Because of the pandemic, over 41% of small businesses had to temporarily close. And even worse, 1.8% had to permanently close.
Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who only had to temporarily close. And now, you’re ready to open your doors to customers again.
But how do you ensure that you, your staff, and customers all stay safe during these uncertain times?
Here are 7 safety measures you should take if you’re reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Wear Masks and Other Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
At the very least, you and your employees need to wear face masks. You should also require your customers to wear them while inside as well. That way, you can drastically reduce transmission rates if anyone happens to have the coronavirus.
Make it a point to enforce your face mask policy and be firm about it. It’s important that you protect everyone inside your business, so if anyone wants to enter without a mask on, ask them politely to leave.
And if anyone takes off their mask in-store, politely ask them to put it back on. Make sure your employees are diligent about keeping watch for this and enforcing the mask rule. Wearing a mask can quite literally save someone’s life.
2. Have Traffic Be One-Way
Social distancing is one of the most effective ways to fight against transmission of the coronavirus. Having at least 6 feet of space between you and someone else is very effective for prevention.
But when you’re inside a business, it can be difficult to maintain such a distance at all times.
A great way to help keep everyone distanced is have traffic be one-way if possible. So for instance, if you’re a hardware store, you can tape down a pathway for customers to get into the store, through the aisles, to the cash register, and then out the door.
You’ll want to keep the entering and exiting customers as far away from one another as possible, so if you have a second door for the traffic to flow out of, make sure to utilize it.
3. Set up Sanitation Stations
It’s important that you keep your hands away from your face. But sometimes, you just can’t help it. And this is all it takes for you to either transfer microbes to yourself, or for you to then transfer them to the other surfaces in your business.
As a strong second line of defense, hand sanitizer use is strongly recommended, especially when you can’t get access to a sink, soap, and running water.
Have plenty of sanitation stations around the store, including up in the front where people enter and exit your place of business. If you have cashiers, give each of them their own bottle of hand sanitizer to use.
Make sure the hand sanitizer is at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. Otherwise, it won’t be very effective.
4. Install Plexiglass Shields for Your Workers
This is especially important at businesses where there are client-facing employees who have to deal with customers all day long. For example, this includes cashiers and customer service workers.
A plexiglass shield will put a complete barrier between your employees and the customers. That way, no one will have to fear any aerosols getting onto them. It’s also a very clear sign to your customers that you’re taking their health and wellbeing seriously.
5. Limit the Number of Customers in Your Store at One Time
Depending on where you’re located, your local government may have given you either recommendations or regulations for how many customers can be in your store at once. However, you’ll want to play it safe and use your own judgment on how many people can safely be in your place of business.
For instance, if you run a small flower shop, you don’t want to have more than, say 5 people in at once. Otherwise, it’ll be too cramped and unsafe.
Make sure you have a clear sign up in the front saying how many customers you’ll allow in at a time. If you have the resources, think about having an employee at the front door, regulating how many people go in and out.
6. Send Home Employees With Symptoms
The most important thing you can do is send home employees who show any symptoms of the coronavirus. Even better is if you have a generous policy that enables workers to stay home if they suspect they have COVID. This will make them more willing to take time off rather than try and push through their illness and come to work, which can cause them to infect others.
7. Offer More Online Services
If you’re able to, offer more online services to your customers. For example, if you’re a tutoring company, have some online sessions for those vulnerable students who must stay at home.
Your customers will certainly appreciate that you’ve kept all demographics in mind. Not only will this boost business now, but it’ll definitely grow your client base in the future as well. This is because word will get around that you kept your customers safe by thinking out of the box and accommodating those with special needs.
For more information on returning to work safely, find out more through JSABuilder.
Keep These Safety Measures in Mind When Reopening
With these safety measures in mind, you’ll be able to reopen your business in a safe and thorough manner. By using our tips, you’ll be able to keep everyone safe while conducting business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So make sure you follow a few (or all!) of the above points. We’re sure your customers will appreciate that you’re doing everything you can to not only make their shopping experience safe, but also pleasant still.
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