Preparing to Reopen Your Business After the Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a massive impact on the way small businesses operate.
Life will likely look a bit different for years to come, but we'll be back to a new version of “business as usual” sooner or later. And much like pandemic life required a shift in the way we do things, so will this next transition.
Your company needs to be ready for life after COVID-19, and these helpful tips will help you prepare.
Be mindful of hygiene in offices and storefronts
Even once the pandemic is over, people will continue to be extra mindful of hygiene in public places. If your business has in-person operations, it’s your responsibility to make sure employees and visitors can stay safe.
That means you need to assess things like:
- The hygiene amenities that are available when entering the building, like hand sanitizer
- How often offices and meeting spaces are cleaned and sanitized (at Intelligent Office, this happens after every use — and we’ll continue to do so for as long as necessary.)
If you own or lease dedicated commercial space for your business, you’ll likely be responsible for making sure that hygiene practices are followed.
If you work from a virtual office space, your provider should be able to prove that there are measures in place to keep everyone safe. We encourage Intelligent Office members to contact their local team with any covid-related questions they may have. You can also read our latest COVID-19 notice here.
Stay connected to your clients and customers
The pandemic has impacted businesses in many ways, and it’s not easy for customers to keep up with all the changes.
That’s why you need to keep your company’s fans updated on the status of your business. Keeping people informed doesn’t need to be complicated, either. A simple email with essential information is a solid starting point. Include details like:
- Business hours
- Details on whether your business location is open for visitors
- Expected delays in shipping
- Inventory updates
Note that you won’t catch all customers over email, so consider posting to your website and social media channels as well.
Revisit lessons from the pandemic and prepare for the future
To successfully navigate life after COVID-19, it also helps to revisit some of the biggest lessons and takeaways from this tumultuous time.
Let's look at one of the most important lessons that the pandemic taught business owners as an example: If a company is willing to try new things and innovate, it has a much better chance of thriving throughout terrible economic conditions.
Look at fitness studios and gyms as an example — ones that quickly pivoted to online classes were able to make money even while their physical locations were shuttered.
Find new ways to empower your team
Your team was probably an integral part of making it through the pandemic. They’ll be a vital part of your success in the future, too. Be sure to support them as life returns to normal.
Verbal appreciation is great, but you can also empower your employees through initiatives like:
- Training opportunities
- Other continuing education opportunities like certifications, conferences, webinars, etc.
- Frequent check-ins
- Flexible work hours that accommodate work-life balance
Continue to assess and reassess the COVID-19 situation
Once you return to the office, it’s still important to remember that policies and best practices are subject to change. Keep an eye on any restrictions in your area, and be prepared to switch directions again if needed.
Intelligent Office members (and prospective members) can always contact their local IO office with any reopening questions or concerns. We’re here to make sure you and your team feel safe returning to the office.