A new business environment has been introduced to all of us this year. Things like social distancing, masks and extensive health and safety are now normal parts of every business. But as a business owner we can understand how these changes may be leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused when trying to figure out how to implement them into your business model.
We get it. As a business, we understand how these new practices are unusual for a lot of us. And that’s why we want to support you. Our team at Entripy had to make quite a few adjustments to adapt to this new environment and we want to help lift up your business by sharing our tips with you. Because after all, we’re in this together and we want to show up for the businesses that do so much for our community.
So, if you’re interested in some tips on how to get your business up and running once again from a fellow business owner, then keep on reading!
Step 1: Learn and Gather Information.
At the moment, there is a lot of information out there about COVID-19, especially in relation to businesses. We recommend consulting government agencies and public health organizations for reliable information in relation to re-opening your business and the steps that you’ll need to take to ensure you are opening up safely.
At Entripy, we personally check up on government and health organization websites like the CDC and WHO, to find out about updates regarding new health and safety practices that we need to implement in our business. It’s also helpful to stay tuned to news outlets for updates, but we do suggest doing extra research and backing up any new information with government resources to ensure you are receiving accurate information in relation to your business.
Step 2: Plan
While the recommendations for new business practices have been somewhat similar across industries – social distancing, masks, extra PPE – we still think it is necessary to take a good look at your own business to see how these changes would need to be implemented to ensure business success. For instance, if you have a smaller facility or store front, then you may need to consider adding in additional shifts so that you can have fewer employees working alongside each other to practice proper social distancing.
At Entripy, we implemented a new work from home protocol that required all employees that did not need to be present in the office to get their work done, to do so from home. This practice was put in place, to safeguard the health of our production employees, as it would ensure they come in the least amount of contact with other people when doing their job that needed to be completed in our facility.
Keep the following things in mind when putting together your plan to ensure you business succeeds in adapting in this new environment:
•Government regulations – Find out what guidelines have been put in place for re-opening your business on a national and provincial level
•Safety – The primary concern of your business is the health and safety of your employees. Assess what procedures need to be put in place to ensure they feel safe and protected while at work
•Hygiene – What procedures do you need to put in place to ensure hygiene is maintained to reduce the spread within your facilities and stores? This could include extra sanitation procedures, increased PPE, social distancing signs and employee health monitoring
Step 3: Execute
Once you’ve evaluated the changes that you’ll need to make to reopen your business, it’s time to start putting them in place and testing the waters before reopening. We recommend putting a step-by-step plan into action so that you don’t miss any crucial changes that need to be in place. Assemble your team members into groups so they can focus on certain areas of the plans and use this time to get some employee feedback on the new procedures. This will keep your team agile and ensure they are properly prepared when your reopen, as they will have had a good look at the new procedures before opening up again.
At Entripy, we have consistently been monitoring our business practices and keeping up with our employees to gain feedback on how they feel about the new changes and to see where we can improve our practices in this new environment.
Step 4: Communicate
You’ve got all your plans in place and your doors are itching to reopen. But before reopening make sure your communications are in order.
Start with your employees. When bringing them back on board, make sure you review the new health and safety measures that have been put in place. This procedure may be best done as a separate training session so that all your employees are able to receive vital information about new protocols at the same time and ask any questions they may have.
Reach out to customers. Email campaigns, social media and store-front signs – these are just some of the main ways that you can reach out to your customers and let them know that you are re-opening your business. In your communications make sure to highlight the new health and safety procedures you’ve implemented so that they feel safe before deciding to re-enter your store.
At Entripy, we’ve been dedicated to using our platforms to consistently keep our customers up to date on any changes that we’ve made to our business. This includes updates to our website, email campaigns with new changes and our social media to stay in constant touch with our audience.
Step 5: Be Ready to Adapt
This is more of a precautionary step, but nevertheless, it is just as important. As new updates come out regularly and the situation evolves, it is hard to say when things will change once again. When creating your plans to reopen, keep room for new changes and make sure you are ready to pivot your business plans if need be.
At Entripy, we’ve had to make continuous adjustments to our business model since this new landscape emerged. Some changes we made were the decision to close our show room and stop in-store pickups. Yet, we didn’t let these changes hold us back and decided to pivot to adapt to this new environment. We started up our new “dockside pickup” system to ensure customer could still receive their packages in a timely manner. We also took a close look at our business model to see how we could do our part to stop the spread and began producing masks out of our own t-shirt inventory to help safeguard the general public.
The reality is that your business will be unable to “pick up where you left off.” When reopening your business, keep in mind that are you are entering a new landscape and in order for your business to survive, adapting is necessary. We hope you were able gain some inspiration on how to successfully reopen your business!