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.
Step 1: Employee Empowerment: Profitability, Culture, and Satisfaction
Tim Bridgers, the General Manager of Live Oak Bank, kicked off the conference with a presentation about employee empowerment. He explained that employee empowerment is vital to having a successful funeral home.
He went over employee engagement — the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to their organization — and the benefits of having highly engaged staff. Three that stood out were: keeping staff saves money, engaged staff work harder, and you will see better results. Things such a regular feedback, clear communication, and team building can all help your staff care more and feel better about their job.
Step 2: Turning Clicks into Dollars
Welton Hong, the founder of Ring Ring Marketing, presented on how to get the most out of your funeral home’s online presence. He covered pay per click, local search, and organic search. He reminded attendees that they need to keep SEO (search engine optimization) in mind when adding content to their websites and that one way to do this is to use relevant keywords.
Some other tips were to make your content relevant but not overly “salesy.” Also, it’s important to monitor your online reviews to make sure customers are only sharing positive feedback.
Step 3: Leveraging Data to Boost Profits
This presentation by Dan Isard, Founder and President of The Foresight Companies, focused on taking a deep look at your funeral home’s numbers and making changes accordingly.
He emphasized the importance of having a written business plan, so you can compare where you are now to where you are in the future. You can’t accurately measure growth if nothing is recorded. He also discussed how funeral homes should follow Darwinian Economics — evolve your business practices or fail.
Step 4: Creating Customer Relationships through Community Service, While Building a Legacy
The funeral director of Felix H. Morales Funeral Home, Christina Morales should win the award for being the most involved funeral director out there. She shared a variety of community initiatives she has helped come to life. Death by Chocolate, murals by local artists, and school supply drives are just a few.
Christina discussed just how important it is to show that your funeral home is socially responsible — willing to give back to the community. Another tip is to share the good things your funeral home is involved in. One way to start is to share any photos you have at community events or with community leaders.
Step 5: A New Vision for Preneed
This interactive presentation by Tyler Anderson of Precoa showed us the importance of preneed and offered ways funeral homes can stay ahead of the current inflection point in the funeral profession.
One idea he had was to host a community event (his example being “pizza and preplan”) to get people educated about preneed options. More funeral directors need to spend time showing families the value of their preneed services.
Part 2 of this blog covers steps 6-9.
Did you attend this conference? What did you learn? Share your thoughts in the comments!