So it’s time to reopen your business. On top of the pandemic, many small businesses are dealing with information overload. Guidelines vary from state-to-state, so it’s important to develop a thorough system that keeps everyone safe and provides peace of mind — especially when entering your customers' homes.
While there is a lot of guidance out there for brick-and-mortar locations, there is less direction available business owners that must enter homes or other businesses to do their jobs — we’re talking about contractors, cleaners, HVAC repair businesses, and more.
So how do you safely re-enter your customers’ homes (or businesses)?
We’ve put together the following tips to help you out. For more, you can download our comprehensive business reopening checklist.
#1 Enhance Cleanliness Protocols
First up, you must make cleanliness your job (even if you don’t own a cleaning service). Collective anxiety around COVID transmission is high, so you must make sure you let customers know what you’re doing. Here are a few recommended practices you can follow:
Schedule Weekly Deep Cleanings
As business ramps up, it’s impossible to do a daily deep clean, but make it a priority to do at LEAST once a week. This means thoroughly wiping down all equipment and all surfaces. If you have a communal van or another way you travel to your customers, make sure you wipe it down as well.
If you have the storage space, order a professional-grade cleaning product in bulk and put it in spray bottles for some savings
Apply Hand Sanitizer Before Entering
Assuming most businesses don’t have a sink in their vehicle, hand sanitizer is the next best solution.
Make sure to thoroughly apply hand sanitizer before you enter your place of business. It is also a good idea to do this with your customers in site. It provides them with the assurance that you are taking precautions seriously.
If you do have access to a sink (lucky you), make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds.
Sanitize Equipment After Each Use
Of course, this all depends on the type of equipment. While you may not be able to do a deep clean, make sure you’re thoroughly wiping down all equipment you bring into your customers homes before you put it back in your vehicle.
Make sure your customers know you are doing this after each use.
Sanitize Surfaces After Each Use
Treat your customers’ homes and businesses like your own. COVID-19 is most likely to spread through respiratory droplets, but hard surfaces should still be disinfected.
Educate yourself (and your employees) on high-transmission surfaces. Carry a bottle of sanitizer and wipe down any counters, doorknobs, or other surfaces you may have to touch in their home.
#2 Minimize In-Person Contact
When your business is built on relationships with your customers, being told to minimize contact may go against conventional logic. But in a post COVID world, this is the best way to ensure safety.
While every transaction and job is different, there are two times you tend to interact in-person with a client during the process: when you’re entering the home/getting the run down of the task and when after the job is done, when you’re paying and debriefing.
The good news is by using your phone, both of these tasks can be done with minimal contact. When it comes to getting the rundown, you can facetime, zoom, or have a call with a client and have them send pictures of the specific tasks. Make sure they also give you instructions on how to get to that particular location in their home/business.
Now the job is done and you’ve left their home/business. First off, give your customers a call to debrief. Walk them through what you did, the tools you used, and any aftercare and follow up. You may even want to take pictures while you’re still in the home.
And when it's time to get paid, look into a contactless payment solution. With GoSite’s payments tool, you should be able to easily send a customer a text or email with a link to inset credit card information for a secure, online payment solution. Best of all, GoSite doesn’t charge a platform fee — all you have to pay is standard credit card processing.
#3 Wear Personalized Protective Equipment (PPE)
Mask up! PPE is a must when entering any customer’s home or business. Generally, it’s recommended that you have disposable masks and gloves. Depending on the specific case, you may also want a gown, goggles, and boot/shoe coverings.
Whether it’s to keep the home clean or to protect yourself from fumes, many home-based businesses are already used to using PPE pre-COVID. With demands surging, make sure you have enough on hand for a few weeks of appointments.
So now it’s time to get back to work. To make the transition easier, we’ve developed a FREE business reopening checklist, complete with pre-screening entry questions, information on where to find the most up-to-date guidelines, and more — specifically for home services businesses.