Please select which of the following applies to you:

Funeral Home Owner
Funeral Home Manager
Funeral Home Employee
61
18
7
71%
21%
8%

2. Has the death rate in your market area….

Increased
Decreased
About the same
14
26
46
16%
30%
53%

3. Do you see the current decline in the national death rate as a blip or a trend?

Blip
Trend
70
15
82%
18%

4. Have you had to lay-off employees?

Yes
No
15
71
17%
83%

5. Has your receivables increased?

Yes
No
25
61
29%
71%

6. Are traditional families choosing cremation or spending down on merchandise and services because of the current economic conditions?

Yes
No
Not sure
61
17
9
70%
20%
10%

7. Are Green Burials becoming a part of your service offerings?

Yes
No
25
61
29%
71%

9. Do you see Chinese caskets growing or declining in the USA?

Growing
Declining
68
18
79%
21%

10. Do you see Costco growing or getting out of the casket business?

Growing
Getting out
19
66
22%
74%

11. Will other Big Box discounts enter the casket business?

Yes
No
22
63
26%
74%

12. Has your preneed sales suffered in this economy?

Yes
No
48
39
55%
45%

13. How do your preneed fulfillments compare to your current at need sales?

Higher
Same
Lower
13
34
39
15%
40%
45%

14. Where do you see your revenues in the next 5 years?

Stable
Growing
Declining
36
29
22
41%
33%
25%

15. Does your firm have a succession plan in place

Yes
No
46
40
53%
47%

What is the greatest challenge to your business?

Accounts Receivable

  • The present economy has made it very difficult to get paid for the service
  • Volume is good, receivables are way up
  • Need help in training staff to get payment commitment at time of service

Traditional Services/Operations

  • Creating new services that have more appeal
  • Having to do more with less staff
  • Treading away from traditional to cremation
  • Families are only looking at costs
  • Showing Value for what we do
  • People want less calling hours, more chapel viewing and cemetery viewing
  • In a traditional market, my cremation could go to 60% this year
  • Where and when to start to improve overall operations
  • Need to grow or sell

Staff Recruitment and Development

  • Motivating the staff to deliver superior services
  • Keeping good staff from leaving the industry
  • Breaking old and bad habits
  • How to recruit good and productive employees
  • Paying a competitive wage with benefits
  • Dealing with burn out, apathy and bad attitudes
  • Hiring a good manager

Marketing

  • Looking for new ways to generate revenues
  • Staying ahead of competition
  • Choosing a funeral solely on price
  • Need to increase volume
  • How to increase prices and stay competitive
  • Pricing alternative services
  • Communicating the value of the funeral to the community
  • Merchandising services instead of caskets and vaults
  • How the community perceives my services

Finances

  • Refinancing my loans at today’s rates
  • Increasing my profits by being more efficient
  • Increasing my cash flow
  • Getting financing to expand

Competition

  • Hospice
  • Low price providers
  • Third party casket providers
  • Community buildings and churches used for visitation
  • Competitors using Chinese caskets
  • Former staff opening a new funeral home in the community

Preneed

  • Trusting any preneed provider
  • Guarantee the future price
  • Dealing with large shortfalls
  • Generating leads
  • Lower preneed sales compared to at need
  • Keeping good counselors

What new products or services have you introduced this year that have achieved success?

Products and Services

  • Offering more cremation packages
  • Put in a viewing room for cremations
  • Using cremation pallbearers for burials in cemetery
  • Using “Life Stories” to celebrate a life
  • Pet burials and cremation
  • Green Burial Packages
  • Did a market study of my community
  • Graphic designed brochures
  • In house tributes and slide shows
  • On line videos
  • Put in a new accounting system
  • Kiosk in selection room to show more caskets
  • Changed showroom to Chinese caskets
  • Webcasting
  • Memory portraits
  • Aftercare services and using a survey to get feedback on services
  • Personalized head panels
  • Using a sales tracking system
  • Paying incentives to arrangers
  • Added a reception center
  • Added a new collection program with good results

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