Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Are you stuck in the whirlwind?

Rich Darby,
Chief Operations Officer

What is the "whirlwind?" An article I recently read said it is the day-to-day activities that keep us from growing our business.

Business can be tough, and it sometimes makes me wonder, is it because we spend too much time in the whirlwind and not enough time bringing in new business? I know I am guilty of spending too much time  surfing the whirlwind. It's a daily struggle.

As business owners and managers, we have to learn to prioritize our workload and allow some time outside of the whirlwind to grow our businesses. New products need to be developed. New services need to be added. New ways of doing business need to be invented. The whirlwind is a necessary evil, but it doesn't allow you to create anything new.

How do we manage the whirlwind and still manage to grow? We plan our days better, prioritize our schedules and allow ourselves to be creative.

A balanced day means taking care of the old business while still creating new business. Join me in tackling your whirlwind. It will make us "Trigard strong" all day long!


This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

We'll handle it!

Julia Sullivan,
Creative Director
Trigard's marketing department has been working on an upcoming guest editorial for ICCFA Magazine about what our vault dealers wish their customers better understood. It has made me begin to think about my wish list for our customers. I've realized that it all comes down to a single idea: I wish our customers knew that we'll handle it. 

When I consult with dealers about custom displays, they often see the different sections of the graphic as places to fill. They often talk about swapping out one vault product for another and are hesitant to simplify their options. I wish more of our customers would share their overall needs, then sit back and let me and my team handle the design details. I promise you'll be pleased with the results, and of course still get the final approval.

The same thing goes for custom Appliqu├ęs. We do our best work when our customers send us a handful of pictures and let us "work our magic." They are consistently delighted by the artistry of the designs that our team creates.

I often say that two of the jobs of a marketing team are to make it look easy - and to make everyone look good. I thank the customers who take full advantage of this! And if you haven't been willing to hand over the reigns before, give us a call and see how easy it can be when you let our team handle it.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Are you having the talk?

Linda Darby,
Chief Executive Officer
Are you looking for a reason to visit your customers? Why not share FAMIC's "Have the Talk of a Lifetime" campaign with them.

What is the "Have the Talk of a Lifetime" campaign? The goal is to get consumers talking about what matters most in their lives and how they want to be remembered.

You may be asking, "What does this campaign do for me?" Well, your customers look to you as a resource and the tools provided to you through this campaign helps get the conversation started. The "Have the Talk of a Lifetime" campaign reintroduces the heart into our industry, which is where we need to focus.

If you want more information on how to get involved in the "Have the Talk of a Lifetime" campaign, you can visit the FAMIC website or email me at LindaD@trigard.com. I would love to talk to you about this amazing opportunity.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

True cost and why it is important

Stuart McDaniels,
Materials Manager
What is "true cost"? It is the total amount paid for a product once it has arrived at your door. To completely understand the true cost of an item, you have to consider the various charges that are acquired during the manufacturing, packaging and shipping processes.

So, what does this mean? For example, many of us experience this regularly with our cell phone bills. Your provider may offer you a plan with a set number of talk, text and data allowances at a flat price. But, the amount we pay is much more, because in order to use their services we must also pay various fees and taxes. The price of our plan, plus all the fees and taxes rolled together define the true cost of our cell phone service.

In business, it is critical we understand our true costs, which can include packaging, taxes, fees, freight, tariffs and overhead. The extra charges may not be readily noticeable and can add up quickly. When we don't pay attention to the extras, they can potentially destroy any chance of turning a profit. Without a clear understanding of true cost, it becomes nearly impossible to make good decisions on profitability and sourcing.

If you need help figuring the true cost of any of our products, please email at stuartm@trigard.com


This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Seize your opportunities

Jeff Miller,
Vice President of Business
Development

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Seneca

Are you hungry to grow, but feel like there are no new opportunities in your area? Opportunity doesn't exactly come and knock on your door. Whether you are a vault dealer or a funeral home, you have to keep your eyes and ears open in your community to identify potential opportunities.

If you are a vault dealer, has there been a recent change in ownership of a funeral home near you? Or is a cemetery getting ready to add a new section?  As potential customers change hands or expand, you have the opportunity to form or strengthen a relationship.

If you are a funeral home, watch for announcements about new senior living facilities and hospice services in your area. Or is there a big community event coming up this summer that would give you the opportunity to meet a lot of families? By reaching out to people in your community, you can form relationships and tell your story.

Once you have found an opportunity, are you prepared to take advantage of it? You need to able to understand your potential customer's unique needs and articulate what sets you apart for you competition.

Keep a close eye on what's happening in your area and be ready when an opportunity presents itself.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.