In a blog post from February of this year, 3 Enemies You Must Conquer to Increase Cash Flow, Brian Tracy shared his views on the three most common, most damaging beliefs and behaviors affecting small business owners today. According to him, the biggest issues compromising our success are within ourselves, not within the community in which we live or do business. These are:
I suspect that if you’re anything like me, all-too-often you’re guilty of at least one of the three — maybe more. And these bad “habits of thought and action” can do more to undermine the overall success of your funeral home in one particular way: they turn you into what is called a slow — or late — adopter: someone who is slow to purchase and use a new product, technology, or idea. Because it’s too much trouble to learn new technologies; too much trouble to step outside our comfort zone — and hey, our current technology tools work “okay” — so what’s the problem?
The problem is this: slow adopters question the value of change; of doing things differently. Here’s a rather humorous video contrasting early and late adopters throughout history. Check it out: http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6348675/early-adapters-through-history. It might make you chuckle, and maybe even give you some “food for thought”.
In all honesty, there’s not really much that’s funny about being unwilling to make changes in the way we do things. Especially when you consider the amount of damage you can do to your funeral firm’s overall success.
An early adopter is a person who embraces new technology before most other people do. According to a theory called Diffusion of Innovations, or DOL, formulated by Everett Rogers, early adopters make up 13.5 percent of the population.
Those who are most daring, a small minority of people — only 1 in 40 — are called innovators. And of course, at the opposite end of the human spectrum, are the laggards or slow adopters, who are reluctant to embrace new technology because of disinterest or financial constraints. There are also those poor folks known as Luddites, who actively fear or loathe new technology. Sound like anyone you know? (You may remember a post from February of this year: Why the Resistance to New Technology? Guess who may be calling herself a “Luddite”?!)
Making the decision to override our natural inclinations to remain in our “comfort zone” and take “the path of least resistance”; to forego the pattern of thought that limits our options instead of expanding them takes only a moment. And in that moment, the spectrum of possibilities becomes oh so much larger.
Because you’re now willing to pull your feet out of the mud (who wants to be a stick in the mud anyway?), to embrace innovation; you’re now empowered, and no longer a victim of your limiting thoughts.
New technology tools, and improvements to existing ones, abound in funeral service. All you have to do is pick up the latest copy of Funeral Business Advisor, American Funeral Director, or any of the other professional trade journals, to realize that. Can you really afford to ignore them, and do things the ‘same old way’? No.
According to Brian Tracy, successful people take “continuous action in the direction of their goals. They are always trying different things, and if they don’t work, they try something else. They are never satisfied, and they are never complacent. They are continually moving forward to generate sales, revenues and cash flow.”
“What,” he asks, “is the key measure of business success? It is customer satisfaction. Your job in business is to create customers, and then to satisfy them completely so that they are happy that they decided to do business with you.”
And he goes on to ask, “What could you do, starting today, to take such good care of your customers that they eagerly buy from you again, and recommend you to others? Your answer to this question can change the entire direction of your business, especially in a tough economy where there are fewer customers and tougher competition.”
I would also add that those funeral home owners and managers who openly embrace new technologies (and take the time to fully learn the processes involved in using them) to become more efficient and effective in the day-to-day operations of the funeral home will do more to increase client family satisfaction, enhance their brand, and drive revenues than the laggard and Luddite competitors.
What innovations in funeral service technology are you planning to bring into your funeral firm? Please leave your comments below!