In three weeks, 101 recorded U.S. cases of COVID-19 ballooned to more than 33,000. As of April 2, the country has more than 217,000 confirmed cases—more than any other single country. Streets are empty, businesses are closed. People can’t go to work, or congregate too closely. One in five Americans have been ordered to stay home, according to reporting from The New York Times. Goldman Sachs projects the country’s GDP will drop 24% next quarter as a result. That would be the worst GDP drop in U.S. history, by a lot.
The outbreak’s impact on everyday normalcy in the U.S. is unprecedented, as is it’s impact on the remodeling industry. There’s no guide for how to navigate a remodeling business through a global pandemic the scale that we’re experiencing. With that in mind, we’ve reached out to a number of remodelers and industry organizations to get a better understanding of how COVID-19 has impacted their markets and how they’re responding as a result.
We will be publishing their responses in a series of posts that will extend the length of the crisis, however long that proves to be.
Responses come from Vince Nardo, president of Reborn Cabinets.
How has COVID-19 impacted your market and your business?
We have seen a sharp decline in inbound leads. The good news is the leads and appointments we are running are converting at a much higher rate than before. Our installations have also been affected, due to city shutdowns for inspections and clients not being receptive to installation.
Also, all of our face-to-face marketing has come to a halt, and SFI programs (Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Costco) have likewise stopped any in store marketing.
Have you had to make any budget adjustments?
Revenue for the next 90 days has been adjusted. Using our backlog, we have spread out our revenue into the next 90 days. We are not exactly sure we can accurately budget new sales so we have set our 90 day revenue plan on the backlog we know we have. This ensures we have a somewhat guaranteed income stream to support the business until we see some bounce back to the new norm. No one is quite sure exactly what this new norm might look like.
Has your staff size been affected?
Our staff has been resized to meet our new revenue plan. It was a difficult decision, but one that is necessary to ensure the survival of the company. As a result, we have had to make significant staffing cuts, some are layoffs and others have been temporarily furloughed.
What changes to selling and appointments have you made?
We have implemented virtual selling, for one. It has already been rolled out through marketing so customers that are not comfortable with an in-home visit can elect to have a virtual visit. As we continue to see the results or challenges with this program, we are adjusting swiftly.
We have also rolled out virtual live events for prospective clients. Maximizing on the already successful “Learn from the Pros” workshops that we have been consistently doing, we are taking them virtual as a response to the quarantining. Our showrooms have been closed to walk-in traffic and for those clients that want to visit, we are scheduling one on one appointments with a designer.
Vince Nardo is the president of Reborn Cabinets.