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WORKING FROM HOME – A SILVER LINING

With the COVID-19 pandemic seeing many pest managers stuck at home, Joanne George from Corteva suggests that it is an ideal time to improve and update your web presence and product knowledge. 

Every cloud has a silver lining. Some of course can be harder to find than others, but they are there if you look hard enough. COVID-19 has had far-reaching implications for every aspect of our lives. But how can you turn it into a silver lining for your business? Many homeowners are working from home, with very little time away from their homes, so they need to stay connected electronically. Now is the ideal time to reach out to them.

Ensure your website is up to date. Upload current images of your staff, so homeowners can see who you are and feel comfortable in having you attend their home. Even having photos of your office and/or vehicles helps people identify you; they will be more comfortable calling you if they’ve seen your van or ute in their area. Check your contact details are correct and include both an email and phone contact; many people do not like filling out web forms, so give customers multiple means of connecting with you. Many sites include a geographical range, which can help people determine if you service their area.

Ensure your product information is up to date. Linking to a supplier’s website ensures this occurs, but if the supplier changes the name of any file, the link is lost. Spending some time ensuring all links are working is worthwhile. While you’re switching between your and your supplier’s website, see if there’s anything new on their website that you can add to yours. The Sentricon website hosts numerous educational videos, PDFs of documents and photos that you can use to bolster your website. Having this information on your website gives your customer the confidence that you know and understand the products you will be using, and gives them the opportunity to also research the various products to feel confident in the choice they make moving forward.

Now that you have your website operating as it should, it is the perfect time to draw up a marketing plan. Think about your geographical spread and who your customers are in that area. What other customers are out there that you have yet to reach? We know that 73% of Australians have never had a termite inspection,1 so how will you convince them that now is the time to check for the world’s most insidious insect? Knowing the demographics of your area will help ensure you develop a message that resonates with your audience.

For instance, Victoria has never been a hotspot for termite attacks, and yet with ageing houses and more homes being built into bushland, the threat of termite attack around Melbourne is increasing every year.2 With many established homeowners in this area, it is an ideal time to hit them with some facts about termites, which they may never have heard before.

Pull together a plan that may include printed ads in local papers, radio bursts and social media. The Sentricon website has a host of infographics that are free for you to use within your own business. Just add your details around the infographic to create a powerful push to get customers to call you. These have been extremely successful to date, with one Facebook campaign receiving 1,400 hits in just one week. Not bad for no financial outlay.

Finally, use this time to ensure you and your staff are trained in every product that you use. Contact your suppliers if they do not offer online learning, to see what they offer. It couldn’t be easier to learn with Sentricon. Simply go to learning.corteva.com and hit the ‘sign up’ button on the bottom right of the white box. This gives you access to all of our learning courses, including one on managing a small business. This area of our website is only available to pest managers and hosts a range of resources to help you build your business with Sentricon.

Stay safe and hang it there while this virus passes; use this time effectively and if we can help you in any way, please get in touch.

Joanne George, Professional Pest Business Manager, Corteva Agriscience

1 Cookson, L. J. and Trajstman, A.C. Termite survey and hazard mapping. Clayton, Victoria: CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products; 2002. Technical report 137.

2 Cookson and Trajstman, 2002.