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Archive for June, 2011

A few weeks ago I was in the Muskegon Civic Theatre’s production of “Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” . For those of you that didn’t get a chance to see it here’s a clip of my performance. This is just so all of you know that funeral directors aren’t just boring guy’s in black suits passing out little folders at the back of the chapel. We can let our hair down (or put it up in  this case) and let it loose too. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did performing it.

I’m Dale Clock. Thanks for listening.

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A few weeks ago I listened to Michael Gerber, the author of the E-Myth, speak here in Muskegon. I’ve first read his book 25 years ago when my sister, Ann, worked for him out in California. Now he’s one the most famous small business consultants in the world. I’ve heard him speak several time through the years and read all his other books. His basic philosophy about starting a small business is that you have to set it up like McDonalds. Everything is systematized and you teach your employees how to do things the same way every time. You need to write instructions for how each job is done so you can train each person the same way.

He states that the reason most small businesses fail is because they are started by some one who does a job, like a florist or a carpenter or a funeral director, that gets tired of working for someone else and thinks that they can do it better and make more money if they have their own business. But what they don’t realize is that there is much more to running a business than just doing the job they did when they work for someone else. That’s what he calls “working in the business”.  Doing the jobs that need to be done to keep the place going from day to day.

Michael Gerber says that business owners need to “work on the business” more than in the business. Planning, dreaming, building systems, marketing and figuring out how to grow the business. I completely agree with him. I just wish I could make that happen a whole lot more.

I happen to be the builder of the systems at my funeral home. So before any changes are made I  have to try out different methods and test them. So I design new price lists. I try out new software. I install new audio and video equipment. I move furniture around to see how people flow in and out of rooms. I build prototypes of ideas that I have for displays and equipment. And in the middle of that I still wait on families, conduct funerals, prepare bodies and all the other stuff.

The challenge is I like to do both; work on the business and work in the business. I just wish there was enough time in the day to both.

I’m Dale Clock. Thanks for listening.

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