"No, No, No.. I Have to Double Down": Tips from 4 Leaders on COVID-19

Posted by Ty Deemer on Apr 17, 2020 8:00:00 AM

It’s hard to believe a month has passed since the White House began it’s initiative of “15 Days to Slow the Spread”. So much has taken place since then, and for green industry businesses operating as essential services, the ability to adapt has been paramount.

That’s why we began hosting a webinar series that allows green industry leaders to share their insights to navigating COVID-19.

In our most recent webinar, we had Michelle Myers (Founder and CEO of Pink Callers), Jim Wertz (President of Jim Wertz Consulting), Zech Strauser (Founder and President of Strauser Nature’s Helpers), and Mike Voories (Chief Operating Officer of Brilar) share how they’ve been adapting to a situation that seems to change daily.

 

 

If you missed the webinar, no worries. Here’s a recap that shows the different questions the panel discussed while highlighting some of their answers, though we recommend you watch the entire recording (above) to get the most out of it.

 

 

 Michelle Myers - Founder & CEO, Pink Callers

“We use Zoom to communicate everyday. I have team members that work for me that I've never even met in person. Zoom is an incredible tool for remote work. I also see a lot of our clients currently utilizing a communication platform called Slack. They're creating Slack channels specifically for mobilization and logistics efforts. With social distancing, you can't have five or six folks in the same truck anymore. I'm seeing owners set up team Slack channels based on different crews and letting those guys communicate to one another on those channels. As the owner you can really see from a high level what your entire team is doing without having to be a part of every conversation.”

Zech Strauser - Founder & President, Strauser Nature's Helpers

“Having a plan was everything. We’ve been working remotely for the last four weeks, but my managers spent the first two weeks focusing on a plan to roll out the crews safely and communicate with clients. Overall, it's been going well. I mean, I'm looking at bringing in a modular office that'll be half the cost, then renting my current office out to a dentist just because of how well working remote  has turned out.”

Mike Voories - Chief Operating Officer, Brilar

“I think you need to have a routine and schedule. Whatever it is, if you start working at 7:00 AM, you start working at 7:00 AM. Eat lunch at 12:00, that type of thing. I think it gives it more of a work feel, more of a professional feel. I think when you get a little too relaxed at home, that's when performance can slow.”

Jim Wertz -  President, Jim Wertz Consulting

“People are either working from home, or sitting at home doing nothing. Ask for referrals and feedback. Customers have more time than ever to give you referrals, Google reviews, and testimonials. Take advantage of it.” 

 

 

Mike Voories - Chief Operating Officer, Brilar

“We're not having as many conversations with buyers right now, but we are still able to plant a lot of seeds. We're still making those phone calls. We're still sending emails. We're still connecting with people on LinkedIn. And we might not be proposing work for them right now, but at least we're staying in front of them.” 

Zech Strauser - Founder & President, Strauser Nature's Helpers

“If you asked me 10 days ago, I thought I was going to have to retreat a bit. But once reality hits you, you say, "No, no, no, I have to double down." We might've had a job that we thought we were going to do in two months, but now just became a priority because they do want to move forward. And the people we thought we were going to do now might get pushed back to later. So I think there's going to be some of that rotation too. It's not necessarily that we lost the work and we won't do it. It just may be at a different time this year.”

Michelle Myers - Founder & CEO, Pink Callers

“Have the technology and processes in place for when a new customer calls, you're able to do an estimate, give them a price, and get them on the schedule immediately. That's really where we're seeing companies thrive, when they have that technology and those tools in place.”

Jim Wertz -  President, Jim Wertz Consulting

"There's nothing wrong with asking your customers for a little help because people are people. Most people are willing to help you out if you need it. I'm not saying beg for it, but you’re allowed to acknowledge it’s a hard time, and you’d love to help a customer with a project." 

 

 

Mike Voories - Chief Operating Officer, Brilar

“If we're going to continue to argue for our service to be essential and if we're going to continue to put our people in the field, the very last thing I want to have happen is for them to get sick or make this entire virus situation worse because we acted irresponsibly.

We've actually created a 19 or 20 page COVID-19 workplace guidelines manual. Our safety team and our human resources team worked really hard on this to communicate new measures to our employees.” 

Zech Strauser - Founder & President, Strauser Nature's Helpers

“It's pretty amazing what we've been able to pull off. Our industry is just in a really good spot to implement safety measures because we work outdoors. It's really neat to be able to see a clean truck the way I always wanted them. I think we're getting to cleanliness level that is going to be the new normal” 

Jim Wertz -  President, Jim Wertz Consulting

“A lot of the guys that I work with are not huge companies. They're 5, 6, 10, 12 man crews, that type thing. But they are implementing policies like cleaning the trucks, limiting the number of people in the trucks, and social distancing during meetings. Any company of any size can do these measures.” 

Michelle Myers - Founder & CEO, Pink Callers

“I've seen a good idea of sanitary checklists that crew leads can use for their truck. The crew lead is able to manage all that is done to ensure the truck is clean.” 

 

 

Jim Wertz -  President, Jim Wertz Consulting

“Connect with your customers. People want to hear from you. They want communication. That's what they're looking for. The more successful business owners I know of are good at communication.” 

Michelle Myers - Founder & CEO, Pink Callers

"I think that doing advertising right now on Facebook is great. It's really inexpensive and a different way to be in front of your customer. And then having somebody there to answer the phone, answer those emails, continue to nurture that relationship is very important at this time. And we just see admin and admin support as a really integral part of that process.” 

Zech Strauser - Founder & President, Strauser Nature's Helpers

“Our social media strategy and outreach has changed. It's not a time to try to polish and advertise. I think it's more of a time for reality. We've all heard reality sells and problems sell. We're going to be interviewing our crew leaders so our customers can see the challenges that our team is facing and not just paint this picture that everything's fine.” 

Mike Voories - Chief Operating Officer, Brilar

"We’re focusing on the customer. We offer free tips. We offer some knowledge. We offer some education without directly trying to sell. But we talk about what's important to them because as much as it stings us as business owners, customers don't care about our business as much as we do.” 


To watch the entire recording of this webinar, click here.

To learn how SingleOps is helping green industry professionals run their business digitally during COVID-19. Get a personalized demo here.

 

Tags: business growth, communication, landscaping, thoughtleadership, COVID-19

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