Adapting Your Business for Success
This has been an unusual year all around, but the impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses is especially potent. Some businesses closed forever, some were open with new restrictions in place, and some were shut down for a while and are beginning to open back up. No matter what your specific situation, it has become apparent that in order to survive in the world of business, adaptations need to be made in order to be successful. Here are a few that you can implement in your business if you are thinking about reopening and don’t know where to begin.
When considering opening back up, you first need to think about the physical layout of your store. Larger physical barriers can help encourage people to practice social distancing and direct the flow of traffic in your business. Physical barriers can also help to stop the spread of air particles and germs when people interact – like at checkout or reception.
It is also a good idea to make handwashing more accessible to customers and your employees. Increasing the handwashing stations or adding hand sanitizing stations is one way that can help minimize the spread of germs in your store.
If your physical layout has a configuration to allow for people to sit down or congregate in some way, you should rearrange furniture to ensure that it can be done with social distancing. You can help encourage social distancing with the layout of chairs, tables, or desks.
You can also improve the ventilation system in your building. COVID-19 and other germs are easily spread through the air. If your ventilation system effectively filters the indoor air and circulates outside air into the building, then the risk of catching an illness is lessened. You may only need to make small changes to your current system in order to make your air circulation safer.
You will also need to monitor the capacity of your building to make sure that there is enough room for people to practice safe social distancing. You should examine your normal occupancy levels and the space and configuration of your store to figure out how many people can safely be in your building at one time. Most people are already aware of the restrictions and guidelines to follow, but it is still a good idea to offer a reminder in the form of posted warnings and instructions to customers.
If possible, you may want to look into having some of your staff work from home. While this is not possible for some businesses, other businesses have transitioned to having a partial at-home workforce with great success. Modifications like meetings via video conferencing and online productivity and collaboration tools like Asana are great ways to coordinate a work team when people are not working in the same space.
You can also look for ways you can outsource some parts of your business. Using virtual services will help you minimize the number of people that need to be at the office in order for it to function. It will also free up time that your employees can use on other tasks instead of ones that can be done elsewhere.
More than ever, a good marketing strategy is essential for success in business. With so many people staying home, the exposure to your business and some physical forms of advertising is going down. It is also less likely a person will come to your store unless they need to if you are not taking a proactive approach.
Creating a recognizable brand so your customers will instantly think of you in certain situations and recognize your products if they see them is important. When you have an established brand, your current customers are also more likely to recommend your business to their friends.
Update Policies and Procedures
You will also need to update your policies and procedures to reflect the current situation. You should have employee health screenings each day by taking temperatures upon arrival to try to catch asymptomatic people before they can spread the illness.
You should also take safety measures by requiring everyone in the building to wear face masks and sanitize everything regularly during the day. If everyone is wearing a mask, then transmission of illness is greatly reduced. Sanitizing surfaces, especially those that are touched often, is the best way to kill germs and keep everyone safe.
If your business allows for it, consider staggering shifts, so there are not as many people in the building at the same time. This still allows for the same amount of work to be done but also limits exposure. It is also a good precaution to take if someone does test positive and some of your employees have to quarantine for two weeks.
Categories: Outside Contributors