Welcome back…I hope your year is starting off on the right foot!  With the recent weather conditions in most states, you can’t help but wonder if there is something you must consider about the predictions from Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog!

jake-johnson Anyway, with the ICCFA convention around the corner and study groups meeting in the near future, I felt this issue to be great timing for getting us thinking about our businesses and what we want to accomplish this year. How many of you budget?  How many of you have goals?  How many of you know where you want to be one year from now, five years from now, ten years from now?  Sometimes we get so caught up in what we have to do in a day that we can forget to stop every once in a while and analyze  whether or not what we are doing is the right thing for us and our families.  I leave those thoughts for you to think about.  Keep a good direction and best of wishes in the new year!

We hope you enjoy this issue…


Survey

As with every newsletter, we like to put together a survey and then anonymously share it in our next newsletter.  Follow this link to the survey.


Succession Planning

brooks-cowlesBrooks Cowles (JCG Field Representative)
Succession planning for your business really is like a puzzle in many ways.  For one, there are many pieces that have to fit together.  Depending on your view, it can look impossibly confusing or deceptively simple.  The fact is, just the basic elements present in every plan, including valuation, structure and documentation, present many challenges.  Succession planning for funeral home owners has changed a lot over the last several years.  Most established businesses still have excellent prospects to provide the owner and their family with a secure future.  And there are many capable purchasers out there.  Most of their last names are not “Inc.” or “Group” or “International” anymore.  But overly-high values are a thing of the past, and financing is almost always…(Click here to view the full article)


Financing

jake-johnsonJake Johnson (JCG President)
Check out the Wall Street Journal article on February 3….President Obama Rolls Out Small Business Lending Program.  You can also find the link to this article on the Johnson Consulting Group Facebook Page . We know the difficulties of securing financing in the funeral business today.  Banks often times struggle with the low collateral value to high overall business value you typically see in a funeral business.  We will watch and see if this new program can help funeral home owners with financing opportunities.  You may also want to check out our Loan Sourcing Service.

Tax Update

Doug Root of Alexander, Offenberger & Root, Inc.
We recently asked Doug to share his thoughts about the current and future tax laws in the area of Capital Gains.  Here is what he said:  “…The current maximum capital gains rate of 15% is set to go back to 20% in 2011 but we had previously heard that even higher rate proposals were possible…However, We’ve heard no mention of the capital gains rate for months….Our guess is the current maximum rate of 15% will sunset back to the old rate of 20% in 2011″ Example: What this means for Funeral Business Owners interested in selling is that they will experience a 5% increase in tax rates on the gains they receive when they sell their business. [This is a 33% increase from the current capital gains tax level] Consequently, if…(Click here to view the full article)

(In partnership with Johnson Consulting Group to offer Tax Services to Johnson Consulting Group clients)

Quotes and Blogs

Benjamin Disraeli (Speech Jan. 24, 1860)
“How much easier is it to be critical than to be correct”
___________
Seth Goden It’s easier to teach compliance than initiative
Compliance is simple to measure, simple to test for and simple to teach. Punish non-compliance, reward obedience and repeat. Initiative is very difficult to teach to 28 students in a quiet classroom. It’s difficult to brag about in a school board meeting. And it’s a huge pain in the neck to do reliably. Schools like teaching compliance. They’re pretty good at it. To top it off, until recently the customers of a school or training program (the companies that hire workers) were buying compliance by the bushel. Initiative was a red flag, not an asset. Of course, now that’s all changed. The economy has rewritten the rules, and smart organizations seek out intelligent problem solvers. Everything is different now. Except the part about how much easier it is to teach compliance. JCG’s Conclusion: In our profession, some management service programs tailor more to making the At Need arranger comply to the program, rather than teaching the person to be intuitive through buy-in to the program, that’s why at JCG we feel you need to have a bottom’s up approach to employee and management development.  The above quote by Seth Godin hits on this point.

Company News

-Johnson Consulting Group’s Summit Meeting is quickly approaching on March 21st-23rd
-Johnson Consulting Group’s Memorial Classic Golf Tournament in Las Vegas, NV on May 2nd-4th
Johnson Consulting Group’s PerformanceTracker™ (Customer Survey and Sales Analysis Program) is experiencing 100% growth every month due to its low cost and easy to use format.
-Johnson Consulting is now offering online insurance licensing training.
-We are starting off the year with record growth in all services.  Our list of available businesses is the largest we have had since inception.
-Due to rapid growth in accounting, we are upgrading our accounting systems to a server virtualization platform for speed and expandability.
-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 objectives.

Recent JCG Business / Clients

Howze Mortuary, Inc. in Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina.(JCG represented the seller)
Howze Closing
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
(Pictured from left, Brynda and Raymond Brown, Brooks Cowles, Kathleen Howze)
Palm Mortuaries and Cemeteries in Las Vegas, Nevada (JCG represented the seller)
Schrader Funeral Home in Cheyenne, Wyoming (JCG represented the buyer)
Fares J. Radel Funeral Home and Crematory (JCG searched out and secured financing)
Musgrove Family Funeral Homes in Eugene, Oregon (Conduct a Performance Analysis / Ongoing management support-Accountability / Customer surveys and sales analysis)
Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Homes, Austin, Texas (Providing full web-based accounting)
Claybar Funeral Homes, Beaumont, Texas (Providing full web-based accounting)
Legacy Funeral Group, Houston, Texas (Providing monthly customer survey and sales analysis)

For this month I would like you to consider doing a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis on your business that you Own, Manage, Or Work in.  This is a component of Johnson Consulting Group’s Performance Analysis. Really challenge yourself to determine what truly makes you better, not just that you give good service or have a nice facility.  Once you are finished with it, lay out some goals on how to improve and capitalize on what you wrote down.  We all have things to fill out in these four areas so challenge yourself as you start off the new year!
Sincerely,
Jake Johnson Johnson Consulting Group
Save 50%
If you are considering our Accounting Services, present this coupon for a 50% discount (Maximum  $2,500) for the purchase of the software licensing, setup, and training fees associated with computerizing your funeral business today!  Feel free to share this offer with friends and family.  One coupon per customer. To learn more about our accounting systems and getting your funeral business computerized today.
Offer Expires: March 31, 2010

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Johnson Consulting Group | 8095 North 85th Way | Scottsdale | AZ | 85258