Amid all the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, Invoice2go CEO, Greg Waldorf, provides guidelines to assist HVACR professionals.
It’s important for all contractors and small business owners to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them - whether that’s their staff, contractors or customers. This is particularly important for those in the HVACR industry, as work often involves going into people’s homes and places of business. So if you work in the HVACR industry and are a little uncertain about current best practice, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
With COVID-19 dominating every headline and newscast every day, and information changing rapidly, it’s important to have the most up-to-date information. Staying on top of breaking developments will help you make better-informed decisions regarding your day-to-day operations, and will help you prepare for the impacts of new safety measures and restrictions.
Your customers, too, will be confused, but by keeping them updated you should give them some peace of mind.
There remains uncertainty about what the various stages of an Australian lockdown would mean for the trades industry. Of course, it’s also possible that contractors and small HVACR businesses may have to pause - or scale back - their work at some point due to updated health and safety recommendations. Whatever happens, it’s vital that you communicate the situation quickly and clearly to your customers and any staff you have.
This involves sharing information such as why projects have to be delayed, an updated timeline where possible, and what customers can expect moving forward. Likewise, if you’re still allowed to operate, keep your customers informed of the steps you’re taking to ensure their health remains paramount.
It’s important to be vigilant in ensuring no potential signs of the virus are allowed on or near a jobsite or client.
If you employ other workers or subcontractors, consider reviewing your sick-leave policies and ensure they are flexible enough to accommodate the current environment. Also be prepared for people to miss work to self-isolate or care for a sick child or relative. Consider waiving any requirements for certificates from healthcare professionals to validate illness or to return to work. GP’s and medical facilities are extremely busy at this time.
Viruses can linger almost anywhere for hours, so regularly wipe down mobile phones, workstations, handles, doorknobs, truck interiors, and tools with a disinfectant. Contractors should wash their hands with soap and water at least three to four times throughout the day. If possible, apply hand sanitiser in addition to regular handwashing.
With many businesses temporarily closed and a lot of people working from home, there may be opportunities to take on projects in vacant office spaces or businesses. Pivoting to these kinds of projects can help ensure you are protecting yourself, your family, and the general public whilst also still being able to earn an income. For projects that involve contact with other people, follow guidelines about washing your hands regularly, stay more than 1.5 meters from other people, and avoid touching your face.
Another way to practice social distancing during this time is to work towards going paperless and digitising more business processes. Consider upgrading the resources you use to conduct business, such as making the switch to mobile invoicing.
If, in the short-term, you do find yourself with less, consider using the time to commit to tasks you’re normally too busy to do. Think, for example, of those receipts and invoices you’ve been meaning to digitise, the former clients you wanted to reconnect with, or the online classes and certifications you wanted to pass.
They might not be revenue-generating tasks, but they will improve the foundations of your business and ensure that, when things begin to return to normal, you and your business are ready to hit the ground running.
About the author - Greg Waldorf is the CEO of invoicing and estimate app Invoice2go. Greg has a long history of involvement with leading technology businesses and his current team is revolutionising how the world’s smallest businesses work.