Editor’s Note: To get a comprehensive look from the author of current government programs that can help your business, as seen in the May issue of PMP, please click here.
We are observing a can-do attitude from our pest management clients, with respect to operating their businesses in these challenging times. With a combination of government program aid and entrepreneurial tenacity, our industry remains in a very strong position to weather this storm. Many will come out stronger than when they went in.
Let’s explore what pest management professionals (PMPs) are doing internally from a business prospective to stay in business — and in many cases, thrive in these challenging times.
Nearly all our clients are heeding the calls for social distancing by setting up office staff with work-at-home directives. Most routing, customer service and accounting software systems are in the cloud, accessible anywhere. Internet protocol (IP) phone systems allow remote work as well. But does working remotely kill company culture? Company culture influences every aspect of any organization, and that is no different in the case of remote work. While culture is essential, maintaining it without meeting face-to-face provides new challenges.
Dogs will bark; children will need attention. Balancing all this becomes a challenge, and it’s better to focus on productivity over number of hours worked. Communication software, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts or GoToMeeting, is paramount in keeping a team together. Weekly online meetings/check-ins will make your team feel more motivated, prevent boredom from their isolation and allow them to perform more efficiently.
As essential services that are, for the most part, not very expensive (speaking from a residential prospective), we are not seeing a huge falloff in business. As in the recession of 2007-2008, we seem to be an industry that is less affected than others.
Many of our pest control and lawn care clients are seeing decent results from their digital, print and branding campaigns. While the price of Google AdWords seems to be consistent, TV, radio and outdoor advertising seem to be areas where you currently can negotiate some pretty amazing deals.
As long as people are home, many will shop online. We are seeing cost per lead/cost per sale in line with more normal times. In fact, our clients in lawn care currently are seeing their spring direct mailers working with the same response rates as in the past.
STAY THE COURSE
Despite these uncertain times, and how life can change in the weeks, even months to come, there appear to be solid opportunities in staying the course, continuing to offer highly targeted marketing and taking advantage of several government relief programs and relaxed tax rules.
Read more COVID-19 coverage here: MyPMP.net/COVID-19
GORDON owns PCO Bookkeepers, an accounting and consulting firm that caters to pest management professionals throughout the United States. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The post Web Exclusive: Keeping business strong during COVID-19 pandemic appeared first on Pest Management Professional.
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