It’s been a very challenging year. Coronavirus has been a nightmare for businesses and brought the world economy to a halt. Most companies were affected, but things were toughest for small businesses. Many had to close their doors and a majority have suffered irreparable losses.
The good news is that lockdowns are slowly starting to lift. People have started to go out again, which means it’s time to re-open your business. But as you are probably aware, things are just not the same as they used to be. It’s not like returning from a vacation. Small business owners are finding challenges that they’ve never faced before.
Because it’s a matter of life and death, you need to implement safety measures, but you don’t need to be intimidated. To make things easier for you, we have listed some of the most important things you need to keep in mind while you are making your plans to reopen. Continue reading to learn more.
Safety for Your Employees
Running a business is a team effort. You have to be able to depend on your employees to make your business run smoothly. So ensuring the safety of your employees should be your first priority. Moreover, if you don’t ensure the full safety of your employees, they might not want to come to work.
First and foremost, you need to establish a cleaning routine. A clean workplace is essential, now more than ever, when lives could depend on it, The workplace should be cleaned at least twice a day.
This might sound like too much, but it’s necessary to ensure safety. And it will be easier if you have a vacuum cleaner. If you don’t have one in your workplace, it’s high time you get one. You can find Tom Bradly’s recommendations online for the best vacuum cleaners for small shops.
While you clean, make sure to pay special attention to high touch areas, things that many people come in contact with. Door knobs, counters, light switches, desks, tables, handles, keyboards, remote controls, faucets, elevators, and landline phones are the things you need to be extra careful with. Due to coronavirus, you need to add one extra step to your cleaning routine, which is to sanitize or disinfect the area. You can spray it with disinfecting sprays or use disinfecting wipes or liquids.
Provide Safety Equipment
The next thing you should consider is to provide your employees with proper safety equipment. Face masks and hand gloves are the least you can do. However, the best option is always personal protective equipment or PPE. It gives you complete protection against foreign particles. But because the world is going through a PPE crisis, businesses are discouraged to order them in massive quantities.
Be sure to have an adequate amount in hand, but don’t go overboard with it. Remember other organizations might need it more than you do. So be mindful about using them.
Next, you can consider conducting wellness checks on your employees. Infrared thermometers are capable of giving exact temperature readings almost every time without making any physical contact.
Before COVID-19, many employees didn’t hesitate to come in to work even when they didn’t feel well. This is no longer acceptable. You should consider making your sick leave policies more flexible so your employees won’t feel obligated to come to work when they are sick. Moreover, you should try to maintain regular contact with them so you are aware anytime they or someone in their family gets sick.
Introduce New Rules
If you are following the above steps, you are already making progress in ensuring safety. However, there are a few more things to ensure there are no weak links in your safety system. An important step is to implement a rule of “no mask, no service.” This is something that is recommended for every business. If you want your employees and customers to be safe, you will need to be strict about this.
The next rule you need to introduce is the social distancing of at least six feet. This can be a bit challenging to follow in stores and malls, as these places tend to be crowded. To implement this rule, you might need to rearrange your workplace so there is plenty of space for people to stand at least six feet apart.
Businesses all around the world have made these changes. For instance, many stores have made all their aisles one way. Restaurants have halved the tables they used to serve, and public service spots have marked lengths of six feet on the ground. Depending on your business, you might need to make a few changes like this. If you have checkout areas or counters, it is highly recommended that you install plastic guards in these areas to avoid direct contact with the customers.
Communication is key when it comes to attracting customers. Because the lockdowns have just started to lift, not every business has reopened. So when you reopen, the first thing you need to do is to communicate with your customers and let them know that you are open for service.
A good way to communicate is through regular emails letting your customers know when you will be open. Don’t forget to mention all the safety measures you are taking so they feel safe to visit you.
The steps mentioned above are absolute musts if you are planning to reopen your business. It might seem like a lot of work, but this is the only way to deal with the new normal. Apart from these, you should also work on your online and delivery services. As more people than ever are using online services, making this sector strong will give you a second stream of revenue.