Jake JohnsonWelcome back…I hope most of you have had the ability to stay cool where you can! With our offices in Phoenix, we are no doubt concerned when the Phoenix weather reporters tell us our overnight lows will be 95 degrees!

As the year progresses on and the economy progresses (or regresses) I could think of nothing more appropriate to symbolize the bite some of us have felt by reminding you that August 1st is the beginning of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel! Shark Week Link. Stay tuned to the show (if you dare OR are not planning on going in the ocean anytime soon) and learn more about the “misunderstood” shark.

Anyway, with half the year already over it is a good time to see where you are, where you have been, and where you are heading. It was said by the publicly traded companies that burials were estimated to be down between 4% to 5% for the second quarter of this year…Has that proven true at your business? It has also been said that the cremation rate would grow roughly .80% to 1.40% for 2010….Has this proven true at your business? Regardless of the answer, these are no doubt understood trends with most if not all funeral operators. We always say that with these trends comes opportunities for those that are positioned well to take advantage of them! Calculate and keep a good direction and best of wishes for the second half of the year!…

We hope you enjoy this issue…

Short Survey

As with every newsletter, we like to put together a short survey and then anonymously share it in our next newsletter. (Follow this link to take this survey…Where You Are, Where You Have Been, Where You Are Heading Survey Link)

Results From Last Survey

In Johnson’s Consulting Group’s last E-Newsletter, we surveyed funeral professionals regarding their experience in dealing with Alternative Cremation and Burial Business Service Providers (Discount operations). (Follow this link to view what they had to say…Survey Responses Link)

Dale EspichFinancing Accounting Article

Dale Espich (JCG Field Representative)

In my 40-plus years of working with funeral directors as a management consultant, I have seen just about every description and method of “Accounting” used to try to keep track of a firm’s income, expenses and profit/loss. But accounting should be more than that. It should accomplish a much larger goal for the funeral business owner for it to be of ultimate value to him or her. (Follow this link to view this article in its entirety…The Real Value of Accounting Link)

Brooks Cowles2010 August Tax Letter

Brooks Cowles (JCG Field Representative)

As we predicted last year, 2010 has been a good year for those owners who felt they were close to succession to bump up their timing and go to market. First, and most likely, it continues to look as though capital gains rates will rise after December 31, 2010.


Jake JohnsonSuccession Planning

Jake Johnson (JCG President)

When approaching the important topic of succession planning, we like to ask our clients the following questions. Consider the below a good start to venturing down the succession planning trail. Our Valuation Services along with our comparable sales from our Mergers & Acquisition Services, makes for good support to your succession plan!

Jake JohnsonManagement Performance Improvement

Jake Johnson (JCG President)

As with our funeral business management consulting services Management Division, Accounting Division, and JCGPerformanceTracker™ program, we think the below top ten strategies should be considered and reviewed within your own firm. All of them follow under our principles of being sure you exercise continual improvement in the areas of Workplace, Marketplace, Customer Service, and Financial Performance.

Quotes and Blogs

Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

“If you want to have more freedom, more latitude in your job, be a more responsible, a more helpful, a more contributing employee.”

“Win-Win is a frame of mind that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-Win means that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying. With a Win-Win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan. Win-Win sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive, arena.”

Company News

-Johnson Consulting Group recently completed an extensive project of a company promotional magazine with the assistance and guidance of Bill Bischoff. This magazine covers extensively what Johnson Consulting Group is about and we would be happy to send you a copy upon your request. We will be utilizing this magazine at trade shows and other promotional events.

-Johnson Consulting Group’s PerformanceTracker™ (Customer Survey and Sales Analysis Program) is experiencing large growth every month due to its low cost and easy to use format.

-Johnson Consulting is now offering online insurance licensing training and continuing education. (Follow this link to view our online insurance licensing…Online Training & Continuing Education Link)

-Our business improvement program involving our comprehensive Business Performance Analysis has proven to be a valuable tool to all our clients regardless of size by improving each client’s performance in Marketplace, Workplace, Customer Service, and Financial Management.

