The COVID pandemic has caused businesses to think differently and can provide the opportunity to innovate and explore new business growth opportunities.

As a slower pest season approaches, the pandemic has seen many in the industry branching out and taking up new growth opportunities in order to boost income during the downturn.

At Rapid Solutions, we believe now is the ideal time to prepare by optimising your potential. In the last issue of PPM, we saw how some pest businesses had diversified into cleaning and I think this is worth another mention. Expanding business activities into cleaning can provide a terriffic income boost. It can also broaden your client base, building new connections for ongoing business.

During the past three months, we’ve received well over 100 enquiries on providing cover for cleaning. If you’re thinking of taking this step, it’s important that you first protect your business before taking the leap. Contact your insurer about adding cleaning to your professional indemnity and general liability insurance.

Rapid Solutions can provide advice such as how to include the right paperwork disclaimers so you’re not held responsible for potential COVID-19 contamination. We also advise you don’t cut corners, otherwise you can easily end up with a claim on your hands.

Pest businesses should be using this time to improve their technological nous too. With the limitations of social distancing, technology is a business game changer. It not only facilitates working from home, it connects family, friends, customers, business partners and more.

Australians are increasingly becoming adept at connecting, communicating and collaborating via online tools such as Facebook Messenger and Zoom. Are you upskilling too? The technology you incorporate now can improve your business future.

All businesses affected by the pandemic should also think about financial incentives – not only tapping into the government incentives provided to help small businesses who have lost work as a result of the lockdowns, but also in creating incentive programs for customers.

If you’ve not explored government support for businesses do so ASAP by logging onto business.gov.au. Any financial assistance helps, and this includes industry rewards programs.

Assisting yourself in this way can be straightforward – many businesses have upped their income ante by offering incentives to stakeholders who bring clientele. This could mean setting up a referral arrangement whereby you provide a commission to another business owner who refers a customer to you for work. For pesties, this might be a real estate agency, home maintenance business or construction company.

Another opportunity is using others’ programs to increase your supplementary income. Keep your eye out for businesses you know offering cash or other incentives to send clients to them, e.g. ‘refer a friend/colleague/industry peer and receive $XX’.

Building a program yourself is fairly simple – set goals, plan communications, identify referral sources, determine incentives then kick o and track progress. As for others’ programs, ask around and scan external business and personal communications. Watch for news from Rapid Solutions in this space in the near future.

In the meantime if you have questions about your insurance or business activities during these unprecedented times, make sure to get in touch. We’re here to help.

Belinda Smith, CEO, Rapid Solutions