Many countries have eased lockdown restrictions to put the economy back on track. This is good news for customers and businesses, but reopening your business post-lockdown has its own challenges. We are living in the “new normal” and doing business will not be the same as it once was.
Even if you are able to reopen your business, it is important to acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and the virus still looms large in our communities. Therefore, if you want to safely reopen your business post-lockdown, it is critical that you have certain measures in place.
1. Deep Cleaning:
With the risk of COVID-19 still looming large, health and hygiene is paramount. When re-opening your business after lockdown the first thing you’ll need to do is order a deep cleaning of your premises. Depending on your individual situation, you may have to hire a specialist cleaning service or you might be able to do your own deep cleaning in house. Remember the times when you returned to your home after a holiday or a week or two and then imagine your business’ premises after being closed for months! This will give you an idea of how detailed this deep clean will need to be.
2. External Santization:
Make sure that the deep cleaning includes the sanitization and rinsing of the external surfaces inside and adjacent to your business’ premises such as pavements along the immediate boundary wall. An external sanitizing spray will clean external fixtures more efficiently and ensure that entrance, exits, and walk ways will be safe for your staff and customers.
3. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR):
For companies and large organizations, once the premises are safe to open for the visitors, it is a good idea to upgrade your access control system. AI-based Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) solutions protect your business and make sure that only authorized people can enter, helping you to control traffic flows and adhere to safety protocols. Only the vehicles with authorized number plates can enter the area making it hard for the intruders to break in. It also makes the use of parking areas more efficient.
4. Sneeze Guards:
If your business involves over the counter interactions, sneeze guards are a must. A sneeze guard is a piece of glass or Perspex that you install between the customer and the staff member attending the counter. A two meter or six foot distancing policy is also important but it does not guarantee full protection, as the coronavirus can travel through the air by up to 18 feet.
5. Floor Markings:
Floor markings are also essential to keep customers organized, distanced, comfortable, and safe. Without floor markings, it is difficult for everyone to visualize the required six foot distance, let alone remember to stick to it. Floor markings are useful not only to ensure social distancing but also to keep lines organized and moving efficiently.
6. Disinfect your Water System:
You might have heard of Legionnaires disease which is common and potentially fatal pneumonia-like disease, with fatality rates of up to 1 in 10. Inadequate management of the water system in a building encourages the growth of Legionella, the cause of this disease that begins like the flu and develops into Pontiac fever.
Damp conditions can also be breeding grounds for fungus and bacteria. Before you re-open your business post-lockdown, disinfect the pipes, cisterns, and taps. It is essential to thoroughly clean all water storage tanks before starting to use water after so many months.
7. Risk Assessment:
If a building or any of its elements (especially the water system) is out of use for a considerable time, it is necessary to run it through a risk assessment to check for possible microbial growth. Most commonly, unused water in the tanks and pipes cause this risk that exposes your staff and customers to harmful microbes.
Equally, it is essential that you arrange an inspection of all air conditioning systems. Call in air conditioning professionals to eliminate the risk of bacteria and viruses in the system before reopening your business.
8. Encourage Contactless Payment:
Dealing in cash involves the risk of disease transmission so why use it when you have so many virtual payment options? You may not be able to turn away customers only want to pay cash, but you can promote the practice through signage and incentives. This is a good way to encourage contactless payments without annoying your customers.
There’s no doubt that things have changed for good and life will never be the same as it was in 2019. However, we must accept the realities of this major global transition and make the most out of the current situation. In the midst of the crisis, you may even find opportunities and positives that allow you to take your business to new heights in the future.