During a recent discussion of the economic status of a firm within our profession dependent upon sales insuring stability and growth a Manager stated that the financial crisis afflicting the world should have no impact on sales. His view of reality is that a firm that relies on pre need sales would suffer no diminution of Clients as a result of growing unemployment, fears of layoffs, consumers desperately trying to pay off credit card debt, facing foreclosure or termination of favorable mortgage rates.
As many Clients have opened their homes to returning children who come along with their own children the means to address the issues of end of life has been diverted to dealing with immediate needs. The homes of Americans are returning to the past wherein three generations of a family lived together. Spreading the costs for one kitchen, living room, family room and more by larger numbers permits far better living conditions than could be afforded by those living off severally reduced incomes or unemployment benefits.
Perhaps firms that solely depend upon at need calls would not encounter loss revenues during this economic meltdown. Yet even these firms will not sell the extra services or merchandise which normally would be anticipated. With the growing acceptance of cremation options available to families who need to reduce costs to a minimum poses a threat to revenue sources required to keep our doors open.
For those firms able to combat these harsh times by marketing, advertising and community involvement the future may prove that their assertions will return huge dividends. The weak will fold rewarding the strong with increased market share. A capitalistic marketplace has no forgiveness.
The unfortunate and remarkable fact that our profession retains managers whose views are so restricted means anachronistic Boards of Directors continue to believe the past must govern the present. Rather than expanding possibilities to better serve our Clients and our own good some believe that their world is sheltered preserving the past they insist must be our guideposts.