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New Year, New Start. Five Things You Can Do NOW to Energize your Business for 2021
Essential. Vital. Connected.
While those words have always held true for the funeral industry, clearly, they were all a bit more challenging to realize in 2020. But the new year presents new opportunities to remain essential, vital, and connected and, in the process, energize your business.
The pandemic has made us react to what happened. But now, in 2021, we can be proactive and make things happen! So, it's time to revisit what makes us essential and vital to the communities we serve and rethink how we can stay connected.
Here are five ways to do just that in the coming year. Make them your resolutions!
1. Get organized.
We're not talking about cleaning out closets here—what better time than January to get your office in order and your resources up to date.
- Is your grief library—if you have one—up-to-date? Now's the time to weed out those brochures or outdated books from the 1990s or earlier. Consider more current resources, both print and online; some publishers can brand content specifically for your business.
- Do a thorough assessment of your website. Are there broken links? Services listed that you no longer offer? Or ones that need to be added? Refreshing photos can give your website a fresh look.
- Update your calendar for the coming months. Events have a way of sneaking up on us. Whether you use a paper or online calendar (or both), keep it updated. Plan events that serve your community, such as grief support groups, lunch and learn events, open houses, or tours. Those can go a long way in building awareness and relationships, and for funeral homes and cemeteries alike, word of mouth is one of your best marketing tools. To expand your reach in the community, look beyond your walls to celebrate or coordinate events for families. For example, can you host an event at a local senior center or library? Such events can put you in front of potential customers you might not otherwise reach.
2. Focus on outreach.
Focus on outreach, both with families and vendors, to keep your business top of mind.
- Reach out to families you have served to wish them a happy new year. Ask how they are doing, and send your sincere best wishes. Remember, it can cost more to generate new leads than to get business from referrals or existing customers. When you offer to assist them with any future or aftercare needs, don't make it sound like a sales pitch. Be sincere and authentic.
- Don't forget your vendors. Put in a goodwill call to current vendors (florists, churches, caterers, cemeteries, etc.), and seek out new contacts.
3. Prioritize employee growth and appreciation.
Your staff knows their jobs, expectations, and goals they need to meet. They are one of your most important assets. Here are a couple of tips for maintaining employee satisfaction.
- Let them know they're appreciated, whether that be with a sincere note, a valued day off (perhaps their birthday?), a token gift, or simply positive feedback. They're all ways to increase employee satisfaction.
- Many of your employees have hidden strengths and skills. Make sure you spend time understanding their career goals so that you can provide opportunities for them to apply their unique talents and interests as part of their growth plan. Are they also an artist or a writer? Are they bilingual? Do they foster animals? All those talents could be put to use creatively in your business if you think outside the box.
4. Identify your business' needs and challenges.
Consider your marketing for the new year. Need to make new contacts? Try a new social media channel? Seek out tools to make your business more efficient; for example, byondpro's marketing automation tools can remove the guesswork for marketing to new customers and families you've served.
5. Don't forget to celebrate successes.
While 2020 was a crazy year, don't discount the successes you may have had. Maybe your staff found creative new ways to offer memorials online. Or used their downtime to complete a project goal. Maybe a new vendor opened up scores of new business contacts. As much as many of us bemoaned the past year, remembering the positives are especially important entering 2021.
We all learned a lot in 2020. While some of it pushed us to our limits, we have all learned to adapt. Everything we gained can help us return to those terms that represent what our businesses truly are—essential, vital, connected. The start of the new year is a good time to put these tips into practice—in a way that will make you feel more energized and, in the process, boost business as well.
We hope to provide you with more helpful tips in our blog throughout this new year as we look ahead proactively.
As 20th-century poet T.S. Eliot so eloquently said, "Last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice."