Pro Panel: You’ve Got the Money, Now What? Part 2 | Coronavirus Update May 18th

Pro Panel: You’ve Got the Money, Now What? Part 2 | Coronavirus Update May 18th

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Posted by Ian H., President

May 19, 2020

May 18, 2020 update quick update


Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard

is reporting 4,782,215 confirmed cases, 317,566 deaths and 1,776,388 recovered globally.

 1,504,386 million US cases and 90,194 deaths and 272,265 recovered as of 2:32pm on May 18.

Brazil is now

#4 in the world

in terms of total incidence, with 241,080 confirmed cases. Additionally,


surpassed China over the weekend to reach #12 in the world in terms of total incidence, with 92,273 cases. 

The epidemics in Canada, Singapore, Sweden, and the United States appear to be slowing. 


is allowing most businesses to reopen, with social distancing measures in place, including higher-risk settings such as bars, hairdressers, and churches. 



With Memorial Day weekend approaching, US states continue to announce and implement plans to ease social distancing measures. 

Last week,

New York


New Jersey



, and


laid out plans to begin resuming some aspects of society. Notably, the

4 states will begin opening some beaches

in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is

expected to announce

the initial steps to relax statewide social distancing measures. 

 Kentucky is scheduled to

lift its “travel ban”


reopen most state parks

this week ahead of Memorial Day weekend. 


is also set to begin

resuming operations

at non-essential businesses and state parks this week.

Recent Updates to PPP and EIDL

On May 13th,

the US Department of Treasury (USDT) issued an update

about what businesses can expect regarding the enforcement of and repayment of PPP loans. 

Here are the two biggest changes that impact home service companies:

  1. Seasonal businesses that were approved for PPP loans can apply for more money.

  1. Businesses with loans under $2 million will not need to prove financial hardship.

To make sure that bigger businesses are not taking advantage of the program, the SBA and Department of Treasury will be reviewing all loans over $2 million. 

This means small businesses won’t have to worry about a federal audit; however, you will still be responsible to submit documentation to the lending institution you received the loan through, and you’ll need to prove that you used the funding for qualifying expenses. 

Additionally, there is still some PPP money available from Round 2 of Congressional relief, so if you haven’t yet applied and still need the money,

do so immediately

. There was approximately $90 billion remaining as of May 6, largely because most loans in this second round have been much smaller than in Round 1 and many larger companies have returned their loans.

You will likely have better luck receiving a loan by applying through a smaller community bank as opposed to a large national bank.

Frequent questions we’ve heard:

Do I have to use at least 75% of the PPP loan on payroll?

Yes, for better or for worse, the intent of the PPP program was to keep workers on the payroll and off unemployment. While business groups and associations are lobbying to reduce the percentage used on payroll to 50%, you can’t count on that and should assume the status quo. For complete forgiveness, ensure you are using at least 75% of the funds on payroll.

If I laid off workers, do I need to rehire the same employees to meet the payroll requirement?

No. Your bank will not check to see if you hired the same employee back, but simply that your payroll amount is the same or greater than the 2019 average upon which the loan amount was based. 

Do I need to hire the same position or keep employees in the same jobs?

No. Again, your lender will be looking at the amount you spent on payroll, not who fills what job. Just note that the position must be a full-time employee and not a contractor in order to count towards forgiveness. 

What if I don’t use the funds for payroll or rent, utilities, or interest payments?

While many groups are lobbying to change the allocations for how the funds should be used, it is best to assume those rules will not change. The borrower is certifying on the PPP loan application that they will use at least 75% on payroll and the other 25% on rent, utilities, and interest payments. So, if you do not use the funds accordingly, it will raise questions from your lender and potentially from the SBA and Treasury as well, something that you do want to avoid.

And what about the EIDL Economic Injury Disaster Loans?

The EIDL program is still processing applications already received. However, the SBA announced on May 4 they are not accepting any new applications except from agricultural companies. The EIDL grant program was reduced from $10,000 per company to $1,000 per employee up to 10 employees. This grant is an advance on any potential loan and does not have to be repaid. The EIDL loan must be repaid over up to a 30-year term at 3.75% interest for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits, with a one-year deferment on the first payment.

May 18 Topic: Pro Panel - you’ve got the money, now what PT 2


Special Guests: Shaunna Huffman Brown and Mike Flowers

    • Shauna Brown is the co-owner of AirTex Heating and Cooling in Lubbock, TX. They have 5 people in their company. She is an all-star Superpro, Lady Pro and a Pro Leader. 

    • Mike Flowers is the owner of M&M Handyman Services. He’s been in business since December 1998! He is also a Superpro and very active in our online communities.

  • Briefly take us through a timeline of your business experience from before COVID, at the start, what the last 2 months have looked like at a glance and the current state (

    NOTE: we will dive into the last two sections during this interview so no need to go too in depth


    • Shauna: We are in West Texas, and it felt like Coronavirus was folding in on us from both a work and family perspective. Started in 2012 part-time but they are a new business, really only 3 years full time. Implemented HCP last year, and it has set the foundation to be organized and prepared for Coronavirus. Got the PPP funding and have leveraged the HCP community to make referrals to each other. 

    • Mike: Most of what he has learned has been from Housecall Pro’s Coronavirus Series, brought his business to a place he never thought they would be. Started in 1998 on his own, in 2014 his sons were laid off and he brought them onboard and business started taking off. Then, Coronavirus hit and it has effected his business but he is so pumped for the future. He survived in 2014 but now flash forward to 2020 and he is thriving planning for the future. 

  • Did you apply for SBA loan, EIDL, PPP? How have you used the respective funds?