Recent JCG Business / Clients

-Steadman Hall Funeral Home, David & Jeanene Hall, in Socorro, NM (JCG represented the seller)

(Pictured from left, David and Jeanene Hall, Kevin Daniels)

-Marshall’s Funeral Home, Dr. Julia Marshall, Washington, DC and in Suitland, MD (JCG represented the seller)

-Crosby-N. Gray & Co. (Burlingame, CA) Sneider & Sullivan & O’Connell’s (San Mateo, CA) Miller-Dutra Coastside Chapel (Half Moon Bay, CA), Ken Varner, (JCG represented the buyer)

-Fuller Funeral Home, Mike Fuller, Naples, FL (JCG represented the seller)

-Davis Funeral Home & Memorial Park, SCI, Las Vegas, NV (JCG represented the seller)

-Edwards Funeral Homes, SCI, Eastland, Ranger & Strawn, TX (JCG represented the seller)

-Fleury-Patry Funeral Homes, SCI, Berlin & Gorham, NH (JCG represented the seller)

-Retz Funeral Home, SCI, Helena, MT (JCG represented the seller)

-Gorder Funeral Home, SCI, Choteau, MT (JCG represented the seller)

-O’Connor Funeral Home & Crematory, SCI, Great Falls, MT (JCG represented the seller)

-Chapel of the Chimes Funeral Home, SCI,
Great Falls, MT (JCG represented the seller)

-Lawrence A. Jones Mortuary, Lindsay Jones, Kansas City, MO (Expanded management services engagement to include training and providing accounting services)

-Reins-Sturdivant, Wayne Myers, North Wilkesboro, NC (Management services engagement)

-Ratterman Brothers, Carl and George Ratterman, Louisville, KY (Management services engagement)

-L.D. Pearson & Son, Inc., Robert Pearson, Louisville, KY (Providing accounting services)

-Altmeyer Funeral Homes, Jimmy Altmeyer, Virginia Beach, VA (Providing monthly surveys and contract analysis, PerformanceTracker™)

-Daniels Family Funeral Services, Kevin Daniels, Albuquerque, NM (Providing monthly surveys and contract analysis, PerformanceTracker™)

-Ellers Mortuary, Paul St. Pierre, Kokomo, IN (Providing monthly surveys and contract analysis, management services engagement, PerformanceTracker™)

-Legacy Funeral Group, Michael Soper, CEO, Las Vegas, NV (Providing monthly surveys and contract analysis, management services engagement, PerformanceTracker™)

-Moore Funeral Homes, John Harris, Little Rock, AR (Providing monthly surveys and contract analysis, PerformanceTracker™)

-Yates Funeral Home, Tom Conway, Ft. Pierce, FL (Providing monthly surveys and contract analysis)

-Harry W. Moore / Indiana Funeral Care, David Ring, Indianapolis, IN (Providing monthly surveys and contract analysis, PerformanceTracker™)

-Bunker Family Funeral Homes, Randy Bunker, Mesa, AZ (Providing accounting services)

-Allnutt Funeral Service, Rick Allnutt, Fort Collins, CO (Providing accounting services)

-Christiansen Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Rob Christiansen, Greenville, MI (Providing accounting services)

-Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuary, Carlos and Anthony, Los Angeles, CA (Providing accounting services)

-J.T. Morriss & Son, Tolleison Morriss VI, Petersburg, VA (Providing accounting services)

-Nelson Funeral Home, Bobby Thurman, Berryville, AR (Providing accounting services)

-Schrader Funeral Home, Jeff Jacoby, Cheyenne, WY (Providing accounting services)

-Gramer Funeral Home, Paul Gramer, Clawson, MI (Providing accounting services)

-Martin Funeral Home, Adam Martin, Mt. Morris, MI (Providing accounting services)

-Roper and Sons Funeral Services, Dean Schneider, Lincoln, NE (Providing accounting services)

Testimonial: “We had concerns maintaining high quality customer service at our funeral business following a large acquisition that tripled the size of our company overnight. Johnson Consulting Group helped us raise quality service projections at our new businesses and maintain our high level of service at our existing businesses. They helped us accomplish this through training, constant focus on customer service and close measurement of performance through the JCG PerformanceTracker™. We continue to improve and will achieve unprecedented levels of customer service thanks to Johnson Consulting Group.”
Mark Musgrove of Musgrove Family Mortuaries and Cemeteries, Eugene, OR

Testimonial: “Brooks, I cannot begin to put into words how much I appreciate all you have done for me. You certainly went the ” extra mile” and I thank you.”
Kathleen Howze of Howze Mortuary, Inc., Travler’s Rest, SC

Testimonial: “Dear Tom…a very sincere “Thank You” for your assistance in talking with the sellers attorney…Your expertise and more importantly, your reputation for fairness was responsible for his change of mind. It is always a pleasure to visit with you. Best Wishes Always”
Jim Larkin of Chapel of Remembrance, Arcadia, CA

If you haven’t already, be sure to join our social media sites as well. Click on these links to go to our FaceBook, Linkedin, and Twitter company pages. We routinely update these sites with interesting articles and company news!

Jake Johnson
Johnson Consulting Group

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