This week, our team is jumping on video meetings, making shopping lists, and rearranging our locations trying to figure out how we are going to responsibly open our doors on May 4th.
After Governor Abbott gave some businesses permission to reopen starting May 1st (retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls first), many of these businesses are wondering how to restructure their normal operations to follow the 25% capacity rule.
As we begin this first phase to reopen the state, we can’t expect everything to go back to normal. If we don’t responsibly reopen our businesses, we risk increasing the number of coronavirus cases (and lives) and going back to quarantine.
If you are wondering what you should implement as your new normal, here are some changes we are making that can give you some ideas.
Develop a Health and Safety Policy
If you don’t already have a Health and Safety Policy in place, now is a great time to create one. A Health & Safety Policy clearly states what your company intends to do for the health and safety of your employees and customers.
It also commits your community to comply with this policy and keep each other safe.
(VenturePoint’s Health and Safety Policy)
Use signage as reminders
Now that you have a policy in place and you have defined what you’re asking of your customers and employees, place signage around your facilities as reminders.
If you’re asking your customer or employees to wear masks, make sure you have proper signage. Not only does this serve as a reminder, but it also makes it clear to those that are not familiar with your policy the rules they need to follow to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
Rearrange for social distancing
Rearrange furniture to make it easier for your customers and employees to maintain social distance (6 ft).
For us, this requires limiting the number of chairs available on tables or meeting rooms and removing furniture so you can pass others comfortably.
Assess your facilities and consider what should be removed or modified before you open your doors.
Consider making activities contactless, like contactless payments or payments online.
Making other activities contactless, like opening doors, for example, can get pretty expensive. Consider cleaning and sanitizing touchpoints often throughout the day like door handles, faucets, tables, chair armrests, etc.
Protect your staff
Your customers may come and go from your facilities, but your staff is there all day. You can protect them by providing essentials like hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, gloves, and face-masks.
We are setting up clear acrylic shields at our reception areas to protect our staff and including hospital-grade disinfecting on our cleaning routines.
Also, encourage them to stay home if they’re feeling sick. This will protect not only them but your customers as well.
What can you offer your customers that can help them stay at home?
Restaurants are relying heavily on curbside pick-up and deliveries to encourage people to stay home. Gyms are providing online training. We are offering business owners virtual services like virtual assistants and live answering so they can continue growing their business online.
How can you help your customers during this crisis?
Our main concern is not when we are going to open but how. We want to do so without posing a risk to another person’s health or life. Keep in mind that small businesses serve our communities and the rules and policies they’re placing are meant to keep our communities and families safe.
If you have any other tips on how your business is responding to this phase, we would love to hear from you! Connect with us through social media or send us an email at email@example.com.
Keep washing your hands!