This is an unprecedented time we’re living in as we react to the coronavirus pandemic, and it raises a lot of questions. Below, we’ve rounded up the most commonly asked questions about COVID-19 from auto recon businesses, along with answers to help you survive and thrive.
Are detailers in my area considered essential? Do I need to close my auto shop?
In most states, only essential businesses are allowed to remain open. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published this memo to help define what is essential and critical to the American workforce. “Auto supply”, “auto repair”, and “automotive parts” are considered essential services in some cities under shelter-in-place orders.
If you think you fall under one of these categories, you may be allowed to stay open. However, it’s best to double check with your local authority and get clarity before you make a decision. Contact your city or state’s department of commerce to be sure of where you fall.
Can my auto recon business go mobile?
Regulations and mandates vary state by state, so make sure you are following the law by staying updated on local news. Find your state and local health department websites for the latest on the COVID-19 situation in your area.
How can I keep in touch with customers at this time?
Regardless of whether you’re open or closed, it’s crucial to maintain contact with your customers so that they remain informed. The first step is writing a business response plan. If you’ve not done that yet, you can follow our guide to writing a business response plan for COVID-19 here.
You’ll then want to share your plan – along with any other updates – via your website, your social media channels, and signage at your auto shop. For a detailed breakdown of all the ways of keeping in touch with your customers throughout the pandemic, see our article here.
What financial resources are available to me and where can I find the links?
There are many financial resources available to help your auto recon business during this challenging time. We did a round-up here.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history and one of the main ways you can get financial help. Learn how it could benefit your business and how you can take advantage of it in our article.
How can I cover the cost of my employees who are currently out of work?
One of the most talked about parts of the CARES Act is the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP was created to help small businesses (of 500 employees or less) keep their employees employed and on the payroll during the coronavirus pandemic.
The PPP is backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide capital to cover the cost of retaining employees. The SBA offers loan forgiveness if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. There are no SBA fees and there is no personal guarantee or collateral required.
To read more about the CARES Act, visit the SBA website. Or for a detailed insight into how the act affects auto recon specifically, read our article: How Your Business Can Take Advantage of the CARES Act.
What can I do to keep up revenue streams during this time?
Depending on whether you can remain open or closed will determine your options on maintaining cash flow. We wrote a post with creative ways to keep up revenue streams during downtime here.
Now is also a good time to think about ensuring the future of your business. We wrote some marketing tips for auto recon during COVID-19 here.
What can I do to grow my auto recon business while I’m closed?
While your auto recon business is closed, there are still actions you can take now to future-proof and even grow your business. Our main goal at Mobile Tech RX is to help your business thrive, even when the economy isn’t. So we’ve collated a dedicated list of resources and guidance to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic on our website.
Now is the perfect time to assess the more administrative aspects of your business that may take a back seat in ordinary circumstances. You should take a detailed look at your finances and make a plan for how you will ride out the storm. Read our guide on financial planning in times of uncertainty here.
It’s also worth looking at your marketing strategy, so that you can come out on top when the pandemic is over. Read our tips on how you can effectively promote your auto recon business during COVID-19 here.
Mobile Tech RX is also offering free analytics for the month of April, so that you can make informed decisions for your business going forward. Click here to learn how you can take advantage.
When can I re-open my auto shop?
Again, regulations about when your auto recon business can re-open will be dependent on where you’re located.
Follow local news and find your state and local health department websites to stay updated on the COVID-19 situation in your area.
What measures of precaution should I take to not risk getting infected?
As per the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one of the most effective steps you can take to prevent getting sick is frequent (and thorough) hand washing. The CDC website also has lots of other helpful information on how to prevent it, common symptoms of the coronavirus, and what you should do if you feel sick.
Wearing a mask, latex gloves, and maintaining a distance of 6 feet, where possible, will also lower your risk.
The U.S. Department of Labor has guidelines for workplace safety and additional information about what protections workers and employers have under the Family and Medical Leave Act and Fair Labor Standards Act.
Should I be re-structuring detailing offerings and packages around COVID-19?
There may well be an increased demand for interior details when you reopen. It’s worth thinking about how you will adapt your service offerings and packages to cater to your customers with concerns. Share the steps you will be taking to ensure the safety of yourself, your staff, and your shop. Follow guidance from the CDC on how you can offer services to disinfect or kill coronavirus.
For more answers to your questions about COVID-19 and information on how to protect your auto recon business during this time, visit our COVID-19 Resources Page. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to support you and your business.