There is a light at the end of the tunnel. However faint it may be, at least it’s there. And knowing that light will only get closer and brighter, it’s time to start thinking about reopening. This isn’t the regular old reopening you’ve come to know. It’s not just cleaning up the dust and opening the doors to air out the store. We can help.
Here are 5 tips for reopening your business with confidence:
TIP #1: Social distancing is still important
The CDC is still requiring at least six feet of space between people whenever possible, and we’re not sure when that will end. As a business owner, you will need to support that requirement with barriers, changing the layout of your store, or creating more space where you can. It’s not just for your customers. Your employees should be conscious of it and have the ability to follow it comfortably. Staggering shift times and closing communal spaces can help. Of course, check the most recent CDC guidelines for your state and follow them accordingly.
TIP #2: Monitor the health of your employees
If you don’t have the luxury of being able to allow your employees to work from home, you should be monitoring their health and wellness to not only keep them safe but your customers safe as well. Providing the correct personal protective equipment to your employees is the first step. Checking temperatures as employees walk in and encouraging daily wellness checks can help them keep their own wellness top of mind. When the testing becomes more readily available, having Covid-19 testing for your employees is a great idea.
TIP #3: Safety measures for handling items
Restaurants have been doing curbside takeout and delivery like a boss. But, as more retail stores open, doing just a few things to mitigate person-to-person contact for a while will create calm with your customers and employees alike. Ideas like limiting payment options to cashless methods, setting up a “pickup area” or “pickup rack” in or outside your store with clearly marked packages, and placing safety seals on bags are just a few ways to instill confidence that you are taking the current situation seriously. It won’t take much to turn someone away right now. Don’t let it be something simple that could have been done.
TIP #4: Communicate your plans clearly
Employees and customers will all feel better just knowing you’ve got a plan in place, but they don’t know what you don’t tell them. Type it out, print it out, and post it in the break room and common areas. If you have a disinfectant service done, post the certificate and put the window cling in the window to show your customers you’re on it and taking it all very seriously. Post on your social channels and if you have an email list, send out an email about your reopening policy. The more you tell everyone what you’re doing to keep them safe, the safer they will feel.
TIP #5: Have a professional disinfectant service done
When choosing a company to perform this service, just know what you need to ask. Are they just misting a disinfectant into your business? Doing a wipe down service of high touch point areas like doorknobs, handles, etc. with a powerful disinfectant at full strength may take a little longer but will ultimately be more effective. Also be sure the product they’re using is included on the EPA’s “List N” of products that meets their criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent of Covid-19, and able to kill 99.99% of as many pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and viruses as possible including H1N1 Swine Flu and E. coli. If you have a break room or a kitchen in your business, the product being used should be rated “no rinse required on food contact surfaces,” category D2, by NSF International. For the safety of your employees and customers, the product should also be defined by the EPA as “practically non-toxic and not an irritant.” In addition to having a treatment done to start with a clean slate, add it to your routine cleaning schedule as well.
As you look to reopen, remember this: it’s not about saying what you do or doing what you say. It’s about BOTH. Do the right thing – including following the 5 tips above – but make sure to communicate it to everyone. It’s not bragging. It’s letting your customers and employees know you care, so they can return to your establishment with confidence. Provide updates and make sure to take ideas and constructive criticism seriously. After all, it’s about their level of comfort – and if you don’t know what that is, how can you accommodate it? Feedback is essential and communication is a two-way street.
We are all looking forward to getting back to it. Whether it’s a clothing store, a bar, a corporate office, or a playground – enjoying the places we used to enjoy is going to take some time and some easing of fears. But it can be done. Let us help with the disinfectant service. Give Western Pest Services a call about our Western PurClean™ disinfectant treatment. It’s a great first step. And that’s what it’s all about – one foot in front of the other.