Taking Care of GETTING BACK to Business
Our government officials have made the announcement that we’ve all been waiting for—start preparing to reopen your businesses! However, knowing that COVID-19 is still spreading, what is a business owner supposed to do in order to reopen safely? Here are some good tips that might spark some ideas for your Grand Reopening Game Plan.
Tip #1: Keep Your Office Squeaky Clean
We’ve all heard our mothers say it for years, but it’s true. One suggestion is to start with cleaning and sanitizing your entire office space. Door knobs, light switches, filing cabinet handles, computer keyboards and mice, desk phones and dial pads—everywhere a person has touched, disinfectant should too. And don’t just sanitize every surface before you bring your staff back in. Make a plan to sanitize your office every day, if not multiple times throughout the day.
Tip #2: Make Safety A Priority
Chasing germs out of your base of operations is a good start, but you’ll have to do more in order to protect your employees and clients. For example, have a plan for social distancing in your office and onsite. The CDC recommends using partitions and flexible work hours for your employees, as well as limiting contact with your clients. You could send them digital invoices, have virtual meetings rather than face-to-face. Try to utilize the technology that is available to you as much as you can.
A few other safety suggestions from the CDC include: wear masks, have hand sanitizer and soap readily available, utilize coughing/sneezing etiquette, and as common sense dictates, have staff remain at home if they're not feeling well.
Tip #3: Communication Is Key
Everyone is already on edge and stressed from being in quarantine for weeks under a cloud of uncertainty. Now is a good time to personally check-in with your staff. It gives you an opportunity to boost team morale as well as hear their concerns and even get their suggestions. Employees feel appreciated and empowered when they know that their voices have been heard.
Additionally, before you allow your staff back in your office, it is wise to take the time to share the new policies and safety procedures, and then go over them again at the beginning of opening day. Communication is important on the best days, but it is vital when you’re navigating uncharted waters.
Not only should you communicate with your staff, but keep your clients in the know. Make a big deal out of getting back to business. Social Media. E-blasts. The works. Everyone and their pet should know that your doors are open. Your announcement should also include how you plan to keep your clients, residents and vendors safe.
Tip #4: Research & Review
Property management professionals routinely run background checks on all prospective residents prior to having them sign their leases. Given our current business environment, it would also be prudent for vendors to require a credit application and obtain references prior to performing work for management companies they’ve not worked with previously. Payment terms should be very clearly outlined before any job is started.
Tip #5: Plan Ahead
As captain of your ship, you need to hope for the best but plan for unexpected. Every possibility should be considered in order for you to be fully prepared. For example, what is your plan if the government enacts a quarantine again? What if illness spreads through your employees? On the other hand, what’s your game plan for when things do go right and business is firing on all cylinders? Keeping a positive attitude can certainly work wonders, just make sure to keep some aces up your sleeve at the same time.
**For further information about COVID-19 and additional safety measures to take to better protect those around you, see www.cdc.gov.