As the fifty states begin creeping back to “normal” and the COVID-19 pandemic begins to wither, “phased reopening” is a buzzword that many small businesses have been waiting for. But as our elected officials creep ever closer to these phases, what should contractors expect? Here are five important points that all contractors must consider at this time.
#1 – Emphasis On Selling Services
As restrictions begin to loosen from state to state–sales should be the primary goal of your business activity. The exception to this would be any jobs that you have yet to complete from before the onset of the pandemic closures. Regardless, ramping up your advertising, calling those older leads and get involved with as many networking opportunities as possible. A great one to consider is the new Botonde consumer marketplace, which is free when you join the Botonde family of contractors and make use of the take-off creators.
#2 – Educate Employees
As select states “reopen” or as others prepare to do so, this is a great opportunity to secure your work force and educate or re-educate them on jobsite safety, health-reated safety (the new reality of day to day life will include this). It’s also about working more independently so as to lessen the chances of impact should another outbreak occur. An employee who knows how to handle a task or job without constant and direct supervision is a strong benefit to the contractor’s business. The ultimate goal is to be able to reduce the number of employees you need for each individual job site, and therefore be able to have qualified individuals on multiple jobs. Employee education does take an investment of time, but offers a win-win situation for everyone involved
#3 – Get Your Books In Order
As stimulus pours in for small businesses to help keep you afloat–be it loans or grants–be ready for the tax ramifications that will occur come NEXT tax season. Start talking with your accountants NOW since the tax season has been extended to July. Find out what you need to prepare for. Things like estimated taxes might have to be provisioned. Maybe reinvestment in equipment or business necessities can help offset the stimulus payments with greater deductions. Even if you are not prepared to make any investment in your business at all in 2020–it’s not the time to stick your head in the sand and hope for the best. Speak to your accountant and discuss ways to mitigate future tax burden.
#4 – Work Smarter, Not Harder
This article and others like it aren’t built to be a commercial for Botonde. Our system can REALLY help you. Botonde was created to help contractors spend less time doing math and more time selling your services and working on your jobsite. This allows you to take on more jobs. Shorten your sales cycle from days to hours. Setup is 3-simple steps and we offer a free 30-day evaluation with no credit card required. Currently we have multiple small “modules” in place for many different types of contracting businesses. Enter in your materials, a few labor selections, and boom–your Take-Off and estimate is ready for your customer. It even breaks out your individual PO’s to your different suppliers. We also have “Premium Modules” (no additional charge) for Tile and Deck installers that are much more robust–enter in some measurements, answer a few questions and the system builds out everything you will need in materials and labor. Go give it a try. You have zero risk.
#5 – Embrace Technology
Thanks to the pandemic, everyone knows what a video conference is. Be it Zoom, Webex, Skype or the multitude of other face-to-face-by-video options. They have become the new norm and if you think they are going away anytime soon then you are not thinking long-term here. Virtual meetings and even email and text messages are going to take a greater role in running any small business. Contractors are no different. More of your customers will feel perfectly comfortable making their initial contact with you via one of these options. While nothing speaks like an in-person visit, some clients will not hesitate to first chat this way in order to qualify who they will invite to their home for an estimate. Be prepared for the future because it’s here.
Phased reopenings mean different things for different states. Levels of access to services for consumers will require adjustments to your timelines moving forward, but communication is never restricted. Consumers are bored, sick of cleaning their houses and are ready to spend some of that stimulus money. Take the steps necessary to be proactive and fill your calendar schedule while you wait for the green light to get back to work.
If you would be interested in a live demo of the Botonde system, we hold weekly demos that you can join by signing up or feel free to contact us for a private live demo that we will run for you at your convenience.