This is a difficult time for small businesses in America. We want to provide you and those in the wildlife & pest control industries some guidance and help during this novel coronavirus pandemic.
The good news is that according to the Federal Government, you can still work. Specifically, the US Department of Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), has deemed the wildlife and pest control industries an essential human health service during this coronavirus pandemic. The director of CISA, Christopher Krebs released an official memorandum and it is located here. There is also a consolidated list of all local and state government guidelines here, but none of them have prohibited wildlife or pest control companies from operating. You can appreciate and understand the importance of your jobs during this critical time. The work you do keeping rodents and wildlife droppings out of the food supply or keeping people safe from respiratory risks associated with animals in their home is essential to human health. We want to help you the best we can during this pandemic to make sure that you and your staff stay healthy and safe while helping your business survives. And hopefully grows.
For your technicians and staff in the field, we recommend that they:
- Wear a full-face respirator if they are going inside a home or business and wear single-use gloves. If they do not have a full-face respirator than a half-mask respirator or face mask would be advised.
- They need to keep at least 6 feet away from people and stay away from living spaces. This means that shaking hands and touching others should be forbidden.
- We also advise you to stop using in-person pen signatures and move towards digital signatures using services like DocuSign or the cheaper/free SignRequest.
- Allowing technicians to only work in the attic or crawl spaces is a lot safer.
- All staff should be regularly washing their hands or using hand sanitizer.
- If they have to purchase fuel or supplies, they should use disposable gloves and maintain their distance from others. Every interaction is a risk for exposure to the virus.
- Make sure that any staff or technician that is exuding symptoms, needs to stay at home and get tested.
For office staff, we recommend that they:
- Work remotely if it is not already advised by your local or state government agencies.
- For group meetings, we recommend leveraging video conferencing solutions like Zoom or Google Chat to keep them connected and engaged.
- For instant messaging solutions, we recommend Skype or Google Chat as they are very reliable and have loads of features like screen share and multimedia sharing.
- If you have to have a group chat, Slack is the best and is the solution we use at our agency for group projects.
What to tell your customers: it is important that they understand how vigilant your technicians are in keeping them safe. We recommend highlighting to them the precautions your staff is taking. For example, wearing a mask, respirator, gloves, and using digital signatures. Clearly convey how your technicians will focus their work on the exterior of the building and only need to access the attic or crawl spaces, non-living spaces of the building. You should also ask the customer if they would you to take additional precautions, like staying out of the home or only doing work when they are not present. Instilling confidence with your potential and existing customers that your business is taking this pandemic extremely seriously is critical to winning and keeping their business. And always make sure that you are taking the coronavirus more seriously than they are!
Google Ad credits (free marketing) are available for small and medium businesses totaling $340 million in Ad credits for 2020. If you are interested in getting free Ads from the Google platform, please reach out to us.In addition, we are providing discounted SEO and Google My Business services for those that sign up through May. Our rates are more than half the price of other marketing agencies with guaranteed resulted. We want to provide our clients with the opportunity to save a lot by switching to a more capable marketing agency for their Web Design, SEO, Google My Business, and other digital marketing needs.
Small business loans are available through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) for businesses severely impacted by the coronavirus. You must have under 500 employees to qualify and the SBA is coordinating and prioritizing these loans by working with state governments. These loans are prioritized to businesses that are keeping employees on the payroll. The loans have very low-interest rates and parts of the loan might be forgivable in the future. There are many options and more information is available on their website here.
We will keep providing you more useful information during this coronavirus pandemic. If you have any questions or need any help, please feel free to call us or send an email. We are here for you more than ever during this pandemic. We hope you stay safe and healthy!