While having your business closed for a long time due to the pandemic is difficult, re-opening it also comes with its own challenges that might be as equally tough. Things have definitely changed ranging from customer habits, safety, and health protocols, and sales trends, your business should be able to adapt to these changes as well as you re-open.
Here are some of the common challenges small businesses are facing and our suggested solutions on how to get through them:
Challenge 1: The Right Time to Open Again
Solution: Go back one step at a time
Timing is everything. Just because your state or city has given the green light to open stores again, that doesn’t mean that you should. There are many other considerations to think about before turning that signboard to “OPEN” again. The best solution for this is to open by phases. It’s like testing the waters slowly until you get back to your full operations again. It will also lessen the risk of wasting assets and time.
You can start by opening at 30% capacity, then as sales go up, you can increase it at 50% capacity. You can also consider only opening on selected days where there is a high percent of foot traffic. The main thing here is to observe the trends that are happening and maximize those data to your advantage.
Challenge 2: Safety Regulations Expenses
Solution: Ask for a COVID-19 surcharge
Imagine this: Your business has been closed for a few months, you have no income, and the moment you go back, you are faced with an added expense for following all the safety regulations set for small business. The expense of buying safety essentials like alcohol or sanitizers, face masks, disinfectants, and protective gears will definitely take a big chunk of your income. Of course, you can’t cut any of these if you want to re-open, so one way to solve this issue is to share the expense with your customer because, at the end of the day, you are spending this cost for their safety as well.
Adding a small percentage of surcharge to your customers’ bill is acceptable, you just need to be very transparent about it. Notify them about it ahead of time, explain where this surcharge is going, and never surprise them with an added bill. Doing this can also increase your customers’ trust in you because they can see you are being honest and putting their safety first.
Challenge 3: Getting Your People Back
Solution: Update policies and offer Work-From-Home setup
Re-opening your business is one thing, but getting back your people to work is another. Not all will be willing to get back outside to work because the virus is still at large. There is also a public transportation challenge to face. With this in mind, you should be able to update your policy to answer all of their worries.
Set-up a temporary sick leave where if a staff fell ill, they can work from home for at least two weeks or if possible, just set-up your staff to Work-From-Home temporarily. You need to remember that your decisions should consider your staff too because, without them, it will be hard to keep your business afloat. Their safety should come on top too especially when they are interacting with customers.
There are many challenges to re-opening after the strict lockdowns that we have experienced, but with the right mindset and a well-thought-out plan, you’ll be able to get back to your A-game in no time.
As you re-open and tackle all these challenges, keep in mind that FAs Bookkeeping and Services is here to assist you with your bookkeeping and tax needs. Let us start helping you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 713-855-8035.