Adapting your business to the new normal is necessary to keep it alive. The pandemic has been harsh and devastating to many businesses, both big and small. Some had to file for bankruptcy to survive, some had to close their doors. If you have survived and are now contemplating reopening your doors, congratulations. Not all were lucky enough to be in your situation right now.
However, operating a business in the new normal will mean stricter and firmer rules must be followed. Following health protocols, as prescribed by the CDC and WHO, as well as the local regulations imposed in your state, is a must. Adhering to protocols does not only mean you are abiding by the rules, but it also means that you value your customers’ safety.
Different businesses from different industries will also have varying means of addressing the needs of their customer base. You have to make dramatic, even drastic, changes to the way you do business to stay relevant not just in the short term but for a long while. Nobody can really say what the long-term impact of the pandemic will be. One thing is for sure, small businesses must stay innovative to be on top of their game.
Cleanliness and Sanitation Will Be Costlier
This does not mean that you did not take the cleanliness of business seriously before, but if you didn’t, you will surely do now. The CDC has established sanitation guidelines that business establishments should follow to ensure the safety of your employees and your patrons. Cleaning and sanitation costs will skyrocket for some businesses, especially those that rely heavily on face-to-face transactions. You may need to hire reliable commercial sanitation services to ensure that your business is CDC and EPA compliant.
You may also need to rearrange your office and establishment floor plan and layout to ensure that safe physical distancing protocols are being followed. Hand washing stations must also be set up to encourage everyone to wash their hands properly to keep the virus from spreading.
Make Contact Tracing Easier and Safer
Help in the efforts of the government in making contact tracing easier. Contact tracing is one of the ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Once a person is tested and becomes positive to the virus, all those who have come in contact with the person must be identified. They will have to undergo self-quarantine and be tested if necessary.
Contact tracing can be challenging especially if there is no system in place. You can make your business a safer workplace by having a safer contact tracing tool. Of course, the best way would be to keep employees who come to work at a minimum. Divide them into teams who will work in different time shifts. This way, if one employee gets sick in a certain team, the other teams will not be affected and your business may continue its operation.
You must also keep tabs on customers that come into your establishment. One of the safest ways to do this is via a contact tracing application. If you cannot do this, the manual method may do, but you will have to explain to your customers the need to collect their information. You must also assure them that their information is safe in your hands.
Lessen the Physical Contact Between Customer and Employees
To lessen the risks of physical contact between your employees and customers, update the way you do your business. Employ contactless payment to lessen the exchange of bills. Set up plastic shields between the cashier counter and paying customers.
You can also review the ordering and buying flow in your establishment and create less contact as much as possible. The adjustments may not be easy, but they are necessary and your employees and customers will thank you for it.
Going digital is probably one of the best and forward-thinking ways that you can do to adapt to the new normal. For one, it is safe. You reduce the need for face to face interactions, hence reducing the risks of contacting and spreading the disease. If your employees can work in a work-from-home set up with minimal disruptions on your operations, then gradually make the shift.
You can also serve your existing customer base online. E-commerce has taken an unprecedented rise in the past months. People prefer the convenience and safety that shopping online offers.
Taking your business online can be scary at first, but think about this: it will also allow you to reach more people than before. The internet is a vast place and the possibilities are endless. However, this does not mean that you have to close your physical store. By setting up an online platform, you are giving your customer base an option, reducing the number of people who will have to come to your store. Your store can still act as a place for your inventory and to serve walk-in customers as well.
Create an attractive website, establish a strong online presence, and reach a wider range of prospective audiences.
Setting up your business for the new normal is a must to ensure the safety of your business, people, and your loyal patrons. It will also help your business thrive despite the crisis.