PHOENIX - Nineteen funeral home owners, managers, and future owners recently completed “Funeral Business Boot Camp,’’ a 40- hour workshop sponsored by The Foresight Companies, according to a news release.
The 19 attendees represented 15 businesses throughout the United States. The group owned or managed more than 24 funeral home business locations and five cemeteries, and served about 7,000 families a year. There were five cemetery or combination operations present, and 10 funeral home businesses, most of which had multiple rooftops to service. Two attendees were managers that were not owners, and about half were the next generation of owners of their family business.
“These 19 people spent about 40 hours of time to get organized and complete a detailed Excel spreadsheet with their financial and operating data before they got here, spent 40 hours in workshops here and will spend the next six months implementing the business plan they have written based upon their knowledge gained from this session. That is a huge commitment to improving their businesses,” said Daniel Isard, the president of Foresight. “This group studied all aspects of their operating business, marketing, merchandising, business succession, tax, cash flow, HR, technology and preneed. They did so in Phoenix, during a hot August, where the temperature didn’t drop below 100 degrees for a minute.”
Attendees worked through a process to analyze their business and ultimately write a business plan that they can take home with them. Tyler Pray of the Pray Funeral Home in Michigan said, “Boot Camp brings your whole world into question and in one week starts your entire business plan moving forward.”
The process of implementing the business plan of attendees is a six-month follow-up being headed by Dan Heaman, marketing associate of Foresight. “Many seminars educate you but this one gives you a tangible roadmap to take home and my job is to help you implement your business plan for the next six months.” Heaman, a licensed funeral director who started working for Foresight this year added, “It is amazing how the attendees went from having a limited knowledge to a thorough understanding of what they need to create or fix in just one week, with our supervision.”
The style of presentation was unique. Attendees filled out an Excel spreadsheet with their operational and financial data. Then this was sent to the Foresight offices where Kevin Kruger, the lead client service person for the company, reviewed it. “Each presentation topic included a lecture and then examples of the point were demonstrated from the data of the attendees. Then attendees were broken down into three groups. Dan Isard, Dan Heaman and I would work with a group to personalize the lessons and highlight the corrective actions that were needed,” Kruger said. “In many cases the data presented the solution so clearly and you could see the seminar registrant’s eyes light up when they realized how clear the problem and solution were.”
Joel Swisher of Hixson Brothers, Inc. in Louisiana said, “At the end of the week you have a better knowledge of what you need to do to get you where you want to be.”
The next Boot Camp will be offered in Phoenix in February. Early registration is encouraged as no two businesses from the same market area are allowed to attend the same session. Also, early registration allows Foresight to attempt to secure state continuing education in addition to the 40 hours awarded by the Academy. For more information on the next session please contact Susan at The Foresight Companies at 800-426-0165.
Posted Aug. 27