How To Get A Jumpstart On Successfully Opening Your Business Post COVID-19

This article was written by Brian Bannon, Owner of Slate Pages

If you wait to start this race when the shot is fired, you will be left behind!

I thought shutting down our country was going to be nearly impossible. Every day federal and state authorities methodically shutdown the services and establishments we routinely used and depended on. I am not an epidemiologist and trust that those decisions saved live. I am confident history will eventually answer that question, which will also better prepare us for the next crisis or pandemic.

As an entrepreneur and business owner my focus is now on the safest, most efficient and cost effective way to get my business back to (or better than) its pre-COVID-19 status.

Do not wait for your state’s official open date! I am not recommending being a rebel and opening doors early, on the contrary. Listen to the science and the experts. Just put a plan together so you are at least moving at your pre-COVID-19 speed when the gate opens. I have mapped out a 14 day pre-opening plan that may help you reach that speed.

Day (-15)

Plan Plan Plan. Take this precious isolation time to put down some goals. The abundance of negativity these past 30 days has been sprinkled with some positivity. A partial reset button is right in front of you. Don’t be afraid to list the pre-COVID-19 items in your business that you would like to change.

Who will staff my establishment on opening day? Be sure to keep an eye out for state policies and procedures as it relates to capacity guidelines and essential employees.

Day (-14)

Health and Safety needs to start today. Health and Safety is the new product on everyone’s menu and shelf.

COVID-19 has up to a 14 day incubation period. In your -15 day plan you listed employees who would most likely be a part of the opening staff or team. Employees and customers have been isolating for 30+ days and you will need to regain their trust. They have worked hard to stay safe and healthy. To regain their trust you are going to need to show them why they can trust you!

Make the Clean Slate Pledge

  • Daily Health Checks
  • Hand Washing
  • Sanitizing
  • Transparency

Forward the opening day team the Clean Slate app download instructions and have them start documenting their efforts in the Clean Slate Pledge. Having this documentation prior to opening will be critical in gaining your employees’ and customers’ trust.

You also need to start thinking about supplies and product: What are you going to need in 14 days to open up? What is the lead time for this material? Is there an expiration date? Are there perishables? This list will most likely be exhausting to create since you have been in a different lane these past 30 days. Prepare your list and set up a call with your opening day staff and management team to review. Get them involved and make them a part of this effort.

Day (-13 to -6)

  • Check CDC guidelines and recommendations for updates as it relates to business openings.
  • Check state and local guidelines and recommendations for updates as it relates to business openings.
  • Confirm opening day staff is periodically performing Clean Slate Pledge entries.
  • Set up a daily 15-20 minute call with your opening day staff and management team to discuss your 15 day plan. Adjust and amend as required. Create your back to work guidelines and review.

Day (-5 to -1)

At this point you should consider getting your facility set up for opening day. Post your back to work guidelines. Clean or have a professional group perform a detailed cleaning of your establishment. Take pictures and document.

Remember, Health and Safety is the new product on everyone’s menu and shelf! Display your Clean Slate Participant Sticker on your establishment’s door.

Customer Outreach

You now have successfully implemented 10 days of health and safety screenings. Your plan is being executed daily. You are ready!

By this point in the process there is a very good chance you are way ahead of the competition. Most of them are still at the starting gate. Let your customers know what you have been doing. If you were lucky enough to stay open during this isolation phase, let you current patrons know the steps you have taken to get ready for your reopening. If you are like most US businesses and your business has been a ghost town, start your marketing and word of mouth campaign.

Create social media outreach campaigns and let your existing and future customers know what you have been doing to prepare. Transparency is the additive for post-Covid-19 fuel. Let your customers know about your Clean Slate Pledge. Tell them your new product, “Health and Safety,” is the most popular item on your menu or in your store. Tell them you have worked hard to become an extension of their isolation at home. Your goal is to give them the same pre-crisis experience with a touch of post COVID-19 safety. Earn their trust by showing them what you have been doing to prepare!

  • Check CDC guidelines and recommendations for updates as it relates to business openings.
  • Check State and Local guidelines and recommendations for updates as it relates to business openings.
  • Confirm opening day staff is periodically performing Clean Slate Pledge entries.

Day Of Reopening

If you truly planed planed and planned well, this is just another day of a very successful entrepreneurs life!

Resources:

Take the #CleanSlatePledge