At PaySimple, we’re dedicated to helping your business navigate the challenges of COVID-19 as smoothly as possible. We know these times have caused disruption to “business as usual.” Right now, it’s important to focus on the things that you can control. With that in mind, these are our tips on COVID-19 readiness for your home services business. If you’re a health and wellness business, you can find our earlier recommendations here.
Preventative Measures For Home Services
Whether you provide home cleaning, mobile dog grooming, landscaping, or window washing, these preventative measures have several goals: to protect yourself, your business, and your employees within the larger goal of slowing or stopping the advancement of COVID-19. These measures can help keep your employees and the customers they serve safe and healthy.
When your employees are healthy and your customers have confidence in your service, making adjustments in the way you work can also steady your business foundation and provide a greater measure of ongoing security.
The first step you must take is to acknowledge that you’ll have to make changes to continue conducting business in these times. It can be difficult, but we hope the following resources are good, actionable first steps you can take.
How To Protect Your Employees
Your employees are at the heart of your business. Above all else, it’s important to help them maintain good health right now. Follow these guidelines:
- Review and practice proper sanitation practices and self-contamination prevention. For example, buckets that hold water that are normally just rinsed out. Going forward, everything employees touch and use should be disinfected using proper sanitizing protocols.
- Mandate strict hand-washing procedures for all employees. There are a variety of videos that stress the importance of following the surgical method for hand-washing. If employees cannot wash their hands on the job, supply your crew with hand sanitizer, and instruct them on how to use it properly.
- Early identification of COVID-19 is important, as the virus can be transmitted even before symptoms arise. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 resemble the flu (coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing). Other symptoms include the loss of the smell or taste. Employees experiencing these symptoms should not be allowed to report to work, should stay home, and immediately call their doctor. Most who contract the virus recover, but early treatment and containment is crucial.
If your company is already experiencing hardship due to employee illness or other business slowdowns or stoppages related to COVID-19, there may be sick leave policies and relief programs available. It is best to contact government offices within the state, city, or town of your business for information while national programs are currently in legislative review.
How To Protect Your Customers
This can be a scary time for your customers. The actions you take can help bring stability to an otherwise uncertain time. Here’s what we suggest:
- Make sure you clearly and frequently communicate any changes in your hours or the services you offer. These communications can also include details on how you are protecting customers (and employees) from COVID-19. Update your social media with announcements, Google Business page with updated hours, and add a prominent banner on your website with a link to a summary of changes.
- Be ready to make changes to accommodate new customer schedules. With most people working remotely, your customers may be wary of non-family members entering their homes. Adjust your schedule to accommodate your customers’ safety. As much as possible, give a more concise window of service so that families can arrange to be out of the house while your crew is working.
- Reinforce your commitment to your customers’ health and safety by providing additional cleaning and sanitation supplies for crews to use while they are performing essential services inside the home. Instruct crews to wipe down all surfaces they’ve been in contact with before leaving the home.
- Follow a “no-contact” process as much as possible. This might mean changing to online payment forms and giving customers the option for email invoicing (instead of leaving a paper invoice on the counter).
- Add credit cards to your mobile or online payment options. Some customers will prefer a credit option to pay for a home repair or service and might look elsewhere if you are not set up to accept credit cards.
These changes can help protect customers and provide additional convenience.
Other Resources For Small Business
With national, state, and local governments working to help small businesses make their way through this time, it’s important to stay on top of current guidelines. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most current information on any changes or health updates. It should be your go-to resource on the latest developments across the globe and in your state. Follow their guidelines closely.
Your state health department can also provide specific information and guidelines for businesses, including what it means to shelter-in-place or other designations. Finally, the Small Business Administration is a great place for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, including resources to help your business.