The COVID-19 pandemic has upended how people around the globe go about their lives. Businesses face a particular challenge adapting to new and ever-changing norms and laws. If you run a business, it is important to remain aware of current restrictions and the status of cases in your area, as well as take responsible measures to protect both your staff and customers.
Require Mask Wearing
Whether or not to wear masks has been a topic of intense debate since the beginning of this pandemic, but now both the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend wearing masks where six feet of distance cannot be kept between people, especially indoors. Facial coverings in public may be the law in your area. Even if it is not, your business can require masks for entry to better safeguard the health of your customers and employees. People will feel safer and more comfortable doing business with you if you are clearly taking reasonable precautions to keep everyone safe, so requiring masks is to your advantage.
Accommodate Social Distancing
Another way you can and should adapt your business during the COVID-19 pandemic is to create physical space to accommodate social distancing. This simply means making it easier for patrons and customers to keep a physical distance from each other, with the current recommendation being 6 feet apart due to the understood nature of how this virus is transmitted. For example, restaurants may be able to operate at limited capacity by keeping some tables out of service. Other stores can limit capacity to a certain number of shoppers. At checkout lines, you can place markers on the floor for how far apart customers should stand from one another. You can even look into modern office furniture that was designed to aid in social distancing.
Consider Work From Home Options
If it is possible for your employees to work from home, they have already likely been doing so. However, as restrictions lift and people are allowed to come back into the office, consider retaining work from home options. These have extensive benefits, especially now. The most obvious benefit is by allowing people to remain home and stay away from each other, your business is helping curb the spread of the virus. However, allowing your employees to work from home is an effective cost-saving measure for you, as you will have less overhead costs. Many employees also enjoy working from home and skipping the commute, so it is a valuable employee perk to offer as well.
Provide Cleaning Supplies And Personal Protection Equipment
Your employees will want assurances that it is safe to come back to work for you. Obtaining, using and requiring the use of personal protective equipment, as well as cleaning surfaces more frequently, is the answer. Items to have on hand include plenty of hand soap to encourage hand washing, hand sanitizer, disposable masks and cleaning supplies such as wet wipes and disinfectants. Ideally, you can supply these items to your customers as well as your employees, but your employees need to come first in the event of a shortage or untenable cost of these items.
Start Facilitating Online And Curbside Pickup Orders
If your business has primarily operated as an in-person storefront, you have likely been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. One way you can continue to make sales while facing government-mandated shutdowns and wary customers is to shift to fulfilling orders through curbside pickup. Customers can simply place these orders online or over the phone and then come pick them up at your business. An employee will then need to bring the items out to the customer. Another way you can adapt is by opening or expanding your online store. It is fairly simple and low cost to open an online storefront, particularly with services such as Shopify. Be certain to take detailed stock photos of the items you sell and write detailed product descriptions that entice customers to make a purchase. You will also have to consider shipping services and obtain necessary shipping supplies. Compare your options to discover which ones will best suit your business’s needs.
Your business can still operate safely and effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic. Doing so will require adhering to common sense measures as well as engaging in some creative thinking. This is a challenging time for businesses, but there are ways you can adapt and sustain your company.