small business

How ‘Google for Jobs’ May Help Funeral Service

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may help funeral serviceWhere do you, as a funeral home owner, go to find good help? With baby boomers approaching retirement age, you’ll soon have job openings available, but you may find it hard to convince potential job candidates to work for you. Funeral service isn’t exactly sexy and without the right knowledge of all the rewards your funeral home can offer them, exposure to hazardous chemicals and long hours, for example, may cause potential employees to overlook the opportunity to make a difference in families’ lives by creating memorable funeral service experiences for those in grief.  Read the rest of this entry »

What to Avoid When Building Media Relationships

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4.5.17 Media Avoid - Weigel (1)Last week, OGR’s Blog explored ways to improve a funeral home’s media coverage. This week, we’re discussing what funeral homes should avoid doing when building relationships with local media.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tactics to Improve Your Funeral Home’s Media Coverage

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3.29.17 Media Coverage Tactics - Weigel (1)

Has your biggest competitor just been highlighted in the daily paper? Or perhaps the upstart funeral home was just interviewed by the town’s radio station for a local perspective on a national news story about funerals. Either way, don’t you wish the media had contacted your firm rather than the “other guy”?

Working with the media is not the equivalent of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing if it sticks. You need to put in the time to get the results you want. Like so many things in life, good communication with the media requires a great deal of planning as well as developing connections with those involved.

It’s never too late to start. Maybe you’ve had media coverage of your funeral home in the past and were unsatisfied with how it turned out and you’re looking for positive exposure in the future. It helps to think of your connection with the media like any kind of relationship. You have to invest in it.

The following ideas are a few ways you can build and improve your media relations:  Read the rest of this entry »

One Change I Would Have Made at My Dad’s Funeral: Webcasting

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Why is recordingwebcasting a funeral service important for families- What do they get out of it-

“If I could do something differently, I would ask for someone to record my dad’s service.” ~ This comment was taken directly from a survey received through OGR’s consumer feedback program, The Family Contact Program


Family Contact Participants often receive comments that help them improve their business offerings and practices. Through the blog series “Exploring Solutions with Family Contact,” members get better insight into services that might benefit their funeral home.


Have you ever received feedback like this from a family you served? Or maybe you’ve attended a funeral yourself and wished later it had been recorded.

The recording and webcasting of funeral services is a service more and more families are requesting. Several factors account for this increase: the sudden popularity with livestreaming on social media and in social gatherings, the distance family members now live from each other, and the psychological comfort it provides people who have lost a loved one. In this week’s blog, OGR will explore recording and webcasting services, and what this trend means for families and funeral homes.  Read the rest of this entry »

Prepare Your Funeral Home for 2017

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1Funeral Director & OGR Member Resources Director Laine Phillips shares his thoughts for preparing your funeral home for 2017.


What’s the financial health of your funeral home? Do you know?

In today’s economically challenging world, it is imperative that you know the health of your business. In my travels across the country, I have found that a high percentage of funeral home owners do not track the important numbers of their businesses or have yearly budgets. This is not a knock on those businesses, just a wake-up call.

In this post, I will give you five easy-to-start steps that will help a funeral home owner who is not tracking his/her business get started without having to be an accountant. The tips focus on key financial indicators, that if watched for 12 months, will reveal trends in your finances before it’s too late to correct them.  Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Trends that Shaped Funeral Service–Part I

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In many people’s minds, 2016 will be remembered as the year celebrities dropped like flies. According to Legacy.com, the number of celebrity deaths was comparable to previous years, but three factors made it appear that celebrities were dying in droves: 1) a higher-than-average number of those who died were either A-list or legendary stars; 2) many musicians died who had extremely loyal fan bases; and 3) the average age of celebrities who died this year was about 10 years younger than usual.

Aside from celebrity deaths, growing pains continued to reach every aspect of funeral service. During the last 12 months we saw some outrageous trends, some of which have already used up their 15 minutes of fame. Other news stories highlighted shifts in public preferences that merit our continued attention, even if these changes seem undignified to some traditionalists.

Part I of this blog will examine five topics which drew national, and sometimes international, attention to funeral service in ways that are relevant to serving families in the near future. Next week, Part II will examine five more topics.  Read the rest of this entry »

10 Things I’ve Learned from Working with Funeral Directors

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9-1 10 Things Funeral Service Smith
Here’s a typical conversation that I have when I’m out with friends, meeting new people.

“What do you do?” asks someone who doesn’t really care but feels obligated to engage me in conversation.

“I work for a trade association that works with independently owned funeral homes. I’m a meeting planner.” I respond to cut to the chase.

“Oh! So you plan funerals? Do you embalm bodies?” returns the individual who now has a stronger interest in hearing what I have to say and obviously wasn’t listening.

“No. But I know quite a few people who do. Why? Do you need a discount on an urn?”

The asker typically turns pale and isn’t sure where to go from there.

So goes many a conversation at cocktail parties and other events when I have the opportunity to interact with anyone who doesn’t work in funeral service. It’s made me stop and think about what funeral directors face when they share their story with others.

Since I joined OGR’s staff four years ago, I’ve learned quite a bit about funeral service professionals and have found that they have a pretty challenging job. They work long, irregular hours around strange smells, extreme emotions, and lots of paperwork. They respond to phone calls in the middle of the night, often miss holidays with their families, and care for dead bodies. They maintain composure and professionalism in the midst of family conflict, inclement weather, and national tragedies. A lot of what they do is behind the scenes, unseen and unheard.  Read the rest of this entry »