Even though construction is considered essential work in most states, many construction companies are still affected as projects are postponed, canceled, or halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is uncertain how long stay-in-place orders will last or what the construction industry will look like when things return to normal.
If you have been closed for a while and are working toward getting your company back up and running, you should start thinking about a marketing message to announce your return. This message is going to look different for each company, but here are some things to consider:
A safe environment. Many people will still be reluctant to go out or have a contractor work on their home or project. Having safety measures in place can ease the fears of potential clients who need your service. The health and safety of your employees and clients should be your highest priority.
A strong workforce. Clients do not want projects to go on forever. Promoting a strong workforce that is skilled and efficient can help the client feel confident the work will be completed correctly and on schedule.
No supply disruption. Supply chain interruptions can be a problem in any crisis. If your competition is struggling in this area, promoting an in-house supply of equipment or materials can help assure customers their project will not be delayed.
Here are a few things you can do now that will help you get back on your feet later:
Stay in touch with your clients. Keeping communication open with your clients will help reinforce that they are a priority to you. You may want to reach out to discuss previously submitted quotes, services you can provide, or any other topics of interest.
Keep in contact with your employees. If you had to lay off some of your employees, try to stay in touch. Make sure they know they are valued, you are concerned for their welfare, and the company is trying to bring them back to work as soon as possible.
Keep in touch with your banker. Many contractors have a line of revolving credit with their bank. Many of these lines of credit can be called in with short notice. Communicating with your banker and providing updates on projects can help your personal banker feel more comfortable with your account.
If a project you are working on is temporarily or permanently suspended, there are some things you may want to consider before completely demobilizing:
Do a thorough walk-through with all project participants and carefully document your work performed and the percentage of work completed with each scheduled activity. This detailed report should be issued to pertinent project participants for their review, comments, and acceptance.
Accurately capture the actual as-built conditions at the time work stops. You should not rely on the schedule, which can be inefficient in showing the most recent work performed.
Visually document job progress using photos and videos. This documentation can help with future completion plans, resolving disputes or discrepancies that may arise, and proving job status if damage were to occur during shut down.
At Acuity, we understand the construction industry and are here to help our contractor insureds. Knowing your workload and staffing may fluctuate throughout the year, we offer AcuitySmartPay, a pay-as-you-go program that allows our customers to pay less premium when business is slow and more when it is up.
We also provide exclusive online educational materials to our customers, including videos, loss prevention articles, toolbox talks, and more. This may be a great time for additional safety training for your employees.
As Acuity’s Construction Consultant, my services are free to Acuity policyholders. With nearly 40 years of construction industry experience, I enjoy connecting with contractors and helping them succeed.
At Acuity, we are here for you as we all adjust during these unprecedented times.
This article was written by Acuity Insurance’s Construction Specialist, John Lack. For more construction business tips visit: acuity.com/contractor-focus.