I don’t have a world-class memory for the basic things.  Yes, I can tell you the titles of almost any Star Trek episode by watching just a few seconds of it, but that’s because my brain is given over to unimportant facts and figures.

How can I remember a pointless joke I heard when I was five, but I can’t remember to take out the trash or where I left my hat?  (Seriously, if you’ve seen my Eustis Fire Department cap, let me know; I’m desperate to find it!)

So when I started my business I laid out a very specific plan.  You can read about my basic plan in the post from last October, titled Why We’re NOT at the NFDA Convention….

In that post, I explained that we were socking away cash to attend the 2007 NFDA Convention.  Later, I amended my plan to include a preliminary stop at the IFDF Convention in Orlando, detailed in Florida Convention Time!

If that convention went well, I’d register for the NFDA.  I described our success in the posts IFDF Convention: Day 2 and IFDF Convention: 2007 Roundup.  And we did register for the NFDA, as detailed in the post, Next Stop: Las Vegas!!!

Of course, the NFDA Convention is just one part of a much-larger plan.  This blog, articles in trade magazines and speaking engagements are all facets of my multi-pronged attempt to take over the industry!  (Insert maniacal laughter here.)  You can read some of my master plan in the post, The Future of Final Embrace.

My real love is selling product.  Whether that’s selling the beautiful quilted mortuary cot covers that my company makes, helping funeral directors sell their services to their community or showing other vendors how to describe and market their innovations, I love the process of creating a product, perfecting it and then getting it out to those who’ll use it.

That’s why I walked the convention floor on Wednesday and interacted with other vendors.  That’s why I constantly bring you news of the latest products to hit the industry.  And that’s why I’m constantly pushing you (the funeral director) to offer better value to your clients and consider how they’ll interact with your offerings.

When I look back on the trajectory of our company, I’m terribly impressed with our meteoric financial success.  We invested $4000 in the NFDA Convention and generated $8000 in sales.  (Some have asked how we can reveal our sales figures so easily.  Some say it’s pride.  I say it’s the truth and I want to prove that I know what I’m doing.)

But I’m even more excited that we’ve been able to follow the plan I set out four years ago.  Back then, I didn’t know much about running a company, but I knew what I wanted to do.  So we set a goal to make our covers the industry standard in ten years.

In January, we started year four, which meant attending a national show, signing up two new distribution companies (the big ones that sell lots of products, to whom we sell our product at wholesale prices), create a new product to augment our offerings and double sales.

So far, we’ve attended the NFDA Convention.  we’ve added FIVE new companies who will resell our covers to their customer base.  We’ve created a new product that will roll out in the coming weeks (hint:  the product uses our beautiful fabrics and leaves a direct cremation family with a comforting feeling!). 

We’ve also created this blog, which now has over 600 articles in it.  We’ve shot some video footage at the convention and made our first printed version of the blog (a convention issue that we gave to attendees!).

So keep your eyes and ears open.  There are big things planned for Final Embrace:  Year Five!

Thanks for being a part of this adventure.