In the following article feature of R&R’s 2021 Restoration Industry Trends, PuroClean President and COO Steve White gives insight on how PuroClean learned to navigate and surpass the difficulties presented to businesses during the pandemic of 2020.
A Restorer’s Perspective
Amid a global pandemic and all that went with it, PuroClean soared to all-time highs, and we feel better positioned than ever for the future.
As we look to a new year, it is customary to look at the prior year in review and also look ahead to try to anticipate the new year, but who among us could have anticipated 2020 a year ago? I admit I never saw 2020 coming, and I also admit I am all too happy to see it go!
2020 was, of course, an enormously difficult year for us all. Difficult years usually mean significant change required to deal with a new set of circumstances, and that was certainly the case. Suddenly infectious disease training became more important than ever, as did more carefully following every procedure we developed, in anticipation of something like this happening. The definitions of common terms like “cleaned” and “sanitized” and “disinfected” became more important than ever before, and we had to become more precise in our language.
As COVID-19 reared its ugly head, the virus seemingly changing day by day as we learned more about it, we had to become more nimble so we could change and adapt to the constantly evolving situation. We had to research immediately and implement quickly. We had to learn new guidelines and communicate them promptly.
Fortunately, we have been working diligently on two big initiatives in our company in recent years: protocols and culture. The work done in these areas became critically important to us in this year of crisis.
Our new protocols were originally aimed at strengthening our response to major weather events so we could be a greater resource to those affected by them. As COVID-19 began to unfold, we made the decision to treat it like a storm that had come to every community in North America. We continued to refine and improve our protocols, eventually distilling them down into a set of guidelines we collectively call The PuroClean Way.
Our culture is an environment of servant leadership and active collaboration aimed at all becoming one team working together to build a world-class brand. That culture served us incredibly well. Franchisee and franchisor acted as one team to respond quickly and nimbly to the constantly evolving situation. Multiple franchises came together to take on large projects, further building our One Team concept. Perhaps most gratifying was the many stories of PuroClean franchises making time after a long day in PPE to serve their communities in ways like cleaning vehicles of medical professionals and first responders pro bono.
In the end, even with all the challenges 2020 presented us, it will go down as yet another record year for our brand. As a result, we feel battle-tested and stronger, and more unified than ever to take on whatever may lie ahead in 2021.
While we hope we eventually return to normal everyday life, we fully expect to see several new trends continue:
• There is a clear need to continue to move as much of the vital training and education required to be successful in our business as possible to quality online learning experiences.
• Marketing must find new ways to utilize technology to communicate valuable information while making it so compelling to our target audience; they are willing to make the effort to open it and view it.
• Working together as one team must continue as we have clearly seen; it makes us more valuable than the sum of our parts.
• Following procedures and guidelines carefully is more important than it has ever been, from choosing the right cleaning solutions and equipment to applying them in strict accordance with EPA & CDC guidelines, to mastering the protocols now known as The PuroClean Way.
In closing, we are very grateful to operate in an industry that provides critically needed services in a time of crisis and, while none of us ever wished for this crisis, our collective response to it gives us great confidence in our future.