How To Work Through The Pandemic as a Contractor

The way the pandemic has changed the routine for contractors has been a topic of discussion around here lately, so let’s round up all that information in one place!

The pandemic forced contractors out of their comfort zone more than they would otherwise be, along with offering a number of logistical, financial and technical challenges to overcome. This is why over the past few months we’ve gone through important tips and strategies on how to work around this situation in a way your business can continue.

This time we’re doing a recap of sorts, so this is a great place to start if you want some interesting things to read to improve your business through this tough time! I’ll do my best to comprise the most important information here and direct you to more specific articles whenever possible.

Without further adieu, let’s jump right in:

Impress with your online presence

Having a good online presence is always highly encouraged regardless, but now that physical offices and live meetings have been replaced with video calls, your best first impressions usually happen online.

Homeowners who are directed to your social media profiles through a Google search or via recommendation will judge then and there what they think of your presentation – and they won’t do it analytically, but instinctively. It’s within your best interest that homeowners who need your services can quickly find the assurance they need regarding your competence, and also the necessary info to hire you. Even a small obstacle such as not finding your phone number right away could make them give up on you.

Besides, having your social media pages updated and looking nice is always good for business. Check out our guide on improving online presence to know more!

Have contactless payment options

Payment in physical money is getting less and less common nowadays, but during a pandemic it should be actively discouraged. Dollar bills travel through way too many hands and disinfecting them is not an easy feat, so it’s better to be safe and always accept credit card payments.

But even better, you can easily set up payment options that have zero contact, not even requiring a credit card machine. Services like PayPal, for example, allow you to accept credit card payments via a link, email, or direct transfer, which makes it even easier. Doesn’t matter the service though, the client doesn’t need to have an account set up in order to pay, they’ll just have to input credit card and basic personal info at the most.

When engaging a client, ask if they have any accounts on such services that could facilitate this transaction and decide the best one from there.

Be familiar with etiquette for live meetings

For most contractors, the on-site part of the job is unavoidable and required, and for those you must be prepared to respect pandemic etiquette. Nothing too fancy, but obligatory nonetheless to ensure the safety of everyone.

This is something a lot of people seem to forget when neglecting basic etiquette – you’re not protecting only yourself. You’re doing so for the safety of yourself and everyone you know, your clients and their families, and thus everyone they could interact with. That amounts to a lot of people that could be needlessly exposed if you or anyone in that chain breaks the rules. So let’s stick to the basics:

Always wear a mask. Not only should you always wear a mask, but you should also carry a few extra ones with you in case someone around you needs it or in case you need a new one for whatever reason.

Wear gloves whenever possible. Just as doctors often use latex gloves for the purposes of higiene, you can carry some of those around with you. It’s not too hard to use tools while wearing them and it gives you and your clients a good peace of mind.

Carry a hand sanitizer with you. Even if you wear gloves, it’s always a good idea to carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you. You can use it yourself and offer it to clients if necessary.

Avoid unnecessary exposure and contact. Try to be diligent with the areas you come in contact with – stick to the immediate area of attention required for the job and avoid walking around the house and touching other surfaces when there’s no need for it. 

Educate your clients. As a way to be helpful to your community and also show that you care, give your clients some tips on how to be safe themselves. For example, if you had to touch walls, pipes, light switches or other surfaces without gloves, you should instruct them to clean them as soon as you’re out with some alcohol – ensure them you’re taking as many precautions as you can, but you can never be too safe!

Perfect your video calls

A video call can be as simple as answering your phone, pointing the camera towards your face and done, you’re on. But for a contractor business in particular it’s important to take video calls a little more seriously for the purposes of impressing your clients – since you won’t have the usual live meetings where you would normally make your first impressions.

It’s nothing too complicated, though. The basic gist of it is to make sure your camera is positioned at a decent height, that the lighting is good, and that your background is interesting. If you want to know more, last week’s article was precisely about how to make perfect video calls.

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