    • Shauna:

      • If you struggled getting one of these loans, the takeaway is the importance of developing a strong relationship with your banker. We have a phenomenal relationship with our banker and when these came out, he actually called us first. We have both an accountant and bookkeeper, and we positioned ourselves to outsource these since we weren’t good at them, and our bookkeeper and accountant put together our application for us which made it very little work and minimal stress. 

      • We were in the midst of hiring and we had to put that on hold but the phone did not ring for three weeks. The day we got the PPP loan, we made the hire. 

      • Intentional about building strategic partnerships

    • Mike:

      • He didn’t go after the PPP loan because he brought his team on as 1099 contractors, not W-2 employees

      • He is rethinking this and all new hires will be W-2 employees going forward.

      • Got $50,000 from the EIDL as a single employee, to invest in 2 new vans and will wrap them. 

  • How have you innovated during this time?

    • Mike:

      • His employees are perfectionists but also very scared. They refused to work out of fear of their health and safety. Really dialed down on finances. The calls slowed down but he still had customers wanting work done.

        Started to screen customers using the HCP template

        prior to doing any work and that really impressed customers. 

      • He took a hard look at his financials, the phone isn’t ringing as much but it still is. He tracks job cost, profitability, and average job value. He has limited resources, so he has to focus on those things with highest returns and cross off the things with low margins. Increased prices 10-15%. They are still getting jobs and the average ticket size per job has increased. 

      • Quick handyman, low margin jobs, are important for customer retention because this is how he establishes the relationship and though not doing it today, once this is over he will start doing those again. 

      • Utilized selective pricing and pricing power to i crease margin and average ticket size

    • Shauna: 

      • In HVAC, financing is huge, more so now than ever because people don’t have the money to pay for a new expensive unit right now.

      • They have implemented financing options for riskier customers, those that have been declined by other financing options.

      • Provide portable AC units to their customers, which is especially crucial right now since people are stuck at home, even if they can’t afford a new HVAC unit. 

        • This creates a lifetime value in that customer

  • What have you been doing differently in terms of marketing or operations?

    • Mike:

      • The key for him has been focusing on margins

      • Researched some new products which have higher margins, such as retractable screens and awnings and is focusing on these in his idle time

      • With the new vans he is buying, will be wrapping them

      • Committed to SEM and Facebook marketing as well as newspaper ads

    • Shauna:

      • Letting her customers know that they are open for business

      • Looking at how they can cut unnecessary expenses

      • Being present on social media, and share business posts personally so broader community is aware of what they are doing

      • Focused on Instagram and Facebook, though finding more success with Facebook.

      • Has become really vocal in the local Facebook groups for recommendations by recommending other businesses and they then recommend us.

      • Google Business Page- updated this with open for business and posting there more frequently because looking at the

      • Sending out referral postcards to customers

      • Guerilla Marketing

        book is great

      • Started a YouTube page with the idea that they will educate their customers who are at home right now and they can become educated on what we do. 

  • What do the next 30 days look like for you? What about the next 90?

    • Mike:

      • In the process of working with two new sales people to push the new high margin products

      • Needs to generate leads quickly which is why he spend on marketing which starts the ads June 1

      • Transparent pricing has helped his handyman business, but in the window shades world, it seems that no one practices this

      • Virtual estimates are the new world for him. Customers are liking these and he has had great interaction and he gets to charge a premium price because they feel part of the family

        • This allows him to spend 30 minutes and really qualify the customer opposed to an hour drive plus the 30 minutes with the customer

    • Shauna:

      • Looking at past 2 year budget and are projecting next year based on past 2 years

      • Working to get her husband out of the field and grow his sales skills

      • Stopped saying estimates or quotes and now calls them options

      • There is an audience out there that wants virtual estimates and online booking, but you don’t know it is there until you leverage them

        • Virtual estimates will save so much time while filling your funnel inexpensively and these customers tend to be a less price-conscious customer too.

      • Captive audience in front of screens, so looking for ways to plant seeds to build awareness

      • What can you do in the community to get awareness and be featured on local news without paying for it?

  • The importance of having a 30-60-90 Day Playbook

    • 4 parts

      • Set yourself up for success in the future

      • Get Organized (financial order) taxes, legal, cashflow

      • People / Operations 

      • Sales and Marketing - connect with your customer (current and future)

    • Access the Template


  • What is one thing you recommend to the audience to do tomorrow morning?

    • Mike:

      • Find that thing that you can do for the customer to fix their problem before I actually fix their problem

    • Shauna:

      • Go try something that you aren’t doing right now that you have heard from these broadcasts

      • If you aren’t doing virtual estimates,  start doing them

      • Don’t be afraid to try it

Don’t Forget to Join Us Online

Don’t forget to join your regional meetup and learn more about how to navigate this crazy time, with marketing, sales and operations tips. 

Network with other professionals in your area and receive a $15 Grub Hub gift card, just for participating. Register today! 

Keep Your Industry an Essential Service

We’re making it easy to write to your government representatives and send them a letter urging them to classify your industry as an essential service during this time of uncertainty.


Legal disclaimer

Housecall Pro is offering the Coronavirus Evening Update for Home Service Businesses for informational purposes only and to foster thoughtful communication and discussion regarding the COVID-19 pandemic; Housecall Pro is not offering advisory services or otherwise advising or representing any members of the group invited to participate.  Housecall Pro is not offering legal, medical or other professional advice in the Coronavirus Evening Update and makes no representations or warranties regarding the content of the Coronavirus Evening Update.  Participants should obtain independent advice relating to their businesses and their particular circumstances.


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