Second, the holidays are upon us, and with them come the pressures of personal and professional success as you face the New Year.
Planning for success is never easy and takes time, so we encourage you to be patient with yourself, those on your team, and your inner circle. During these winter months, many of you may experience a rapid increase in volume or a steady decrease. You could have, like many in our profession, staffing shortages, increasing costs, and inflationary pressures. Add to these challenges a lack of time for self, time for goal setting, and time to train and develop others you may experience an overwhelming feeling.
Inflation is the worst in 40 years as everyone is aware of by now. The news is relentless in pointing that out. Averaging around 8% depending on who you listen to.
You more than likely have seen your suppliers increasing their prices, in many cases, more than once a year as used to be the custom.
That leaves you raising your GPL and merchandise possibly higher than you wish, due to competitive concerns and possible client-family resistance. I would like to say competition may be a valid concern, however, if you are the market leader in service, this may not be as big of a factor as you may think.
With inflation being so much higher than normal, this leaves another place to consider using a marketing tactic. Thus, it is recommended to take a serious look at your preneed sales program as a key to your future success.
Managing a new business, a struggling economy, and the exhaustion of surviving the pandemic, while taking care of three kids, has taken a toll on my body and my emotions. This summer has been a step back in many things to reflect on and recuperate. I know that I am not alone in this feeling. I have been to conferences and spoken to people across the country that are feeling burnt out and carry this existential dread about the future. So how do we carry these feelings? How do we help each other? What are some ways to reset? I began a quest to find out these
answers specifically for myself, and in modeling the things I have learned, I hope to help my clients, my staff, and any other people with which I have interacted.
I recently read a book called “Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle” by the Nagoski sisters. It has validated the feelings we are having collectively as a society and given some great insight into how to cope. We have constant stress and stressors. The stressors are bills, family dynamics, or a difficult boss. Many times, the stressors are ongoing and ever-changing. The stressors will continue to pile up, but in order to deal with the stress in your body, or complete the stress cycle, we must do something with the energy in our bodies. Here’s a few ideas:
Changes that are potentially coming to the current Funeral Rule seem to be upsetting many firms who feel putting prices online turns funeral service into a commodity. It certainly can, but only if firms allow it to affect them in this manner. What many firms do not realize, is they have already been making funeral service a commodity themselves with a lack of differentiation both over the phone, in person and on their current websites.
In most towns, people are already left with nothing but price to compare. Nobody stands out especially on how they handle phone inquiries and on how their websites appear. .
Most funeral service company websites do little to communicate the value of having a funeral or why the funeral home in question is different, or better than other local choices.
As funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries invest time, talent, and treasures in educating their team members, it is equally important to invest the same efforts in training reinforcement. According to leading German psychologist, Herman Ebbinghaus as much as 90 percent of what employees learn in a formalized training session is forgotten or misunderstood within 30 days.
During our interactions with different funeral service firms and professionals, we hear a variety of reasons why training reinforcement does not happen. The top five reasons include what those in leadership, either owners or managers, need to consider.
Lisa is honored this year to serve the Funeral Service Foundation as the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and their first woman chair. She spoke at the 2022 National Funeral Directors Association International Convention & Expo in Baltimore about the supportive programs that lift up grieving communities. The Funeral Service Foundation also offers scholarship opportunities, resources for professionals, and grant opportunities.