Navigating the Reopening of Your Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the United States both medically and financially. Numerous states have actually started to relax their lockdowns. It stays to be seen what effect reopening will have on the number of cases, however it’s a financial advantage to the owners of little and medium-sized companies.

That stated, how do you reopen? What can you do to keep your staff members and customers safe? Is it sensible to reopen or should you wait? These are all concerns that loom big for entrepreneur.

So, let’s get into it. Here’s what you need to understand to browse the reopening of your business.

 

What Are the Key Factors To Consider for Reopening?

If your business remains in a state where reopening is an alternative, you’ll still need to think of the logistics of reopening before you decide to continue. Here are the key factors to consider:

  • Your state’s guidelines for reopening
  • The nature of your business
  • The safety of your staff members
  • The safety of your customers

State guidelines for reopening can differ extensively based upon a range of factors. You ought to check to ensure you understand your legal requirements. For instance, you might require to put social distancing markers in place or set up Plexiglas shields.

The nature of your business contributes also. If you can securely maintain social distancing in between employees and customers, it will be much easier to reopen than it would be if your employees will remain in direct contact with customers.

Obviously, the safety of everyone involved should be vital.

 

Prepare Your Office or Shop for Reopening

When you have actually chosen to reopen, it might be valuable to develop a list. You can utilize it to work through your state’s requirements and any extra preventative measures you’ve chosen to take. Here’s a standard list from the US Chamber of Commerce:

  • Make a strategy that includes suggestions from regional, state, and federal authorities. You can discover the CDC standards for companies here, and their cleansing and sanitation procedures here.
  • Purchase products and make any needed preparations. These might consist of adding social distancing markers on floors, setting up Plexiglas barriers to secure employees, and other procedures.
  • Completely disinfecting and sanitizing¬†all locations of your business.
  • Develop a sanitizing schedule. Frequently touched surface areas will require to be disinfected and sanitized a minimum of when a day?

Bear in mind that it’s your obligation as a business owner to develop a safe area for everyone who comes through your doors.

 

Prepare Your Employees for Reopening

The health and wellness of your employees should be an immediate concern when you reopen. Your communication with them should be clear and compassionate. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

  1. Interact with employees your objective to reopen.
  2. Identify vital employees and positions.
  3. If you have actually laid off employees and wish to rehire them, get in touch, and provide the option of returning.
  4. Understand that not all employees might wish to return or have the ability to return. For instance, employees who have hidden conditions that make them susceptible to COVID-19 or who share a space with a high-risk individual might not have the ability to work safely.
  5. Develop a sick policy that needs employees to stay at home if they are experiencing any signs of COVID-19 or have actually had direct contact with a contaminated individual.
  6. Let employees understand if their job requirements have actually altered. For instance, have your hours changed? Will they be required to handle cleaning obligations that vary from what they did prior to your closing?
  7. Put an emergency communication system in location, so you can let employees understand if they have actually been exposed to COVID-19 and what they should do if they experience symptoms.

The most essential thing is clear and continuous communication. It’s the very best method to guarantee that employees feel safe coming back to work.

 

Develop Customer Standards

When you have dealt with the requirements of your employees, the next action is considering your clients or customers. What do you need to do to keep them safe as you reopen? Here are some tips.

  1. Choose which safety precautions are needed for customers. These might consist of:
    1. Restricting occupancy
    2. Requiring customers to use masks
    3. Including hand sanitation stations near your entryway
    4. Marking social distancing guidelines on the floor– for instance, making shop lanes one-way and putting 6-foot guidelines near sales register
  2. Utilize your e-mail list or social networks pages to interact your brand-new consumer standards with your followers.
  3. Put procedures in place to impose standards. For instance, you might require to put an employee near the door to check for temperature, set up an occupancy tracker, or monitor customers while they are in your shop.
  4. Supply staff members with assistance to deal with complaints or refusal to comply with safety guidelines. Regrettably, it’s most likely that a few of your consumers will decline to do what you ask and it is necessary to support your employees and provide the tools they require to cope.

This is one circumstance where “the customer is always right” needs to take a back seat to your employees’ safety.

 

Monitor the Situation

Lastly, you’ll require to keep track of the situation as you reopen. It might be that a few of the standards you put in location require to be fine-tuned or adjusted to the reality of operating.

If you can’t reopen and have not yet gotten federal government help in the kind of a PPP loan, bear in mind that you can still do so. The application is on the SBA site, here, or you can apply through your bank or credit union.

You should also know that on June 3, 2020, Congress passed a PPP reform bill that enables business more time and freedom in how they spend PPP money. You can find the information here.

Reopening your business needs cautious preparation and attention to information. Provided you comply with the appropriate guidelines and focus on the safety of your employees and customers, you will have the ability to navigate the process effectively.

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