Many location-based businesses closed up shop because of the pandemic. According to Yelp data, by August last year, business closures peaked at 132,580. Sixty percent of those closures, or 97,966 stores, permanently ceased operations due to the pandemic. And that’s in the United States alone. If data from around the world were factored into the equation, the resulting numbers would be more staggering.
Business people who are still in business in the midst of a plague should consider themselves lucky. They also deserve a pat on the back because such a feat is difficult to pull off and could be attributed to a foolproof business plan. Also, they continue to provide employment, which is just as praiseworthy.
However, if you are still doing business despite the pandemic, remember that you are responsible for your customers. You must keep them safe from the COVID-19 virus. Here’s how you can do that.
Get your staff tested
Usually, it takes vaccines years or a decade from compound screening and related assays to completion. COVID-19 vaccines are different, however. They have been fast-tracked to aptly respond to the severity of the situation. Now they are ready for distribution, only after a year. Unfortunately, some places will have to wait longer for these vaccines to arrive since supply has yet to keep up with demand.
What you can do in the meantime is to get your staff tested. That is to ensure that your establishment’s safe for human traffic. Faster and more efficient tests are now available. They have become cheaper and more accessible too.
Impose strict store safety protocols
If an employee or customer comes in with COVID-19 symptoms, respectfully send them home. Explain to them that it must be done for the safety of everyone else. They should understand if they are reasonable people.
As for safety protocols, you may impose within your establishment, refer to World Health Organization (WHO) standards. Make sure everyone in the store is wearing a mask. And social distancing must apply at all times. A six feet distance between people is recommended.
Track customer traffic
To stay proactive, track the customers that visit your shop. There are software tools you could use for this purpose. Alternatively, you can have them write their contact details on a piece of paper.
Your goal here is to know who and how to contact should a COVID-19 case emerge from one of your customers or staff members. Contact tracing is a collective effort. You must do your part, especially if you’re running a business that’s been linked to a positive COVID case.
Encourage honesty from your customers. Make them understand why they need to earnestly accomplish your customer tracker. The last thing you want to happen is to contact bogus numbers given by people who refused to be bothered.
Buff up your cleaning schedule
If before you do extensive cleaning once a month, this time, do it once in two weeks. Or if it’s doable, plot a more frequent extensive cleaning plan than a fortnightly schedule. Consider this as you waging war against all known germs, bacteria, and viruses that can possibly jeopardize the safety of your staff and customers.
Use cleaning products with enhanced potency. Yes, you will have to invest here. But it will be worth it. The peace of mind you’ll have for moving through a sanitized space is worth all the trouble.
Get your staff vaccinated as soon as possible
There’s been fear about the COVID-19 vaccines being risky. One reason for this is because people deem these vaccines’ processing to have been hastened. Although that is the case, there’s nothing to worry about. The production of these vaccines has been expedited not because experts cut corners. It’s because governments and other regulatory bodies allowed the bureaucratic red tape to take a backseat.
So as soon your community is scheduled for vaccination, make sure that all of your staff get inoculated. It’s the first step toward business as usual.
The Financial Times keeps a tracker of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts worldwide. Thus far, their data shows that 71 million vaccine doses have already been administered. This data comes from 65 countries. Currently, countries leading the inoculation drive include the United States with 23 million, the United Kingdom with seven million, and Israel with four million administered doses.
Soon there’ll be enough inoculated people worldwide for herd immunity to be achieved. For businesses, that means back to regular programming. Time to get a breather. And recoup whatever financial losses that resulted from the plague. Meanwhile, please keep everybody safe.