The Coronavirus pandemic has kept thousands of businesses around the UK shut for months. However, with the number of COVID-19 cases slowly going down and the lockdown measures being eased, it is likely that the non-essential businesses will be allowed to re-open within the next month.
It won’t be business as usual though – there are some strict measures that businesses will be asked to take in order to minimise any health and safety risks for customers and employees. So, getting started with these preparations now will ensure a smooth return. Here are some of the things you can do to prepare for your return to business:
Strict hygiene measures
No matter what type of business you own, you will be asked to comply with the strict hygiene measures. You should ensure that all surfaces are disinfected regularly and that there is always access to soap and water or sanitiser. You should also have signs reminding your employees and customers of the importance of hygiene and how to reduce the risks.
You will also have to ensure that both your employees and your customers are social distancing. You can provide customers with online order/ takeaway options and contactless payments and deliveries. You should also have a managed entry system with signs that will keep customers two metres apart from each other when queuing.
As for your employees, you will likely have to work on lower capacity with fewer and only essential workers on shifts. You will also have to ensure that there is enough space to keep them 2 metres apart.
If one of your employees falls ill with the virus, you should be able to trace who that person had contact with. So, you should keep records of people that are working together and try not to mix them too much.
Providing protective equipment
Although it depends on the type of business, you may be required to provide your employees with protective equipment, such as masks, gloves or anything else. If you do need them, make sure you stock up on these items early on, before they become impossible to find with every business re-opening.
Plan the unexpected
The danger of catching the virus is still very much there and you need to be prepared for illnesses. Therefore, you should plan your actions in case any of your staff are unable to work – think about who is the most essential for your business operations and if there is anyone that can replace them if needed.
Additionally, have a plan on how you will respond to suspected infections. Educate your employees on what symptoms to look out for (cough, fever, sore throat and shortness of breath) and when they should stay at home.
Get your inventory ready
If you own a shop or a small restaurant, you are probably all out of inventory. Make sure you stock up everything you need before opening, so you are able to fully operate from day one.
Choose your priorities
The next couple of months after reopening will likely be very stressful for every business owner. There will be about a thousand things going on in your head. So, instead of juggling everything at once, choose the most important parts of your business to focus on during this busy time. It is always a good idea to outsource the non-essential parts of your business, such as accounting and payroll, and focus on what really needs your attention.
Prepare your employees
Communication is key, especially at times like these. Make sure your employees are aware of what is happening, any new rules or changes. Additionally, try to be honest with them about such things as cutting down their hours – this will only gain their respect and loyalty to you.
Keep up to date
Things are changing very quickly and no one is yet sure of what our lives will look like after the lockdown ends. It’s important to stay informed on all the latest Government updates that will provide you with guidance on when you can re-open and how to operate your business in a safe manner.
Get in touch…
Returning to your business with all the new measures will not be easy and we are here to help you with anything you may need. At ASfB we are always ready to take over your accounting and payroll or provide you with our professional advice on how to operate your business and finances.
If you have any questions, call our friendly team on 01202 755600 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.