Let’s think of the COVID-19 crisis that began for Americans in March 2020 as a wave. A tsunami, if you will, but one we could see growing in China in January before it quickly came sweeping across the globe to land right at our American doorsteps only two months later.
Two months seems like a lot of time to prepare for something, right? In the case of an ACTUAL tsunami, victims sometimes only have minutes to brace for impact. But even knowing what we knew going in we could not fully predict what the effect would be on human lives, the economy and the future. And now, very likely in between swells in the virus’s outbreak, we’re bracing for the second wave.
Business owners, especially small business owners, are asking questions about how to keep their business afloat. The question of their “essential-ness” was at the forefront from March to May, the months of the virus’s tightest grip. Now, with most states entering phase 2 and phase 3 of reopening, many businesses will get to experience modified restarts, but lots are wondering if it could possibly be enough to sustain them.
The best advice for your business is the same advice we should have heeded when this all began - BE PREPARED. Here are a few things you can do to help bring your business back to life in this strange, new world of ours:
1. BE HYPER AWARE and COVID-FRIENDLY
You want employees, clients and customers to know you’re on top of keeping them safe when they enter your business. Proper signage stating your business’s COVID-19 compliance with CDC guidelines is a must in allaying people’s fears. Masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and clearly marked stations providing people with acceptable social distance from one another is key.
2. STRATEGIZE and PRIORITIZE
It’s time to get creative and figure out how your business can meet the needs of your customers in this new climate. If you own a restaurant, figure out where you can find ideal outdoor space to seat patrons. If you’re a retailer, find the best way to redesign your space to make it the safest for your customers. Identifying your business’s new challenges and solving them is your best bet at bringing your customers back into the action.
3. BUDGET ACCORDINGLY
Unless you were deemed an essential business, you’re likely already behind the eight ball due to months of quarantine. Now you’ll be pulling double duty trying to make up for what you lost, but you’ll also need to be aware of what the implications of a second wave of the virus could mean for your budget. You may be being asked to do the impossible in this situation, but keep an eye on your budget and make sure you’re prepared.
4. GO WITH THE FLOW
Know that you’re going to have to be constantly bobbing and weaving to stay on top of the oncoming waves. Just like you’re looking for security for your business, clients and customers are looking to you to be able to continually meet their needs and no one knows what the next wave will bring. There will likely be cutbacks and duck dives along the way, but we’re all riding the same surfboard on this one.
God willing, we’ve seen the worst of what the pandemic is going to bring us, but if not, at least we have some sort of idea of what we’re dealing with. Take note of what’s gone on in the last three months, creatively address the needs of your clientele and stay safe. It's going to be the best way to ride out this storm.