Unusual Times - Unprecedented Actions: What Your Trades Business Can Do To Stay Afloat during COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID 19 Prevention

Our lives have changed and every business needs to reexamine ways to stay afloat and indeed fast track to re-adjust our private and working lives simultaneously.

When it comes to Trades Businesses that provide regular and emergency trades services, their on-the road workers need to carry on the work just like all other essential workers like health care employees. If there is a difference it is in the fact that they are not trained to carry out the tasks under the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.

From plumbers, electricians, landscapers, cleaners, carpenters and painters, the effects of COVID-19 have been felt hard including work cancellations, staffing issues and supply chain interruptions to name a few. All this eventually severely threatening the business continuity of many small trades’ businesses.

While some damage has already been done, there is still a lot of uncertainty revolving around what might happen in the weeks to come. Business owners that plan and prepare for a crisis, stand a good chance to keep their staff employed and their businesses running, despite the grim picture the economy is showing us at this stage.

Keeping Employees and Customers Safe

An important step to keep your business running is to make sure you invest in the health and wellbeing of the staff, so they are available when you need them.

You must issue a safe work policy during the COVID-19 crisis and make sure it’s implemented across the board. This should include safe work practices like a no-handshake policy, keeping sufficient distance as per the guidelines provided by the WHO, wearing gloves and masks and keeping all work surfaces clean.

Conduct important staff meetings online using technologies like Skype, Google Hangouts and WhatsApp (which are freely available) rather than gathering people in a small office space.

If an employee is unwell, make sure they do not show up at work and put anyone else at risk.

At i4Tradies, we are fast tracking the development of video calls within our Business, Employee and Consumer Apps. This will be soon announced to the market place.

In the meantime, our trades businesses like Kleen Hospitality are already carrying out COVID-19 compliant task Refer to Amid COVID-19, Kleen Hospitality Delivering Compliant Service for Johnson & Company Estate Agents - Lease Team Via i4Tradies article for details.

Introduce Processes for A More Streamlined Way to Cut Costs

With your business already struggling to get new jobs and a lot of bookings being cancelled, maybe some cost cutting is what you need to keep your trades business afloat.

If you have not done this already, now is the time to sit down and think about ways you can cut down unnecessary paperwork, ways to make your staff work more efficiently in the field, cut down trips to and from the office, improve lines of communication between customers and employees and dispatch quotes and invoices without having to visit the customer in person in order to avoid direct contact.

Today, you can also use WhatsApp as an option to now diagnose the potential fix with your customer.

At i4Tradies, we are developing add-on modules so that you will be in a position to conduct video interaction with your customers. We will make the announcement soon.

Act Timely to Mitigate Financial Risk

The COVID-19 outbreak took many trades business owners off-guard as they are forced to shut down or downsize amidst little to no jobs, employees calling in sick and shortage of supplies.

When overcoming a financial risk, the faster you act the more chances you have to get through without having to bear any significant losses.

If you are struggling, don’t hesitate to seek financial help for taxation, loan repayment, insurance premiums or bills payments. Contact your lender/bank for assistance on deferring payments or waving charges. All major banks have advice on this. Please check the following: links:

Also, talk to your financial or business advisor to help you navigate your way around the hardship.

Make Sure You Take Advantage of the Government’s Stimulus Package

From asset write-off schemes to investment incentives, cash grants and additional support, everything has been available for trades businesses going through a tough time in the face of COVID-19.

According to the recently announced government stimulus package, larger businesses are encouraged to pick up apprentices who have been let go by smaller businesses due to the economic situation. The $1.3 billion plan will cover half the wages of 117,000 apprentices working for businesses with fewer than 20 employees, for nine months until September this year.

Tap on to financial stimulus available to you, which may go some ways to mitigate the financial risk. For more information, please refer to your local links as follows:

  1. NSW
  2. VIC
  3. QLD
  4. SA
  5. WA
  6. ACT
  7. TAS

Consider Your Supply Chain

With a dire shortage of materials and products that were imported from China, there has been a direct impact on tradies in the construction and renovation sector. While the effects of the crisis have been felt worldwide and diversification into other markets like Europe might not be a viable option until the situation gets under control, think about other services that you have been outsourcing.

This includes, services of technology, marketing, accounting, legal and hiring subbies for work. If you have a contingency plan now, you might be able to make it even if there is an interruption in the supply of these services from your traditional providers.

We at i4Tradies, decided to offer our platform for free for 3 months. So feel free to take advantage of it. In addition, we will be happy to put together a work from home package. Simply call our helpline via our WhatsApp number 1300 543 990 and we will be more than happy to assist.

Wrapping up

In a time of crisis like this, preparedness is the only way to keep your head above the water and your staff employed even if that means working lesser hours a week.

Countries are already witnessing declining number of cases and closing down quarantine facilities as people begin to recover and leave. There is light at the end of the tunnel and trades businesses that are the backbone of the Australia economy are sure to bounce back with full force very soon.

Let’s get ready to face this crisis head on and hope to find each other doing well on the side.

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Logan Nathan

Written by

Logan Nathan

Founder & CEO at i4Tradies | Entrepreneur | Digital Transformation Influencer | Author | Speaker | Trainer