The term Collateral Damage is typically used in military applications and defined as “injury inflicted on something other than the intended target”. You might be wondering what this has to do with your funeral home and your payment policy. Many funeral directors feel they were called to this profession. It is unlikely that you woke up one day and said I want to be a funeral director so I can talk to grieving families about how they intend to pay for a funeral. The challenge for many is a balance between a servant’s heart and a business mindset. This is a neglected aspect of the profession often times creating collateral damage. So who are these unintended targets? First of all your business can suffer by allowing your accounts receivable and uncollected debt to get out of hand. Even if you collect all of your money, if you are not doing it in a timely fashion your profitability suffers. If you or your staff is uncomfortable asking for payment, I can promise your families will not be comfortable either. Here are three simple strategies that will allow you to better serve your families while increasing your bottom line.
With the release of our new Google Calendar Integration in mind, we figured it would be a good time to talk about staying organized. Not only are we going to walk you through the steps of using our latest tool, but we are also going to give you some awesome tricks that will help your firm stay organized in 2018.
No matter what industry you work in, whether you work for a company or for yourself, staying organized is an important part of being productive and knocking things off the ever-present to-do list. For some this comes naturally, but for others organization is an elusive concept – oft preached, seldom practiced. Regardless of which side of this proverbial fence you find yourself on, there is always room for improvement. Don’t be afraid to explore ways to improve both your personal and professional organization – of course, for funeral directors, the two are intrinsically bound. Currently, there are so many resources available for the hyper-coordinated and haphazardly alike. In this post, I am going to share 3 of these helpful tips & tools, including our new Google Calendar integration, that can help get your funeral home team on the same page and improve your organization this year.
Imagine a young woman preparing to plan a funeral for one of her parents. “Alexa, who offers the most affordable cremation service near me?” she says to her Amazon Echo, as she walks in the kitchen. The answer to be provided by the popular digital assistant, of course, is a matter of search engine optimization. However the query will not go through Google, the world’s most popular search engine. Instead it will be answered by Bing – the long overlooked “other” option. Chances are, the funeral home that gets recommended will also be receiving a call from this young lady. Is this what you picture choosing a funeral home to be like? Probably not.
If this scenario has you a little lost, listen up. Because this is what funeral home technology looks like in the very near future. And it may not be easy to spot the changes that are taking place.
Although last year was touted as our best ever, 2017 was truly special for our company and raised the bar even higher. We added more experienced professionals to our team, welcomed many new clients to our family and developed new technology to help funeral homes not only grow their businesses but better serve families as well. In short, the past 365 days were spent redefining what it means to be a FrontRunner. As the death care industry changes, it has never been more important for firms to keep up with consistently evolving consumer demands and adapt to the needs of younger generations. Enter our goals for 2018: to push the limits of what is possible even further. But before we go there, let’s first take a look back at some of what made the last 12 months simply unforgettable.
It has been quite a month around the FrontRunner office. Since getting home from a crazy trade show season, we’ve been working hard to catch up with all of the new faces we met on the road. In addition, we are in the midst of developing an exciting software that is set to drop in early December. However, now that we have had a little bit of time to sit back and think about all of the progress that we saw at NFDA 2017, I want to share with you a few things we noticed at the show and what they mean for the industry moving forward. Safe to say we’ve been inspired by talking with so many funeral directors and hearing what they had to say about their technology needs.
There was no better way to open the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple’s new complex in Cupertino, California on September 12, than with one of the company’s signature launch events. As millions watched on, the show started with a recording of the late CEO and luminary echoing throughout a dark room. It was a posthumous reminder of what has made the tech giant into one of the world’s most recognizable brands; their commitment to improving the human experience. When Tim Cook took over the spotlight from his predecessor, he continued with a tribute to Jobs, setting the stage for a monumental day. And monumental it was.
Breaking away from the usual model, the event did not release the standard line of expected products. Instead, not one but three phones were announced, including the iPhone X – to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the smartphone’s first edition. Additionally, viewers were privy to a new Apple Watch, a 4K version of Apple TV and a revamped operating system.
What does this mean for your funeral home? Well, with the new phones hitting the market just last week, we have created a list of 6 things your firm can learn from the latest release. These will help you get the most out of the technology, understand the devices families will be using and make your funeral home more appealing to the community on and offline.
With the 2017 NFDA International Convention & Expo fast approaching, the FrontRunner team could not be more excited to be headed down to Boston. We had such a wonderful time with all of you in Philadelphia in 2016 and can’t wait to share what has been the biggest and most innovative year in our company’s history. We released several new technology solutions for funeral homes like our DIY website platform and video condolences feature. We also became the first in the death care industry to partner with GoFundMe to release A Helping Hand compassionate funding. It sure has been busy around here and it’ now time to celebrate. In addition, it would not be the NFDA convention without a look to the future, that is why we are bringing a special 2018 sneak preview (among other surprises) to the trade show floor. To see it all first-hand visit us in booth 2811, you wont be able to miss it (trust me). We also have a thing or two to share with you that will help your funeral home make the most of the convention experience and enjoy your time in Boston.
As yet another summer comes to a close we are gearing up for our favourite (and busiest) seasons here at FrontRunner Professional. Over the next couple of months, our team will be travelling around North America to attend some very exciting funeral industry trade shows and national events. We will be kicking things off at the 2017 New York State Funeral Directors Association Annual Convention in beautiful Saratoga Springs. There will be 11 CEU’s up for grabs during breakout sessions, where attendees will learn about key trends impacting today’s industry. It doesn’t stop there, either. The FrontRunner team will then spread out to various locations North and South of the border, making for an extremely busy month. If you are planning on attending one of the following events, we would love to hear from you. If not, we hope to see you somewhere along the road!
At FrontRunner, we are more than just a website and technology provider. We work each and every day to help funeral homes around North America build better businesses and become institutions in their community.
When it came to the next thing we’d bring or help bring to funeral service, we knew it had to be a platform to help funeral homes take back control of their obituaries, something we’ve voiced our concern over for years. Unfortunately, the FrontRunner team couldn’t lead this up because of the growth of our company, so we aligned ourselves the right people, and financially supported them with one goal in mind: to protect the future of funeral service.
We are proud to introduce the National Obituary Registry, an organization that empowers funeral homes to benefit from their own obituary traffic, generate more revenue and provides them every necessary touchpoint families want. But we can’t do this alone and require the support of professional associations, newspapers, other technology vendors like us and ALL funeral homes around the continent. Together, we can make change happen.
As our team finishes the final preparations to head the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) convention next week, I wanted to take a minute to share some of the things that make it a place that I enjoy returning to again and again! Nashville is one of my absolute favorite cities, whether going for work or for fun (or both)! If you’re heading there next week, you’ll want to make time to take in some of these amazing things that Nashville has to offer. Let me give you some things to take in from experience.