Dealing With the Coronavirus as an Electrical Contractor
One month ago, everything seemed normal. Now, life seems anything but normal.
Pro sports leagues are shut down. Business are not only closing, but going out-of-business. And while most states with stay-at-home orders have allowed contractors to keep doing business, that doesn’t mean that business is booming.
As a contractor, your day-to-day has probably changed in a variety of ways. We want to address those changes in this post and talk to you about what we’re doing to make sure you get your supplies when you need them.
Customers and Contracts Are Slowing Down
In reality, doing electrical work in someone’s home or a commercial building doesn’t take much human interaction. In most cases, you have a phone conversation with the client, find out what issues they’re having or what they want you to install, and then come up with a plan before you get to the property.
Once you’re there, you don’t necessarily need to talk to anyone doing your work. In that sense, the work you’re doing hasn’t changed all that much, especially if you work alone.
However, even though you may do low-risk work, homeowners and business owners are pulling back from new projects, are slow to pay on current projects, or can’t come up with the money for completed projects.
And, as they make decisions based on their dwindling income, you lose out.
According to the latest unemployment numbers from the Labor Department, more than 10 million people have filed for unemployment in the past two weeks. The hardest-hit states are:
- North Carolina
- New Hampshire
If you live in one of those states, there’s a good chance you’ve had to lay off workers or know someone who has.
Your Workers Are Hesitant
The pandemic presents some really difficult decision for a lot of contractors like yourself. Even though many electricians can get there work done with little human-to-human contact, that doesn’t mean every job requires one person. If you’re running a bigger company, you’ve likely got bigger contracts. And bigger contracts mean you need to send multiple people out to one job site.
Your team may be dealing with their own fears about working alongside someone who could be carrying coronavirus. As much as they need to work and as much as they want to work, they also worried about getting sick.
This results in a few new scenarios. First, there’s a good chance your team is going to be distracted, and distraction can lead to mistakes. Second, your team is likely looking to you for reassurance. They may be capable of handling nearly everything life throws at them, but what we’re dealing with right now is unprecedented.
So, our advice is to remain positive, give your workers protective gear (if available), be clear on your expectations for hygiene and, if someone comes down with an illness, do everything you can to ensure you protect the team from exposure.
Your Distributors Are Disappearing
Let’s say you’ve been lucky enough to keep your business open and you’re still getting contracts and getting paid. You’re in a very fortunate position. However, you could find yourself in a situation where your distributors can’t follow through on orders that are vital to your business.
Under normal circumstances, you could work with your contacts within the distribution company to resolve the situation. Or, in some cases, you may switch distributors altogether. However, the current times don’t always allow that.
Companies are cutting hours, having people work from home and limiting the availability of customer support. So, if you put an order in and a delivery date is off or you don’t receive everything in your invoice, it may be extremely difficult to get the company to fix the issue. And, the longer you wait, the more frustrated your clients will get. In times like these, you want to know that your distributors will come through for you so that you can come through for your customers.
EnergyAvenue Is Here to Stay, Day-in and Day-out
We’ve been in business for decades and, through that experience, we’ve learned to handle all the ups and downs. While we’ve never encountered something like the coronavirus before, we have the resolve to continue the customer service and reliability that makes us a company you can count on.
As we all fight through this difficult time, we can offer you the following promises:
When you’re under a lot of stress, you need clear, consistent communication from your distributors. Our lighting and electrical concierge team is standing by to answer your questions, process your orders and work out a shipping time that meets your needs.
Our phone lines are open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST Monday through Friday. For nearly 12 hours a day, you can give us a call with any questions you have
We’ve also got a live chat feature on our website that will connect you with our team in a matter of seconds.
The last thing you want to do is call a distributor or go to their website only to find that the product you need is out of stock. You’ll be happy to know that we’ve got a five-acre warehouse that’s full of inventory from all the familiar names: RAB, Leviton, Sylvania, Soraa and more. At any given time—and even in these times—we’ve got between $5 million and $7 million of lighting and electrical SKUs that are ready to ship.
We’re Here to Help
Our ability to communicate with you when you need orders or have questions is crucial to your daily success. We’re in the business of solving your problems, not creating them. And because we’ve got a warehouse full of product, you don’t have to lose sleep (literally) about whether or not your order will ship and be delivered on time.
These two key aspects of our business are what make us one of the nation’s leading electrical distributors. But, more importantly, EnergyAvenue gives you the one thing that seems to be rare these days: a steady hand, a sterling reputation and a team of professionals who are unwavering in their commitment to your success.
Give our sales department a call at 800-482-030, or send us a message through our Contact Us page.