Right now, governors in most states are trying to answer the unanswerable: which restrictions should be lifted, and when?  If they move too fast, there’s a good chance everything will get shut down again.  If they move too slow, millions of people will needlessly lose their jobs.

As a business owner, those decisions around reopening your state will have a big impact on your business.  But as a painting contractor, individual business and customer decisions in your community will matter even more.

People will make their own decisions about what’s safe.  Some people are trying to return to their lives already.  A much larger number, however, are likely to be more cautious than whatever their state enables them to do.

It boils down to this – if a person isn’t going back to work, they might not feel safe having a painting contractor in their house, either.  And even if they didn’t mind, they may not have the money to pay you for your work.

As soon as the “official” lockdowns end, business owners will be waiting to see what their customers do.  When will people decide to get back out and live their lives?  That depends on if the virus stops spreading or picks back up again.

Nobody knows where the number of infections are going to go in the next couple of months, but here are three factors to consider as you try to forecast your revenue for the rest of 2020.

More new confirmed cases doesn’t necessarily mean there are more new cases.

More than 90,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United Statex.  It’s clearly extremely dangerous.  But it’s not dangerous to everyone who gets it.  In fact, 25% to 50% of people who got Covid didn’t even know they were sick.  Those people certainly didn’t get a test.

In the early days, the only people who got a test were people who showed up at the hospital, struggling to breathe.  There just weren’t enough tests for anyone else.  That means there were no mild or moderate cases of Covid being confirmed.

Now there are more tests, and more people are getting tested each week.  We are confirming moderate cases, and some places are confirming mild cases.  This is going to lead to more confirmed cases – but it doesn’t mean that more people are getting Covid.  There are just more people being tested.

Any good analysis of what’s happening in your state won’t just throw out some large number of new cases.  It will also consider what percentage of people being tested are positive for coronavirus, which will hopefully be going down every week.

We don’t know the tipping point.

The reason we’re opening in phases is that we don’t know what activities are going to lead to a breakout.  Otherwise, we’d just ban those activities and open everything else up.

One article recently claimed that indoor spread is fairly unlikely, while another said talking for one second can emit enough particles to infect someone, and they stay in the air for 14 minutes.

We just don’t know what, if anything, is going to send the new case number skyrocketing.

Bouncing back and forth between a mostly opened economy and a mostly closed one would be miserable.  But there’s a chance that it could happen, causing more uncertainty for your business.  There are plenty of restrictions to be lifted between now and schools opening, and any of them could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

None of this is black and white

If most businesses are closed in your state, it probably feels like someone flipped a light switch.  In a week’s time, you probably went from a full painting schedule to having plenty of openings, and you probably aren’t making any money.

As many businesses open back up, however, they’re learning that their customers aren’t as excited about having people in their home as they were before this all started.

As long as people aren’t resuming their normal lives, businesses will be impacted.  Whoever the biggest employers are in your town, it’s going to affect you if they aren’t open.  Whether that company’s employees are your customers, or your customers’ customers, it’s going to impact how much money people around town have to spend.

The good news is that, no matter what the impact is, you can make decisions now that will help you for the rest of 2020.  You may need to make quick changes to your expenses or payroll as your local economy changes from week to week or month to month.

The most important thing is to take the steps you need to take to make sure your employees avoid becoming a statistic while they’re working.  Painting contractors that are thorough in planning (and executing) ways to keep their employees and customers protected are less likely to be associated with a Covid epidemic. That is especially important when you are working on-site for your customers.

Spread to customers or other employees would be terrible news, even if the infected person had few or no symptoms.  While a work-from-home order has been devastating to many small businesses across the country, a local reputation as “the Covid painter” would be far, far worse.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your business earn more business through a strong web presence, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.