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What Can A Small Business Do To Prepare To Reopen In 2020?

The wave of stay at home orders caught many by surprise, but businesses now have a chance to prepare for when orders are lifted. While it’s impossible to predict exactly when reopenings will occur, it is possible to have a plan of action when it does. Luckily, you are not alone in navigating this uncertain territory.

Below 8 small business leaders share their preparation strategies for reopening their doors.

Follow Guidelines

Small businesses should be following the relevant state's guidelines applicable to reopening businesses. Often that is as simple as following your Governor's website for Executive Orders related to restarting businesses in this new environment. In addition, the CDC has published social distancing guidance that should be followed to mitigate risk and liability.

Robert Reder, Managing Partner

Plan to React

Life will resume once again, though it might look different. The best thing you can do is plan to react. Plan your staffing needs. Plan your 5-year development goals. Plan. Plan. Plan. Then get ready to execute.

Focus on the Big Things

It is an amazing time to work on big things. Usually we are running around sticking our fingers in holes in the dam, but now we can focus on the big things that will move the business when we get out of this craziness.

Prepare for an Influx in Demand

Prepare for an influx in demand. As the owner of an eyelash extension company, I know our clients will be ready and willing to buy our supplies and participate in our trainings when the quarantine is lifted. Right now it might seem like purchasing supplies and interviewing employee candidates is the last thing on the list of priorities, but it shouldn’t be.

Focus on Your Team’s Happiness

Make sure your team is happy. If your team is working remotely it’s important to make an effort to stay connected beyond business. Check in on everyone to see how they’re doing. Host a virtual happy hour. Send out recognition emails full of praise. Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries via Zoom calls. Though it may take a little extra effort, focus on increasing morale and keeping a sense of community alive so you can reopen with success.

Keep Employees Informed

It's important to keep employees informed of the progress towards reopening. Social media is also going to be more important than ever during this time to communicate with the community. If the business is hiring some new staff, they can prepare by doing interviews now, and completing some training after stay-at-home orders are lifted prior to reopening.

Jessica Schocker, Recruitment Consultant

Cut all Extraneous Expenses

That really depends on what you sell. The only generically relevant advice may be to cut all extraneous expenses, re-prioritize capital allocations, cut loose (even at a loss) burdens and cash drains you don't need now, because you probably won't need many of them in the future, and don't wait for the government to save your business. You must decide what's worth saving and whatever you get from the government is gravy.

Look at your Strengths and Weaknesses

It really depends on what your business does. If you run an online store out of your garage, you will have different opportunities than someone who relies heavily on a high contact sales approach. With the current stay-at-home orders, business owners are given an opportunity to spend time in ways that they may not of had before. Use this time to really dive into your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats given this current environment and develop one or several possible strategies for strengthening your business. Also, don't forget about your customers. If you have a client list, give them a courtesy call and see how they're doing. Empathy is a strong force that can go a long way.