Two months ago, we didn’t have any idea when or even if re-opening our doors was a possibility. Now that day has arrived, and businesses across the country are making plans for re-launching. In light of these unprecedented events, here are four tips for re-opening your business post-COVID.
Four Tips to Re-Open Your Business Post-COVID
Tip #1: Employee and Customer Safety
Just because restrictions are being lifted and businesses are able to open their doors does not mean that social distancing recommendations will go by the wayside. If anything, they will be even more important now. Not only to ensure the safety of your employees but to leave your customers feeling safe as well. Some things to consider:
- Limit the number of people in the building at one time
- Re-arrange the physical space to meet social distancing guidelines
- If your business is in the retail sector, consider the traffic flow as consumers browse and rearrange as necessary to help consumers be able to keep to social distancing guidelines
- Have employees, and customers, wear masks and have ample hand sanitizer available. Regularly clean all surfaces consumers and employees touch and encourage employees to wash their hands regularly.
Tip #2: Be Creative on Scheduling
We’ve all just participated in the greatest work experiment in history, and with some surprising results. Businesses have seen that you can have teams in different locations and still function in the same capacity. This is not necessarily the case for retail locations who rely on in-person interactions. With that in mind, flexibility will still be the name of the game.
Schools are still closed, and much of life has not returned to normal. Enabling things like split-shifts, maintaining remote work options when feasible, and giving employees empathy and understanding when family needs arise can be critical to keeping both your employees and consumers safe, helping your efforts to keep employees and customers safe as you begin re-opening your business post-COVID.
Tip #3: Revisit Your Business Model
What worked prior to Covid-19 may not work after. Even though it seems like the last thing you would want to do when things are already in upheaval, it could be what helps your business survive in the longterm. Marilyn Landis, CEO of Basic Business Concepts, suggests you ask yourself these three questions:
- What should your business model be when you come out of this?
- Is your current business model viable? If so, how can you hang on until it’s viable again?
- Are there ways you can pivot all of your expertise into a better revenue stream?
Or to be even more concise, you need to look at what you sell, who you sell it to, and how you get it to your consumer.
Tip #4: Evaluate Local Programs
While federal support such as the Payment Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program gaining the most recognition, additional resources could be available from local economic groups and community development options. Inc. has pulled together several trackers related to small business supports available at this time. Check out their financial assistance and grant program trackers. Also, check with your local chamber of commerce.
What tools do you need to successfully re-open?
This question is highly dependent on what you plan to do with your employee and talent strategy post-COVID. If you plan to make working at home a permanent strategy, you will need to take a good look at your current telecommunications solution. Forwarding to cell phones is a great short term business continuity strategy, but can your employee call your customer back without divulging their personal cell phone information? This could create hesitancy on your employees to return phone calls. What about a video conferencing strategy? In fully remote situations, employees can sometimes feel disconnected, even if they are highly more productive and satisfied in their jobs. Video conferencing can help remove this disconnect and aid in building that team spirit.
Whatever your strategy, the choice is yours to make. If Unified Communications is one that you would like to explore, we would love to help. Check out a few of these pieces to see if UC is right for you, and we hope that the re-opening of your business post-COVID goes well.
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