10 Questions to Help Your Funeral Home Tackle Strategic Planning

Posted January 1, 2020

4 min read

Strategic planning: have you set aside time for the upcoming year? If you haven’t already done so, now is an ideal time. We’ve compiled 10 practical questions to help you get started.

  1. Where are you at today? What is working? What is not working so well? What’s happened over the last 12 months? Aim to be as honest as possible. This isn’t about capturing how you want to be, this is about determining where you are truly at today.

  2. What are the priorities for your funeral home? There may be many things you want to work on in the future, but what are the top priorities you want to focus on right now? Gain agreement on those priorities?

  3. What’s distracting you from working on those priorities? You don’t want to spend too much time here, but it can be worthwhile to talk about the obstacles that tend to get in your way. Make sure your team frames the discussion in a constructive way – it shouldn’t be about complaining or negativity – it should be about honestly identifying the issues that are holding you back.

  4. What objectives do you want your team to achieve in the next year? It helps if you describe those objectives in terms of milestones. (A milestone is a specific result that shows you are making progress, i.e., hired a funeral director, enlarged your parking lot, completed your CEUs.) The idea is that you want to be as clear as possible about the results you expect.

  5. What’s keeping you and your team from 100% commitment to achieving your objectives? Talking about your objectives can help your team identify concerns or challenges that may block the way to achievement. This can be a tough discussion, but it helps if you’re honest about what’s holding your team back.

  6. What are the marketplace realities for your business? You want to make sure your objectives for the new year are reasonable, feasible and achievable relative to the conditions of your market.

  7. What resources do you need and how are you going to allocate them to get the work done? Said another way, what time, labor, money, expertise, etc. will you need? Get specific on what resources you need and how those resources will be deployed.

  8. How will you hold each other accountable? One of the top reasons business do not achieve objectives is because they lack accountability. One way to instill accountability is to have your team agree upon the expectations, identify the actions that needs to occur to achieve those expectations and then identify the rewards and repercussions for accomplishing or not accomplishing those objectives. Do your best to review progress weekly, monthly or quarterly.

  9. What’s the culture and overall environment you want to foster to help your team implement this plan? Your team has big objectives to accomplish, so what’s the proper, healthy and productive environment to get you there?

  10. How are you going to continue to communicate progress on your plan? Create a schedule that compels you to regularly communicate with your team. Share the momentum and energy you’ve created. Your success will depend on ongoing and honest communication with your team. Keep them involved and excited.

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