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A useful checklist for reopening your business after COVID-19

As many small and medium sized businesses across Europe begin to reopen their doors to their clientele or consider doing so in the near future, you as a business owner might need some help regrouping. 

This is why we’ve prepared a checklist of 8 steps you can take, based on Score’s advice, to help you get your business back on its feet in no time. 

For the essentials of what you need to do to get your business back up and running, keep reading below. 

1. Self-education

It’s important to stay abreast of national and local regulations for businesses as well as industry-specific guidelines.

You’re most likely to find these on your government or local government’s website dedicated to COVID-19.

If you are aware of your rights and obligations, you can proceed to reopen your business in a more informed way. 

2. Financial assessment

Your business’ financing is the lifeblood of your operations. That’s why you should consider creating a cash flow forecast that includes optimistic, pessimistic and realistic models. 

Once you’ve done this, consider ways of cutting expenses and adding new revenue streams for your business. 

You’re likely to face increased costs for sanitising and deep cleaning your business, so be prepared for those types of expenses. 

Your government is also likely to have offered some form of financial assistance to businesses and you should check whether you’re eligible to receive this. 

In the meantime, communication with your landlords, creditors, suppliers and other relevant stakeholders will be crucial for negotiating payments.

3. Fine-tune your business model

Your business model’s adjustment will depend on several factors. For example, if you did well during the coronavirus crisis, you may want to continue offering some of your new and improved services to your clientele. 

You should also make decisions related to your reopening – will you open in one go or will you open in incremental stages?

Your business operating times are the next factor to consider. Here, you may want to think about adjusting business hours or limiting the number of customers who may physically enter your store. 

As a final point under this subsection, double check your supply of essential items. This involves your regular inventory as well as supplies, and if you need to order backup, make sure your vendors are available to help you do this.

4. Implementing staffing measures

If you’re planning on opening your business incrementally, you should identify your staffing needs for each stage of your reopening. 

Find out if there are COVID-19 related employment laws that may affect your staff and staffing requirements. Once you’ve done this, make sure that these laws are reflected in your company’s policies and procedures. 

When you’ve got the legislation behind you, focus on your staff. Identify at-risk employees and create a plan for them as they gradually return to work. 

You should also create a crisis communication plan with your employees so that they’re on the same page as you going forward and are aware of their responsibilities in the workplace. 

Next, you will want to train your employees on new procedures related to cleaning and social distancing. For workers who are absent, consider cross-training employees to ensure you’ve got backup in place to continue operating optimally.

5. Invest in the hygiene of your workplace

Your workplace is where the nuts and bolts of your business operate. That’s why you should develop procedures for disinfecting and cleaning workplaces, surfaces and shared tools. Educating your employees on this is vital. 

Provide your staff with all the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) they may need. This may include face masks, gloves, sanitiser and others.

6. Apply social distancing measures

For the safety of both your clients and your employees, keep your employee workstations around 2 metres apart. Invest in acrylic barriers or use cubicle walls to limit contact. 

If your employees use shared workstations, try to eliminate this aspect in your business. If this is not possible, provide PPE and sanitiser to them. 

Videoconferencing or conference call technology should be used as much as possible to reduce the number of in-person meetings with all stakeholders. 

You should also consider staggering schedules so that fewer employees are present in your office or at your premises at any given time.

7. Establish health screenings

Educating your staff on the symptoms of COVID-19 is crucial for everyone to be involved in flattening the curve. 

Encourage employees who show signs of the disease to stay at home or seek medical help. 

8. Marketing, advertising and promoting your business

Marketing your business during and after a pandemic are important steps to take in ensuring the continuity of your business. 

That’s why keeping your website updated with the most recent information and hours of operation is critical. 

If you plan on reopening soon, create your marketing plan using social media, chat options, emails, blogs and other forms of communication. 

Finally, don’t forget to develop messages for your clients to assure them that you’re taking all the necessary steps to keep both them and your employees safe.

Tips on returning to the new normal

As you consider reopening your business, there are several aspects and factors that you may need to keep in mind and evaluate going forward.

With the 8 steps for reopening which we mentioned above, we believe that you will have more business continuity and success in carrying out your daily activities and operations.

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