Home services businesses have, like other industries, taken a hit with recent events. The good news is that with some simple changes to ensure safety and sanitation, crucial repairs and services will continue essentially as before. While weathering the storm, here is a list of things you can do to keep doing business and keep your customers, your employees, and your business healthy.

1. Brush up on OSHA safety standards.

Most of these standards are sufficient to keep your crew and your customers safe. Adding in now-routine processes like disinfecting high-touch surfaces, washing hands regularly for 20 seconds, and wearing masks for indoor services will help protect you even more, and provide comfort and peace of mind to your customers. Read more about OSHA COVID-19 standards here.

2. Wear gloves at all times.

Not only does it prevent the spread of the illness from surface to surface, wearing gloves discourages face-touching, which is the primary way COVID-19 is spread. 

3. Offer contactless payment.

People are wary about passing a credit card and interacting with touchscreens and tablets. If possible, send an invoice through email or text instead—and let your customers know you’re offering this option as a service to them to keep them safe. Podium Payments is a simple solution that lets your customers pay just by tapping a link in a text message.

4. Let office staff work from home.

Do whatever you can to let account managers, office staff, and sales people work from home. This reduces the chance of viral transmission and also makes it easier for families to comply with stay-at-home orders and manage childcare and changing schedules.

5. Keep sick employees at home.

Even if it’s just a sniffle, require your employees to stay at home when sick—and if you’ve got the budget, pay them to stay home. It might seem like a high cost to pay employees to stay home, but the cost is greater if your whole crew comes down with something or spreads it to the community (and in fact, you may be required to offer paid sick leave that is then offset with tax breaks depending on your business size). 

6. Share your new practices with your customers.

Show them how you’re keeping them safe—from cleanliness practices to new hours and so forth, make sure your customers know what’s changed. Use email, social media, text messaging, and your website to get the word out.

7. Be flexible.

Things are crazy for everyone. Staying flexible in hours, staff requests, and even pricing can help you meet immediate needs and establish yourself as the helpful choice for the future. 

8. Take advantage of government programs and incentives.

If you’re struggling to keep staff on or keep your business afloat, read up on the resources available to you as a result of the government relief effort. We’ve put together this guide that has an up-to-date summary of what’s out there, including details about the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. 

9. Consider donating N95 masks to local hospitals.

Healthcare workers are facing a shortage of masks, gloves, and other PPE. If you’ve got masks to spare, consider donating them to a hospital or urgent care near you. 

Though it’s still unclear how long this crisis will continue—and what the full effect will be for the home services industry—we can get through this. Feel free to leave a comment with any processes your service center has put in place. We’d love to pass along your ideas.

Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer Wilson Strategic Home Services Account Executive

Jennifer Wilson is a home services professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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