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Ask the Experts: Industry Best Practices

Submit your own questions below and have them answered by industry leaders

Should we encourage and help our employees apply for Worker’s Comp for their lost work hours due to the COVID-19 social distancing mandates?

The short answer:  No. Every state is different, but I do not see how that situation would be covered by workers comp.  Workers comp would kick in if someone caught COVID 19 at work.  I suspect that would be difficult to prove. 

How do I best manage my capital to get through these difficult times?  

There are two critical financial goals that must be addressed; 1. Liquidity, and 2. The balance sheet

In simplest terms more liquidity the better (more cash flow) and less debt to revenue the better.

What if any suggestions might you or other sales professionals have for keeping the plan moving forward during this time of isolation and limited contact?

#1. Rationalize the sales pipeline, get verbals, build your wish list, and work it as best as possible

#2. Retain your clients by paying attention to them, knowing and working the budget, and ensuring delivery

#3.  Use incentives, price, and schedule to firm up the Autumn schedule.

#4.  Work from a monthly budget focused on sales, invoicing, and services delivered that you KNOW will happen.  Then properly size your crews - to the extent possible - so labor does not eat up your cash. 

If you are asking employees to use personal vehicles please share your thoughts on impact of this on them, clients and how you are reimbursing for mileage?

Each state has a mileage reimbursement rate. Using the rate, have mileage count begin when the employee arrives at the first job.  The foreman with the company truck then tracks the mileage count for the day.

This can be a positive impact for the employee since they are not in a cab with the crew, they are able to work, etc..

Also, the client will most likely appreciate the company is going the extra distance to be safe.

Do you suggest lowering prices during this pandemic?

It's not recommended to lower prices. Here’s why.  This is not a long term event requiring a rethinking of pricing for marketing purposes.  Of course if it were long term and there were significant reductions in overhead to reduce markups - then OK.  

Right now, work with customers to manage scope/services and thereby “save” them money in short term. At same time rework entire budgets for the year and into 2021 with a focus on “making up the effects of deferred maintenance” with increased enhancements 

Do not drop prices.  They take years to bring them back up.

If employees are working less than their routine number of hours per month instead of per week, is the employer still held to paying the 10 days of sick or extended family leave?

Concerning eligibility for the leave, the FFCRA (Families First Coronavirus Response Act) applies to both full time and part time employees so without further details they should still be eligible to receive it. The amount they would be eligible to receive would be determined by the hours they are working (full time vs part time). Known working hours would be needed to confirm.

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