Kickoff starts with Cocktail Reception at 6:30 PM March 31
“You can’t teach a kid how to ride a bike in a seminar”
Blue Ocean Tours have been specifically designed to empower practitioners to learn and apply simplified concepts to their own business. Alan Creedy, frustrated by the lack of application results from conventional seminars, developed the un-seminar styled after the book Blue Ocean Strategy. Blue Ocean Tours take practitioners into real-life “hands-on” experiential workshops that enable them to apply what they are learning to their own business through peer-to-peer collaborative learning…BEFORE they go home. The results have been dramatic and permanent. Blue Ocean attendees implement what they learn within months of returning home with great results.
Why you should attend
According to The Financial Post, as much as 75% of small business owners are expected to exit their business in the next ten years. This means that almost all of us will be sitting on either the buying or the selling side of the table in some respect. Being prepared can:
- Optimize opportunities
- Avoid undervaluation
- Avoid intra-family complications
- Ensure a safe, secure and fun retirement
- Help prepare for pitfalls
- Help mitigate risk
- and, basically,
- make better decisions
What You Will Take Away
- How to build value and increase cash flow
- EBITDA Vs. Seller Discretionary Income
- How to get Uncle Sam to help
- What kind of buyer do you want?
- Your kids
- Your employees
- Local third party
- National acquirer
- How to generate buying opportunities
- How to value a business
- How to make an offer
- Know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em
- Post-purchase issues
A major part of the collaborative learning experience is a tour of a local funeral home. Tuesday, April 2nd we will visit
- Experience Foundation Partners ShareLife™ multi-sensory platform
- Learn how to handle phone shoppers
- Understand how to position your firm as the community innovator
- Discover how to improve sales value in the arrangements conference
- Attend the funeral of Bugs Bunny
Blue Ocean Faculty
At 36 David is one of Funeral Service’s best success stories and a leading innovator. A native of Philadelphia he began his career as an intern at an independent funeral home in Old Bridge, NJ. After becoming licensed he was offered the opportunity to buy out his employer. Now ten years later he has acquired ten locations serving more than 1,200 families and still growing.
David is definitely an “Up and Comer” in our profession. With a strong faith, he adroitly balances life and work to achieve far more than his “first-generation” peers could imagine. He is both a business and a people builder.
What we can learn from David:
- David has built his business on a shoestring without venture capital and at an age that many lenders would be wary. That means he can teach us:
- How and what we need to focus on
- How to motivate a largely millennial staff to work as hard as he does
- How to approach potential sellers and win the deal
- How to build your business organically
- David can also teach us:
- What makes a good deal and what doesn’t
- Planning and staffing issues we should anticipate
- How to figure value
In many ways, Greg Rollings is an anomaly among acquirers. A first-generation Licensed Funeral Director, he is an astute businessman with strong funeral service background at both family owned and corporate levels.
But that is not what makes him different. Having made his mark as a young “up and comer” with the Loewen Group he partnered with a Venture Capital firm to start an acquisition firm. Unlike a lot of others, he quickly learned Wall Street interests and Funeral Service weren’t always compatible. The emphasis on financial returns meant sacrifices at the local level that, in turn, meant lower than acceptable service levels.
So, he and his wife, Debbie, struck out on their own. Since 2001 Greg has accumulated a total of 35 firms serving a grand total of 4,100 families a year. He has done it all without selling his soul to the company store.
What we can learn from Greg:
- Greg has learned to be one of the profession’s more astute financial managers, but his roots are as a first-generation funeral service practitioner. He knows what it takes to go from serving families to building a multi-unit, multi-state business.
- Greg knows how to buy and sell. He can share
- What makes a good acquisition and what doesn’t
- What to run after and what to run away from
- What makes one deal a win-win while another is too much risk.
Despite her youthful appearance, Erin is a seasoned, third-generation funeral service executive. With an early stint as a chemical engineer at Kodak (bet she aced her boards), she returned to the family firm. From there she became a successful consultant helping firms across the country to set and achieve business goals.
Perhaps one of the most credentialed people in funeral service, she is a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, Certified Preplanning Consultant and holds a Black Belt in Six Sigma methodology.
She is currently a Senior Vice President with Foundation Partners Group, focusing on Business Development. This role gives her a sound and practical perspective on buying and selling. Her career experience gives her valuable practical insights into strategies that help increase value for sellers or simply how to improve your own performance.
What can we learn from Erin:
As a seasoned corporate executive and consultant Erin can teach us how to:
- Build value in our businesses
- How to identify candidates for selling or acquisition
- How corporate buyers look at and qualify candidates
- How to value your business
President and CEO of Homesteaders Life Company, Steve is a well-known and influential executive in the funeral and cemetery business. Prior to joining Homesteaders, he co-founded and served as President-CEO of Foundation Partners Group, LLC. He led an organization created to combine the best aspects of conventional end-of-life care with new ideas and technologies. Steve also co-founded and served as CFO and Executive Vice President for Keystone Group Holdings from 1996 through 2010.
Steve also completed two three-year terms as a Funeral Service Foundation Trustee and served as the Chair of that organization in 2015. His experience in and commitment to the funeral service profession helps ensure Homesteaders is well-positioned to continue its strong tradition of growth, profitability and financial strength.
What we can learn from Steve:
- Steve is a seasoned executive whose wealth of experience and straightforward approach will teach us:
- What we, as layman, need to know and understand
- The opportunities and limitations we all face
- The realities of how we need to plan for our future.
American Funeral Director Magazine’s 2017 Funeral Director of The Year, Danny has a rich and successful funeral service career. As a first-generation funeral director, Danny has worked for both independent and corporate firms with increasing responsibilities and a trail of turnarounds.
He purchased the former Pierce Funeral Home in Kernersville, NC after the death of Mr. Pierce. Within 11 years he grew organically from 60 calls to over 300. Despite not being a native of the community, he so deeply entrenched himself he earned “Citizen of The Year” for Kernersville in 2016.
Using his talents as an amateur standup comedian, Danny is a grand master of using inexpensive staging techniques to create unique experiences.
What we can learn from Danny:
- Danny’s unique ability to combine theatrical directing with his keen insight into people has enabled him to transform more than his own business into leading firms. He can teach us how to:
- Inexpensively transform limited facilities to deliver “WOW” experiences
- How to “interview” phone shoppers so you get the call
- Deliver meaningful and memorable experiences that convert to better sales revenue.
- Danny has mastered the Foundation Partners’ “ShareLife™” experience. He can teach us how to use technology to create new and repeat customers
- Danny uses theater to manage how he conducts the entire continuum of service
- He can teach us how he breaks each step (first call, removals, arrangements, etc) into “acts” and trains his staff for each step.
Lodging and Transportation
A block of rooms has been reserved at:
The Westin Charlotte
601 S. College St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
The block is reserved under the name: Creedy & Co.
Rate: We have negotiated a group rate of $202.00
Arriving by car: Paid parking is available at the hotel
Arriving via air: Please take a shuttle from the airport
Group transportation: Transportation is provided by bus to all offsite events and meals.
Note: Blue Ocean Tours are collaborative learning events. Attendees are strongly urged to use group transportation and attend all group functions.
First Attendee: $995.00
All other attendees from the same firm $795.00
- Workbook (paper and electronic)
- Continuing education documentation
- Cocktail reception
- All meals
- Transportation to and from all group events