Dos and Don’ts for re-opening businesses post lockdown

The COVID-19 phenomenon has wreaked havoc and unleashed challenges on every individual, family, industry, and nation in the world. What started as a mysterious illness among a few people in a country, soon went on to cause widespread fear and devastation among millions of lives and terrorize the globe.

The unlock:

Millions of people all around the world are in some form of a lockdown or the other. But as we can see, with the passage of time lockdowns are starting to ease up, restrictions are being relaxed and guidelines are being put in place paving the way for economic activities to resume and businesses to start back on track. If not right now, eventually more and more businesses will have to start opening up and more people will need to get back to work to keep the nation running and sustain their livelihood. 

But the process of restarting is not going to be a smooth one. There is a high chance of work processes slowing down and a spike in expenditure. Jumping the gun will work to no one’s advantage.  

Businesses need to keep various factors in mind, have a blueprint in place, and follow certain guidelines or take precautionary measures when they restart.

Precautions for a healthy restart:

Here are some of the precautionary measures businessmen can take while restarting their businesses post the lockdown:

  1. Social Distancing and limiting interaction – First and foremost, it is extremely important to stick to government regulations and guidelines regarding maintaining social distancing and limiting interaction between people.
  2. Hygiene practices – Basic hygiene practices need to be in place and mandatory for everyone, especially hand-washing and wearing masks.
  3. Medical Information – Information on hospitals, clinics, medical authorities that are nearby need to be kept handy. This also includes having a contact number of someone belonging to the municipal corporation.
  4. Status Updates – Daily COVID status updates should be a part of the daily routine.
  5. Check on visitors – Occupants and visitors need to be tracked and kept in check while looking at symptom visibility for security purposes.
  6. Keep clients happy – One should regularly keep in touch with their clients/customers and keep the interaction going because the businesses solely depend on the clients and if they are not on good terms then it can severely impact the business.
  7. Flexibility for staff – It is important to allow some flexibility and not force all staff members to be present, it is better to let them take the call. Forcing the staff to attend only leads to a decrease in morale.
  8. Backup Providers –  The former suppliers or service providers may not be available due to certain limitations and restrictions. Hence it is important to have a backup plan in place and contact alternate suppliers and service providers. 
  9. Try E-business – A lot of businesses or companies could make use of the opportunity to transform into online businesses if possible and shift to digital marketing services. 

The right approach:

Businesses can try out a simple five-step approach to help emerge victorious in the battle with the pandemic and restart. These are :

  • Resolve – It is necessary to identify the challenges and accordingly prioritize them. Contact suppliers, customers etc. to understand the ground reality and accordingly make decisions. 
  • Resilience – It is essential to ensure that your plan for improving liquidity and cash flow is executed. Focus on cash flows for the short term profitability. Take the necessary steps to shorten your cash cycle. Don’t withdraw money from the business, reinvest the profits for the growths. Execute the plan to resolve the financial crisis and finally dispose off the uncalled for inventories to bring some cash flows and reduce the inventory carrying costs.
  • Return – It is important to focus on products and services that would easily provide returns in the current situation. It is crucial to sell what is needed and ignore something that has no short term profitability. 
  • ReimaginationA business which was normal before the impact of Corona, maybe impossible after that, therefore, one should imagine the new normal, and should act accordingly to achieve that.
  • Reform – There may be certain changes in rules and regulations post the lockdown or rather when things start going back to normal. Therefore, planning and actions should consider new policies and regulations.

Stay Healthy and happy – Last but not least, it is essential to stay healthy, be positive, and keep everyone (employees and customers) motivated and happy.