Spring is finally here, and so is the mowing season in most areas.
Every year brings its share of obstacles and hardships. But this year we are facing an unprecedented one. The Coronavirus has forced social distancing and shut down many non-essential businesses in the United States and across the world. Today we look at how your lawn care business can continue to operate and safely navigate the Coronavirus outbreak.
Clean And Sanitize Often, Coronavirus Lives On Surfaces
Coronavirus is a highly infectious disease. One of the hardest parts of containing it is the fact that you could go days without knowing you even have it, continuing to infect those you come in contact with.
A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the virus can be detectable in aerosols for up to three hours. Worse than that, the virus can live up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
Every tool that is used in the green industry is made up of some combination of those materials. There are a few practices you can put into place to negate this, though.
Assign tools to individuals daily. Doing this prevents someone else using the same device and potentially spreading the virus. When shifts are over, have someone clean them all with sanitizing wipes or spray, killing whatever germs were left behind. Don’t forget the vehicles and trailers that get used as well.
And while we’re talking about sanitizing, I think it goes without saying that everyone should be thoroughly washing their hands as many times a day as they can. Simple hygiene routines do wonders against this disease.
Minimize Contact Through Social Distancing
Social distancing is an effective way for us to combat the spread of COVID-19 and slow the inundation of our medical facilities. We in the lawn care industry can practice this in several ways.
First, minimize the number of people on each crew. At most, it’s advised to have no more than two workers on a crew. This process will help create distance while traveling in vehicles together. While traveling, weather permitting, leave the windows down to allow fresh air to circulate.
Next, we should practice social distancing with our customers as well. Reach out to each customer the day before to ensure that they still want the job done. Most people still want to keep as much of a routine as possible, but some might want to wait until this pandemic calms down. Any communication while on the property should happen through a phone conversation, again minimizing face-to-face interactions.
Lastly, ask the customer to pay their bills remotely. Using lawn care management software like CLIPitc allows your customers to pay through the online portal. Setting up Card Connect is a simple and easy process. Check out our quick video about the process here.
If You’re Sick, Stay At Home
Our businesses are essential to our lively hoods, so having employees miss days due to being sick can be frustrating. Many times the paycheck is just as important to those employees, and they’ll try to work through common colds.
The Coronavirus has forced us to reconsider how we handle being sick and working. Not only should you be concerned with your health, but just as importantly, be concerned about spreading the virus to others who might be more at risk.
When employees are showing symptoms of Coronavirus, do the right thing, and require them to go home and get tested. If your company gives sick days, encourage them to use as much as they need, and follow self-quarantine guidelines. Be prepared for some employees to be upset with this policy, but it’s your job to protect your employees’ health and wellbeing.
Talk with your staff and urge them to use precautions if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19. Having to reschedule a few jobs now will have less impact than allowing them to continue working, which puts your entire operation at risk, along with your customers.
Stay Vigilant And We’ll All Make It Through
This is a tough time for the world, our country, and us as individuals. The National Association of Landscape Professionals(NALP) keeps its website updated with information about regulations and guidance surrounding Coronavirus as best they can. CLIP Software has dedicated our Instagram page to keeping everyone informed about their state mandates as well. Every state has its own executive orders that are being issued, so be sure to know what’s happening in your state.
While we might have to take a few more precautions than usual, business should move forward relatively unaffected for those in the green industry. Reassure your employees and your customers that you are there for them in this difficult time.
Together, we have an opportunity to provide some much-needed stability and routine back into a crazy time in history. Happy mowing, and stay safe!