With the passing of Labor Day, students across the United States and Canada are back in the classroom for a new school year. Think back to when you were a kid and what summer vacation meant for you. For me, it was two glorious months to relax and unwind spending my days at the lake, golf course or baseball diamond. When you’re a kid, the summer isn’t just a break from school. It’s time for you to recharge and refresh your mind before hitting the books again in September.
Now because the school year is underway, it’s time for a quick pop quiz.
According to Project Time Off, in 2016, how many vacation days did full-time US employees leave unused?
Recently I completed my first long distance Ironman event in Cambridge, Maryland. For those of you who have heard of Ironman but do not really understand what all is involved I will briefly explain – an Ironman 140.6 mile triathlon is broken into three different sports (Swim, Bike, Run) with the swim being 2.4 miles long and often the most feared because you are alone and in a large lake or ocean. The bike is 112 miles followed by a 26.2 mile run or jog or walk or crawl. Needless to say it is a long day that starts will the swim.
The prep room is central to every funeral business with every case being prepared for burial, cremation or transit within its walls. Business owners and managers are tasked with balancing prep room budgets to properly service the needs of the families they serve, while still maintaining high standards and profitability. Did I say profitability? Yes, I believe the prep room can be a source of profitability as the work that is performed there often plays a role in the decision to view or not to view. Often an unpleasant viewing experience will determine future decisions on if the family opts for viewing.
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 herAmazon 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.
A new year always brings new resolutions to improve, whether in personal or professional areas. There’s always something that we might do better and this can apply to new embalmers as well as veteran embalmers. As Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone might have said, “submitted for your approval” are ten resolutions for 2018:
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.
Virtually everyone has used Internet Explorer (IE) at some point in their online life. Some cringe at the very mention of it from the nightmares the browser has made them deal with. Others are quite content with the browser and perhaps have never known nothing else. No matter what side of the fence you sit on, you’ve no doubt had an experience with the internet browser. Today those experiences may be cut short as Microsoft has made some large announcements concerning the future of the company’s browser. Continue reading →
As 2015 comes to an end, we look back and reflect on things that have happened over the course of a year – and my what a year it has been! If someone were to ask our strategy team some of the biggest things that came to light this past year in the funeral profession and what funeral homes should be aware of in the online world, they’d probably say that the online world has opened a funeral homes door to more than just those in their community – they’ve been exposed to the web. While that is a great thing for their business and they get more business from this, it is also a scary thing if a funeral home isn’t on it’s A-game, knowing how their firm looks online. It’s time for Funeral Homes to watch their obituaries online and know who, what, when and why companies take their obituaries and treat them like their own. It’s a practice that has surfaced in 2015 and is only going to get worse. Continue reading →
It’s almost that time of the year again! The time where thousands of funeral professionals from around the world gather in one place to learn what they need to do to take their business to a new level and see the latest products and services available to them on the expo floor; all while catching up with old friends that they may not have seen since the year before. Last year, it all happened in Nashville, TN – a favorite to MANY who I spoke to! And this year, we’re gearing up for Indianapolis, IN with about a month to go!
For those who have not been to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) annual convention and expo, it’s an event that’s just as fun as it is educational. With this particular year, there is so much to take in so here’s a little guide from someone who has been going to this national show for many, many years! Continue reading →