As you plan to reopen your business in a different world, it may feel as though you’re replacing one set of uncertainties with another. But you can set your business up for success by focusing on the elements you can control.
Follow these six tips to help safeguard your employees, your customers and your business to encourage safety and health as states loosen restrictions.
- Be safety conscious. Keep the physical safety of your employees and your customers, patients or clients at the forefront of your planning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance for businesses and workplaces seeking to reopen safely, as has the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Be sure to also follow any state or local requirements that may apply.
Go above and beyond to maintain cleaning and social distancing standards. The easier you make it for everyone in your workspace to practice cleanliness and stay socially distanced from one another, the safer they are likely to feel—and the sooner you can return to something like normal operations.
Consider rearranging desks or minimizing the number of staff on site if space is limited. Provide the necessary supplies and protective equipment required for keeping workstations clean. Share clear instructions with your clientele, as well, including markers to help them stay six feet apart. Provide easy access to hand sanitizer and masks in common areas. And communicate with your customers how often you disinfect areas of the business they come in contact with, such as door handles, registers or waiting rooms.
Stay flexible. Even as social distancing recommendations loosen, comfort levels will vary from person to person. If you’ve successfully implemented remote appointments or curbside or takeout options, keep them going.
You may not be able to open at 100% capacity for some time, so it may be worth experimenting to find the best mix of virtual and physical operations for your business. If you haven’t expanded your business virtually, now may be the time to see if that is an option.
- Keep adapting. As the public health situation continues to change, so will the needs of employees and your clientele. Prepare for both short- and long-term business needs, including financing and inventory. If you haven’t already developed contingency plans for a potential return to quarantine or to more restrictive social distancing measures, do so now.
- Pay attention to cybersecurity. If your short-term solutions for telecommuting are likely to become more permanent, review and shore up your cybersecurity protocols. Be particularly vigilant about how employees handle sensitive data. Remind both employees and customers, patients or clients to be on the lookout for potentially fraudulent emails or other attempts to hijack sensitive personal information.
- Communicate clearly and frequently. Don’t assume your clientele know about your reopening plans or the extent of your efforts to keep them safe. Tell them what you’re doing. Solicit feedback about how they would like to see your business evolve or how they might want you to serve them differently. Then, consider what it would take to make those changes.
As you prepare your business for what’s next, consult your state’s official reopening plan. You can find it via the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which maintains up-to-date reopening guidance on a state-by-state basis.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial product or service. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Please consult with the professionals of your choice to discuss your situation.