Thanks to the combined contributions of local governmental decisions and a viral outbreak, many contractors find themselves out of work or close to it. Other state officials have taken a milder approach in determining what is appropriate or not. It seems that there is no black and white to how the pandemic is affecting the construction industries across the globe. Many are being blocked from performing jobs by these state and local governments due to the arbitrarily terms that determine what is now “essential”, it’s the contractors themselves that need to justify what is essential and what is not.
What it actually all comes down to is that justification. If you can justify that a job is essential then there will be no gripe coming from any sort of enforcement authority stating that it’s otherwise. Mind you, we’re not talking about coming up with a creative way to break the law. What we are obtaining here is the right way to continue working on a particular construction job during this crisis that will keep all parties involved both safe and happy. The clients are happy that the work they paid for is continuing or beginning. Your contracting business is happy because the business remains collecting payments.
First consider basic, logical reasons for starting, continuing or completing a construction project. Remember that it’s the responsibility of the contracting business to ensure that employees, homeowners, business owners or any other parties involved are practicing the prescribed measures necessary to avoid the spreading of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is regardless of any personal feelings you have on the matter. If your state deems wearing masks in public as essential, you are in no position to defy that rule while running your business.
Safety – No one wants to hear the dreaded word, “unsafe”‘. The all-encompassing determination of; “Leaving this project in its current condition is unsafe”, is the #1 reason why your business will be allowed to continue working. This is ASIDE from the pandemic-related safety as discussed above, this is regarding the safety of your job site. It would be EXTREMELY difficult to argue this point, but this could be considered a temporary measure if you are instructed to shore up the site and then halt work.
Breakage – Appliances break. Plumbing leaks. Toilets crack and HVAC goes kablooey. Someone’s got to come and fix it all and its all considered essential. At times like these you can up the advertising a little for these types of jobs to keep some funds flowing in.
Natural Damage – Acts Of God are associated with hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. But how about a swarm of termites? This is the arena of disaster relief for the contracting world. Obviously essential.
ADA – The American Disabilities Act continues to create vast opportunity for contractors. As generations age and regulatory agencies continue to identify areas where “access” becomes more mandatory, contractors need to educate themselves in this lucrative and ever-growing base. And yes, it’s absolutely “essential”.
Sales Activity – Taking measurements does not fall into any category of essential or non-essential. Collect deposits or retainers by taking advantage of the “delay” in work and sell your services in advance of the opening of your state. Great time to become part of the Botonde family (see below).
Botonde provides a way to simplify and speed up your estimates. Create material purchase orders broken out by suppliers with a click. Spend less time doing the math and more time selling or on your jobsite, allowing 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. Want more information or a live demo?
Until Covid-19 is Over
As states begin re-opening to business as the pandemic ebbs away (hopefully), many small businesses are using the time to scream about the status of their stimulus loans/grants instead of investing the time and effort into the business as it is. Not that a contactor should thumb their noses at the stimulus (every bit counts), but for the rest of the day there is work to be done to shore up business for the near future. As for right now, creative application is all it takes for contractors to be justified as essential.