Join us for a special edition webinar on April 2nd, and hear how other SingleOps customers are responding to COVID-19. You can register here.
Over the past few weeks, as the world has felt the impact of COVID-19 (a.k.a. coronavirus), we’ve closely tracked recommendations and orders from public health and government officials. We have talked with a number of SingleOps customers about how they are responding, and transitioned our entire team to work from home for the foreseeable future.
While we’re thankful for how the internet has helped us stay connected with our customers, we know the internet can’t mow a lawn, cut down a tree, or grind a stump.
Seeing as that leaves the industry wondering how this pandemic affects all of us, we wanted to round up all of the most recent information we’ve heard, in one convenient location. Obviously the situation is highly dynamic across the country, and any of this could change any time. We encourage all customers to seek out information from public health and government on your own as well.
If there’s one thing everyone seems to agree on, it’s that social distancing (maintaining a distance of 6 feet from other people) is an absolute must. The federal government issued its “15 Days to Slow the Spread” guidelines last week, which strongly recommended cancelling non-essential travel and gatherings with groups of 10 or more, as well as working from home whenever possible. Most if not all states have issued similar guidelines.
Last week we published a blog post with tips for maintaining “business as usual” while practicing social distancing.
Chris Reisenberg from Fredericks Landscaping shared how they are practicing social distancing:
Shelter in Place
Select states and cities have issued more aggressive orders, typically referred to as “Shelter in Place” or “Stay at Home” policies. A key element of these policies is that only “essential businesses” remain open during the prescribed time window.
Of course, there’s one question everyone in the green industry is asking - what is considered an essential business?
We’ve linked to a number of “Shelter in Place” resources below, but to summarize, most of the language suggests that most green industry services are considered essential. Many announcements explicitly mention maintenance, tree care, and other services. We recommend clicking into the links below and finding guidance for your state.
Map of which states have issued “stay at home” orders, and links to each announcement (NYTimes, free access if you create a login)
Guidance from industry organizations
- NALP’s state by state guidance
- TCIA’s COVID-19 resource page
- Landscape Management's examples of how companies are responding
These pages are being updated daily, so we encourage you to check those links frequently to keep a pulse on how your state or local area is reacting, and how it may impact you.
$2 Trillion Dollars
That’s how much the federal government has said they will be putting into the economy through various stimulus programs. We don’t understand all of the details yet (here’s a decent overview), but one of the stated goals is to help small businesses. There may be opportunities for some green industry businesses to get help from the government to get through this challenging time.
This legislation is passing through Congress as of March 26th. The details are still trickling out and may change.
How SingleOps Can Help
If you are a SingleOps customer, you are better prepared for this situation than other green industry businesses that may be using pen and paper or local files. Your office admins can get full access to SingleOps from any computer with an internet connection.
While our health should come first, if your business and team are able to work, the next few months could be rich with opportunities. You have a competitive advantage over businesses that aren’t using any kind of software.
Here are 5 tips from our team for using SingleOps during this time:
- Download your customer list so you can send them an email from an email marketing program, and let them know your company’s status (business as usual, extra services, limited services, etc.). If you need help exporting your customer list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can send customers proposals and invoices by email, in case they have concerns with taking a piece of paper from a crew member. Even if you’re already doing this, emphasize it to your customers to show how you’re taking the necessary precautions in this situation.
- You can take credit cards instead of dealing with cash and checks. Sean Adams, one of our account executives and a former landscape business owner, shared some tips and benefits related to credit cards on LinkedIn.
- You can give your crew digital work orders. This can help cut down on not only time in the office (to comply with social distancing), but also travel time. Visual descriptions (like the marked up photos in the blog post) can ensure your crew is doing exactly the right work, nothing more and nothing less.
- And lastly, if you’re on Quickbooks Desktop and have lost access to your machine, switch to Quickbooks Online so that your data is stored in the cloud. This makes working remotely MUCH easier. Our team can help you with this switch - email email@example.com.
Of course if there's anything at all we can help with, please let us know. The best way to reach us is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and our support team will loop in the right person from our side.