We are all keen to get our businesses open again and sooner rather than later but for this we need to prepare. Here are a few things as a manager or business owner you need to consider:
It will not be ‘going back’ to how we used to do things.
We will require new SOP’s, staff training and co-operation.
What financial decisions do you need to make to implement these new or improved procedures.
Our clients will have new needs and we need to understand what they are and how we address them successfully.
Not Going Back
Times have now changed and changed for good. What we knew or thought we knew 8 weeks ago is not how we will be thinking moving forward if we want our businesses to continue to grow. I understand as business owners we all are under considerable financial pressure, however we can either look at this time as a disaster or an opportunity. Never before have you been given an opportunity to strip your business back to the bare bones, breakdown every single thing you do and make improvements and have the time to do it all!!
2. New Procedures and Standards
Overall we are excellent as following health and hygiene standards in our industry, however a new level of excellence is now required. You may need to consider new equipment, more of certain sanitising items, more cleaning equipment etc. This needs to be factored into your revenue costings. This is another expense that will affect your bottom line if you don’t have a plan of action.
But it is all well and good creating these new procedures and policies, if you do not have team members who are willing to play ball then it is all done in vain. Remember this is your business, years of hard work and your livelihood, don’t let inadequate staff members cost you your business because they refuse to consistently follow procedures.
Your clients will be looking for this and wanting reassurance that everyone on your team is doing the same thing and believe me they will see if this isn’t happening! But don’t just make assumptions, make sure they are re-trained no matter how many years they have worked for you.
Create the procedures
Train them in
Get their buy in, even get help and input to create them
Get them to sign to say they have been trained and will follow these new procedures
Don’t just do this once and expect them to carry on, you or your management team need to be monitoring this all day every day
If someone is not playing ball they must be spoken to following the HR procedures set in your business.
I would strongly recommend you create new contracts for all your staff when you re-open. Make sure you keep in line with HR guidelines and if you are unsure the Enterprise board have funding in place to cover these costs so make sure you enquire with your local enterprise board and avail of this.
3. Financial Planning
The one big thing we will need when re-opening our business is more cleaning and sanitising and we need to consider the financial costs. Consider how much it costs to take a team member away from their working columns to complete these new jobs. On quiet days this might be a good solution but on busy days this could have a large financial impact on your revenue. So where as you may not need to employ a new full time cleaner or assistant, you may want to consider having someone for your busier days.
4. Understanding your client’s new needs
Social distance is the new buzz word but I'm here to tell you at some level it is here to stay. Plus social distance seems to mean something different to all of us. For some it means complete isolation due to being high risk, or it is keeping 20 meters apart, for others none of this is really an issue for them and therefore they ignore most of the guidelines as it doesn’t affect them.
But we will need to understand and empathise with these new requirements our current and new clients will need. Lets take a look at the possible needs for each category, but remember this is also new to all of us and where as we can use this as a guideline, as time goes on these three breakdowns will become clearer and more detailed for us to understand better.
Who are they?
Social Distance - High Risk
Either themselves or a friend or family member was infected with the virus
They are over 60 years old
They are in the high-risk category
They are naturally a nervous/anxious person
Wary – Medium Risk
They always have been wary of health and hygiene
Possibly some OCD challenges in the past
No Issues – Low Risk
Not affected by the virus and knew no one close to them
No underlying health issues
Many Gen Y (1977 – 1995)
Most Gen Z (1996 - )
Many Greatest Generation (from social observation)
Items to Consider Moving Forward
You may need renewed guest journeys to meet client expectations
More sterilizing stations
Increased focus on sanitization procedures in public areas
Do you now give turn around time between treatments to increase sanitization in treatment rooms?
What is the financial impact on the business?
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