How do you open your business after the COVID-19 lockdown? How do you go about preparing for that moment when the all-clear is sounded? What steps should be taken to ensure that we’re ready to open our business again? Is my workforce prepared to handle things as smoothly as possible?
These are the most common questions that are haunting every business person nowadays. The COVID-19 lockdown has wreaked financial havoc all around the globe, leaving many small-business owners struggling in its wake.
According to a survey conducted by NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business), 92% of small business owners have suffered from adverse effects on their business due to the pandemic. On the other hand, only 5% of small-business owners said they didn’t experience any effect of the epidemic at all.
The government has initiated the opening process in different phrases along with several safety guidelines that must be heeded by everyone. However, still, many factors make this task difficult for business owners to navigate because the safety guidelines issued by the government may differ from state to state or country to country.
Therefore, companies with several locations across the world need to stay up to date on the various guidelines. Most of the businesses may have worked perfectly fine pre-COVID-19. But nowadays, coming out of the corona crisis may mean that you have to do some real hard work to fine-tune your business.
Suppose you don’t have any better plan for coronavirus exit. Then, this guide can help you to get your business back on track.
#1 Workspace Changes and Hygiene
We all need to continue to follow social distancing rules even after businesses reopen. For the businesses like hotels, restaurants, pubs, and cafes, there may be restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather at a time in one space or how close people can remain next to each.
If you have a business in which workers need to maintain an office environment, then think about the workspace changes that you may make to accommodate social distancing, whether it’s a change in the placement of desks in an office, tables in a restaurant, or how customer displays are set up. From now, you should start planning better social distancing at your workplace for all employees and customers.
#2 Avoid Cash Transactions if Possible
Cash is the fastest and most convenient mode of payment in normal conditions, but under COVID-19 restrictions, it is the most problematic. Due to safety and hygiene purposes, many local and small business have temporarily outlawed cash transactions. As a result, they may receive a negative investigation from most local governments.
However, if you are deciding to or forced by the law to accept cash payments, then below-mentioned tips can help reduce the risk of transmission of disease:
- You may ask your customers to place coins and bills into a dedicated tray or on the counter for the sanitization process, rather than handing them to the cashier directly.
- You must train your employees to put any change back on the counter or the tray after proper sanitisation. Always avoid handing money directly to the customers.
- All the surfaces should be adequately cleaned after every cash transaction.
- Always consider separating each cash counting counter with dividers. And also make sure that your staff members are using protective gloves, masks, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) when dealing with cash.
#3 Keep Accurate Customer Records to Help in Tracking Any COVID-19 Breakouts
Many businesses in several countries may be required to keep proper data of their customers. The data will be including contact information, address, along with some other information for more accurate tracking of any COVID-19 outbreaks.
In the future, we may see some regulation that will stand up to legal investigation against this step. However, if your state requires such measures, then it becomes your duty to inform your customers about this protocol in a way that helps them to understand the need to maintain personal health.
To reach your customers, you may use email marketing software, a text notification system, social media channels, or any mode of communication. That can help you to get in touch with customers to inform them that, for the time being, this is a requirement for your business to remain in operation.
#4 Virtual Meeting Rooms
The decision of lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic has caused various issues for everyone, including companies. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, everyone is advised to follow social distancing, but nobody knows how long we need to do so.
However, if you are in a business that requires meeting people in person but you also want to follow social distancing as per the instructions of WHO, then you can conduct your meetings on online platforms such as Google Meet, Discord, and Zoom.
Zoom is famous for collecting and selling users’ data for money to third parties, Google Meet requires a stable high-speed internet, and Discord’s free servers aren’t capable of bearing average usage load. If you still have to host an urgent meeting with several clients, then you can still host your meeting online by boosting your Discord servers with a Nitro subscription.
On the internet, many group video calling options are readily available. Therefore, many people get confused and can’t judge whether Discord Nitro is worth trying or a waste of money. But when you have to host a meeting with several clients at the same time without compromising with your privacy, then Discord is an option on which you can rely.
Work From Home Where Possible
Where possible, employees should be encouraged to work from home as this precautionary step will reduce contact with other members of staff. Overnight accommodation that meets social distancing rules should be made available when an employee is required to stay away from their home.