So, How's Your Year Going?
Covid 19. Businesses closing their doors. Mandatory shutdowns. Toilet paper shortages. Masks – or no masks. Rising unemployment. Tanking economy. Stimulus checks. Payment protection program. George Floyd's death. Racial protests. Murder hornets… .
A lot has happened the past three months.
And yet, for me at least, life has not changed all that much. I already worked from home. Already homeschooled. Already liked ramen noodles... kinda. But that's just me.
What about you?
Last week, I posted a question in some industry Facebook groups asking how recent events have impacted them and what changes have been made. Between my posts and some others I’ve seen in groups, here are some of my observations:
- March/April were tough for some, great for others. I have to assume some of this had to do with the area of the country they were in as well as the services offered, but a lot of companies have said they are reporting their best season to date. Others were just a little behind but catching up, and some have had to stop working altogether. While I'm curious to know more about the actual statistics behind those who are doing so well, the main point is that a lot of companies say they are doing really well despite all 2020 has thrown at us.
- Implementing social distancing policies has been essential. For many, this primarily includes things like carrying hand sanitizer, wearing masks, and staying six feet away from customers at all times. Others do temperature checks of their employees, and still others will even do temperature checks before entering a customers' home or facility. It's not only a way to protect your employees and customers, it's a way to ease customers' minds and show them you are serious about your safety, and theirs.
- Many companies have benefited from the Payment Protection Program (PPP). Talking with several industry friends when the Covid shutdown first hit, the hardest thing was the struggle of not wanting to have to lay off employees. Several companies applied for and received PPP funding, which allowed them to keep on or bring back laid-off employees. If you have not yet taken advantage of this government forgivable loan program, it’s not too late! The deadline is June 30. Even if you do not have employees, you may still qualify for funding.
- Adding sanitizing services has given companies a much-needed boost. “Pivot” has been the key word for many small businesses since March. Fortunately for cleaning companies, the turn hasn’t had to be that far. A lot of companies have started adding sanitizing services, whether it’s simply adding Clean and Shine to their window-cleaning buckets, adding soft washing (which uses bleach), or going all out with interior sprayers. Many have found that offering sanitizing services not only provides additional sources of income, it helps ease their past residential customers’ minds about having companies on their property. (J. Racenstein can help provide the needed supplies for proper sanitizing services.)
- Industry education is still important. While some industry members are worried that the economy is reopening too quickly, many are ready to move forward – and that includes taking part in industry education and training. As of now, industry events are being planned for the late summer and beyond, and a lot of industry members have indicated they expect to attend. That said, the growth in online training, whether pre-recorded or live online events, is becoming a popular option as well, and one we at JRC have started offering through our J. Racenstein University.
- Finding good employees is still a struggle. Before Covid 19, finding good employees was difficult, partly because the job pool was small. Post Covid, for many in the industry, finding good employees is no easier than before despite the sharp increase in unemployment numbers.
For me personally, my biggest changes have not been related to work, but rather my attitude. I'm more appreciative of the things I have. More aware of how life is fleeting. And more thankful for those around me.
If you have comments or things you'd like to add, I'd love to hear from you.