How To Run Your Business Remotely
An Essential Guide For Setting Up Virtual OperationsCarol J. Alexander, Writer
Running your roofing business during the COVID-19 lockdown may be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. With a little patience and a lot of technology, business can continue. From marketing to project management, and everything in between, procedures may change but they can still proceed.
Give Your Clients Peace Of Mind
Current community restrictions may make customers wary of having your team members on their property, so you want to do everything in your power now to give them peace of mind. Before you do anything else, post a video on your website describing your COVID-19 procedures from beginning to end. A video will let customers see your face and will make them feel comfortable about your presence on their property. In the video, explain everything you’ll do to keep them safe during a home visit — from texting when you arrive to sending before-and-after photos to their phone to using virtual tools such as Atlas Roofing’s collection of mobile apps.
In addition to your website, post the video on social media and send it in an email newsletter to existing customers. Call your regular clients and check on them, explaining that you can still be there for them despite the stay-at-home orders. Offer these customers roof inspections or discounted prices for other home maintenance chores such as cleaning/fixing gutters, mulching flower beds or fixing window screens. This service will keep your crews busy during the slower period and will build relationships, possibly leading to referrals down the road.
Work Social Media Like The Pro You Are
You know what your customers are doing while they’re stuck at home? They’re scrolling through their social media feeds. Now’s the time to get active on Facebook and leverage your Instagram account like you’ve never done before. Let those customers know you’re still working and have their best interests in mind.
Keep In Touch With Your Employees
Working remotely could give you an out-of-sight, out-of-mind experience. Don’t let that happen. Let your employees know you care with regular check-in calls. Consider hosting a morning huddle each day on video conference and think about having everyone send a text when they’re clocking out for the day.
Set Up Your Virtual Office
- Capture every call. Forward the office phone number to your cell phone. If you haven’t already, change your voicemail message to match the one on the office phone. Update phone numbers on your website and install tools such as CallRail to track the marketing channels from where your calls are coming. Also, set up push notifications on your phone for email and social media accounts.
- Make every appointment. While home visits may be few and far between during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll still have virtual appointments to keep. Download the calendar app you use online to your phone, so you get notifications when you’re away from your desk.
- Attend every meeting. Staff meetings, or meetings with clients, don’t always have to be in person. Consider using a conference call platform like Zoom. Virtual meeting apps offer a variety of options from the number of attendees, to the length of the call, and the ability to record, among others. If clients hesitate to meet with you in person, encourage them to download one of these apps on their phone so you can talk face to face. A few other tools to consider:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Follow these tips for virtual meetings:
--Use Wi-Fi connections rather than broadband. To eliminate connectivity issues, make sure other members of your household aren’t streaming movies or games while you’re on your call. Position your camera at eye level. If you’re sitting at your kitchen table, elevate your laptop with a couple of books so the people on the other end are looking you into your eyes.
--Reduce glare by closing window blinds.
--Think about what’s behind you. Have your back to a wall or tidy up the room behind you.
--For best sound quality, use a headset.
- Use virtual signatures. Close the deal without sharing your pen — or your germs. Set up a DocuSign account (which is available on a free 30-day trial) so that you can send documents via email for signatures.
- Stay organized. Use the project management tool in your AtlasPRO™ account to keep track of everything from leads to completed jobs, all with the support of Atlas products.
Finally, stay informed about the things that matter. Because of all of the unknowns with the current climate of business and industry, situations are changing every day. Make sure you’re up to date on the latest news and information.
For resources and support for roofing contractors, tune in to the AtlasPRO Talk with Stan series, live on Facebook every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET. Also, check out Atlas Roofing’s Wednesday Weekly Webinar series, live on Facebook every Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET (available on Asphalt Life and YouTube following the live presentation).