We may not know when things will be going back to normal, even now that a Covid vaccine is on the horizon, but we can plan ahead for when the time comes to reopen our businesses.
This is called scenario planning – also known as ‘hoping for the best but planning for the worst’ – and it’s very valuable. Not only does it make you feel better in the short term, but it also allows you to act more effectively if that time does come in the future.
While reopening as normal may still be a few weeks or months away, there is a lot of logistics to think about due to the safety measures you will need to implement. To help you plan for this, here is a useful checklist so that you can reopen your business safely when the time comes.
6 areas you need to cover to reopen your business safely
Do we have a plan to reopen with ‘social distancing’ in place when our business is legally allowed to?
- Do we have a supply of hand sanitiser available for all entrances and exits used by staff and customers?
- Can these sanitisers be fixed in place to minimise theft?
- Have we done a deep clean of our premises
- Do we have a supply of face masks for staff? If possible, will they be branded?
- Have we worked out how to minimise the risk to staff by introducing social distancing wherever possible? E.g. spacing out seating, staggering shift times or rotas, placing visual markers where queues form to help people socially distance?
Do we have a plan to re-engage with staff who have been furloughed?
- Are they physically able to return to work? And on what basis?
- What hours do we need them to work? And does this require formal HR assistance if there is a major impact on their working hours or contract?
- What training will they need to be safe and competent in doing their job?
- Will they need to be reskilled or reassigned? And how will this happen?
Have we forecasted the impact of social distancing on our business?
- Reduced demand and capacity?
- Cash flow? Turnover? Profit?
- Resource requirements?
- Parents of school-age children may still need to be at home with their children?
Have we identified ways to reduce the need for customers to physically be on our premises?
- Telephone and/or internet orders?
- Photos or videos of our products/services on our website?
- Deliveries to customer homes?
- Click and collect?
Have we done a risk assessment and implemented recommendations to minimise the risk to our staff?
- How to reduce contact in our offices and premises?
- Increased cleaning of all surfaces?
- Education and training to staff on how they will play their part to keep everyone safe?
Have we identified ways to increase demand for our business’s services or products whilst still remaining ‘COVID-19’ secure?
- New products or services which will be in demand?
- Different ways of delivering the service or fulfilling the order or demand?
- New channels to market? E.g. direct to consumers?