While COVID-19 is presenting many challenges, people are spending a lot more time in their homes and back yards. People need a safe and enjoyable home environment now more than ever. People are installing home gyms, offices, sheds and garages to make the most of the space they have. This is presenting opportunities for those home improvement businesses well prepared to handle the challenges of COVID-19.
Here are 7 tips to help your business perform well during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. No Contact / Non-Contact / Zero Contact Quoting and Invoicing Call it what you like, the customer doesn't want to see you in person if they don't have to right now. Think about how you can remotely design and quote solutions for your customers. Use products like Google Maps or Nearmap for imagery and measurements of your customer's property. Share your designs, quotes and promotional material with the customer electronically wherever possible.
There are also a wide range of software packages that will allow you to invoice the customer electronically. Avoid paperwork wherever possible. If you do require a signature, or anything in writing from the customer, suggest that the customer use their own pen.
2. Utilise Government Assistance There is a large amount of government funding and support available to you right now. Keep yourself informed and apply for any applicable incentives as soon as possible. See more information on some of the government assistance programs available to you now.
3. Develop a COVID-19 Safety Procedure Document Your customers need to know you're taking precautions to keep them safe. Present every staff member and customer with a COVID-19 Safety Procedure Document. This document should include a list of safety measures your team must adhere to, for example:
Call the customer when you arrive and arrange to meet them outside.
Offer to use side or rear access where available.
Avoid entering the customer's home.
Use hand sanitiser prior to entering the property.
Have the hand sanitiser visibly on your person at all time – this will provide the customer with peace of mind.
Explain to the customer that you have stepped up your sanitisation procedures.
Do not motion to shake hands, get on the front foot and explain to the customer that you’re not shaking hands with customers at the moment to minimise the risk of transmission and to keep your customers safe. Turn a negative into a positive.
Avoid touching your face, particularly while in the presence of your customer. If you do touch your face, wipe your nose, sneeze or cough (ensure that you do so into your inner arm elbow region) and then once again use your hand sanitiser.
Use disinfectant wipes daily on all samples and devices that you use.
Have gloves and masks at your disposal. Offer to put these on in case the customer feels more comfortable with you doing so.
Maintain appropriate social distancing recommendations.
Wear gloves when conducting work on site.
Do not ask to use the customer’s bathroom.
Maintain a positive outlook and attitude.
See more tips from the Housing Industry Association:
4. Offer flexible payment and finance options As people face financial uncertainty, having a range of finance and payment options available will help your customers, consider whether any of these options are right for your business:
5. Open a Stratco Account If you don't already have a Stratco account, contact us to request an account today. Approved trade account customers receive a range of benefits including:
30-day credit terms.
Trade specific discounted pricing across a broad range of products.
A dedicated Stratco Account Manager and trade specific Customer Service Representatives.
Access to design and estimating specialists to assist with projects.
24/7 access to Stratco Direct which allows you to see your nett pricing for all products and order online from anywhere, any time.
Exclusive access to new products and trade incentive programs.
Additional discounts available for prompt account payment.
6. Finance Options With the Reserve Bank of Australia dropping interest rates to record lows, you may be able to negotiate lower rates on any debt you currently have. Speak to a financial adviser or specialist to ensure you're getting the best rates on any loans you might have and seek expert advice on how to best structure your finances through COVID-19.
7. Buy online or order over the phone Make use of online and phone ordering options to minimise your risk by limiting the time you're spending in supplier stores and minimising contact with others. You can order online at stratco.com.au or call us on 1300 165 165. We can either deliver or have your order ready for collection.