassionate care and exemplary service.

 

Did you attend this conference? What did you learn? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

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