Have A Contingency Plan When Reopening For Business
Are You Ready for What-Ifs?
States across the nation are beginning to reopen and this may mean your business is allowed to begin to operate again.
And as much as we would all like to be able to return to "normal," what we know is that COVID-19 isn’t gone. Regardless of how well prepared you are, there is still a real possibility that your business may be impacted by the virus.
As a business owner, now is the time to be vigilant and to take a proactive stance. The risk of someone coming into your business (clients, vendors, employees) with the virus, or one of your employees having been exposed to it, increases as more states reopen and relax measures that have been in place. This simply means your business needs to be ready for the “What Ifs.”
Preparing a contingency plan now is a necessity. Having a plan in place will help ensure that IF you need to react to a COVID-19 risk your business can react fast.
Here are some questions to consider as you develop your plan:
- What language would you use to inform clients/vendors/employees that someone has tested positive or been exposed? Remember, it is vital to follow employee privacy laws and not name anyone who has a medical condition.
- If someone who has tested positive or has been exposed to the virus comes into your business, will you issue a quarantine? If so, will you quarantine your entire team? Will quarantine be voluntary or mandatory?
- What policies/procedures do you need to put in place for servicing clients face to face? Will you ask if they have symptoms? If they feel ill how do you want them to cancel appointments? What if they feel fine, but don’t feel safe coming into your business? Do you have any cancellation fees that could encourage a sick client to come in anyway?
- What policies/procedures do you need to put in place for employees when it comes to staying home if they are sick? As summer approaches and vacations tend to spike, what is the policy if an employee is traveling? Is there a quarantine period? If an employee has a family member or has been exposed will you require them to quarantine?
- What do you know about your vendors' policies? Are there any new policies you would like them to follow when doing business with you?
- Masks or no masks? Will they be encouraged or required? If so, is it the same for clients, vendors and employees? How and when is this communicated to those entering your business? Will you supply the masks or will they need to bring their own? Will you have some on hand in case someone forgets? And what happens if someone doesn’t follow your requirement?
- Having a safe and disinfected business has new meaning. What will you and your employees need for sanitizing and cleaning services and equipment? How often will this cleaning happen? After every client meeting? After anyone leaves the building? Will you require everyone to wash their hands as soon as they come into your business? Will you have sanitizing products readily available for everyone’s use?
This is by no means an exhaustive list. We have more questions than answers when it comes to what the future will bring, but we know the best thing you can do is be prepared to take action to protect your employees and customers, and minimize the ongoing risks to your business.
This week we’re challenging every business owner to stay vigilant. Take a moment to think through your contingency plan. It’s better to be prepared for something that never happens than it is to be unprepared for a risk that is well known.
PS: Unless needed down the road, this will be the last of our COVID-19 newsletters as we return back to our regular Insights. But as always, our coaches are ready to help your business through any issue or opportunity you may encounter.