By Dusti Ondryas
There’s not a single person who hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic — we’ve all had to adjust the way we go about our lives and our work.
Local businesses — including service professionals — have felt the brunt of COVID-19 and are facing unprecedented challenges to keep their businesses running. Earlier this year, we surveyed close to 700 home-focused professionals to hear about their experiences and how they are adapting.
What pros are doing to keep their businesses going.
While some pros have been able to keep working throughout, others are starting back up and are making adjustments to maintain their businesses.
Kevin, an HVAC professional in South Florida, shared that he was initially planning to close his business when the pandemic started. But when he saw that customer demand was steady, he chose to remain open with a number of changes:
- He has all of his HVAC technicians wear N-100 masks and gloves while on the job. They wore gloves prior to COVID-19 but now they’re going through many more gloves than usual.
- He is asking all customers to stay 6 feet away from the technicians while they are working.
- His business discontinued installation services for indoor air quality improvement systems and air purification systems. That’s because this type of job requires the technician to work for an extended period in the home’s air handler unit, which is very dirty.
- In order to avoid handling cash or credit cards, he is requesting touchless electronic payment through sites like Zelle, Venmo or others.
Jonathon, a cleaning professional in Georgia, began offering different types of services after the pandemic began. While his business is focused on commercial janitorial services, he’s seen a drop in the recurrence of those types of jobs. In order to make up for for the lost revenue, he’s taken on additional work doing fogging, a more advanced way to disinfect buildings. As a result, Jonathan has been making more money per job.
How the pandemic has impacted pros’ businesses
In our survey, 65% of pros reported decreased revenue due to reduced consumer spending and health concerns.
Andres, a landscaping pro in Colorado said, “I’ve noticed that some customers are hesitant to invest in big ticket items. Recently a customer downsized the work they wanted our company to do by a couple thousand dollars.”
For many pros, the amount of work has increased during the pandemic as more people stay at home and need essential home repairs.
Jerry, a plumber in Texas shared, “COVID-19 has actually increased our business flow, at least for now. We are finding that people are stuck at home, and that means that old projects are coming to surface, now that they have more time on their hands.”
What pros expect to happen when pandemic conditions improve.
Our data shows many types of services are seeing an uptick in demand (like home projects and pets) while event services remain down.
Danielle, a photographer in Southern California shared that her calendar went from a full schedule of 30 upcoming bookings to zero. But, most of those bookings were just postponed, not cancelled. She is confident business will pick right back up.
“Growing up in Florida, and being around tropical storms and hurricanes taught me to always prepare for the worst and hope for the best through any challenge. We will all grow from this. COVID has changed us all. I hope we will now prosper even more and turn our sights to challenging ourselves and everyone around us to become better and stronger business owners and influencers.”
Dusti Ondryas is a member of Thumbtack’s pro community and loyalty team.