Post Coronavirus: Reopening your Business

Many businesses throughout the world have been forced to shut down due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. While some stores are on the path of resuming operations, others, not so much. If you are one of the many businesses waiting to get the signal to reopen, this is the time to prepare for post coronavirus. To this end, we have put together a list of practical steps to take before you open your doors.

What to do before reopening your business post coronavirus

1. Gather Information regarding post-COVID 19 laws

Having access to the right information opens you up for appropriate planning, the government’s decision to reopen the economy would most likely vary from one location to the other. Be sure to stay informed and act within the law. This decision will most likely allow some industries to open before others. It is advisable to visit your local government website or give them a call to determine whether your store can do business again. Confirm dates and the measures you need to comply with. Easing lockdown will likely come with rules and new standards for how businesses need to operate post coronavirus. Be sure to rely on information from official sources e.g. (government websites) and trusted media platforms.

2. Approach 

Employees: List employees you need at the store, consider starting with a skeleton staff with the rest still working from home or schedule shifts with a point of sales software, confirm that employees are healthy enough to work and put policies in place to remind and enforce workplace safety. Finally, thank your employees for hanging in there and acknowledge the financial and mental stress the pandemic has caused.

Suppliers: Hopefully you have been communicating with your suppliers throughout the lockdown period. Remember your vendors are an important part of the team, so pick up conversations from where you left off. Establish how they have been affected by the pandemic. make plans for temporary supplies, and negotiate smaller scale orders or favorable rates. The idea is to start small and adjust your supplies as you go.

3. Preparing the Physical Store

Ensuring that all equipment, services, and utilities are ready for reopening is a key step when planning to reopen. Below is a checklist of what you should go over before the reopening:

  • Confirm all utilities are working perfectly. Call the maintenance man to fix the leaky faucet and change the faulty light bulb.
  • Renew expired internet connection.
  • If you have a security system (surveillance cameras, EAS systems) test all to be sure they are all still fully functioning and hasn’t been tampered with.
  • Check that your POS software and hardware are good to go.

4. Inventory Evaluation 

Evaluate your business positioning. Run a sales report to figure out items with high sales pre-lockdown. Check online search and social media trends to gauge what customers are into now. This way gives you an idea of what to promote as you plan to reopen post coronavirus.

Review your current inventory. Conduct a physical stock count to confirm what you have on paper/system corresponds to what’s in the store. This is to help you tweak and reposition where necessary. 

5. Communicate With Customers

The most efficient way of welcoming new and existing customers is by communicating your plans with them. It would likely take more than a “we are open” sign to get customers through the doors. This is because they probably are still hesitant about being out in public. Ramp up your marketing to generate interest bearing in mind that your customers spend more time online. Take advantage of this by sending out newsletters and updating your social media platforms, letting customers know you’re open for business, and assuring them of the utmost safety when they come into your store. You can show appreciation to your customers by launching a welcome back promotion or a newly added service. Also be sure to have a clean, fresh, and well-organized establishment ready to receive customers. 

6. Implement Covid-19 Safety Measures

As stated earlier take actionable steps to protect your staff and customers. Here are some measures you can implement below: 

  • Set up signs reminding customers of the approved safety measure by the government.
  • Incorporate the social distancing guidelines. Consider adding markers or tapes on the floor particularly close to the point of sales counter so people know where to stand in line, 
  • Provide employees with personal protective equipment to protect them from the possibility of contracting the virus.
  • Double up on cleaning and sanitizing high touch areas to reduce the spread of germs.
  • Keep the store from being overcrowded by allowing a certain number of people to come in per time.
  • Have enough hand sanitizers and wipes to clean their hands whenever they hold a shopping cart or basket in your store.
  • For the time being, you can adjust store hours. This eases the stress on employees and gives you time to clean and prepare the store for the next day.

 

In conclusion, customers’ and employees’ safety and health should be a priority. Do not disregard contingency plans, and keep the necessary measures in place to respond promptly to the circumstances as they unfold.  

No one has an exact timeline when directives for full ease on lockdown will be given, but it is never too early to prepare. Follow the steps outlined above to guide your effort as you prepare for the reopening of your business.