How did you reopen during COVID-19?
For small business owners who were able to reopen after temporarily suspending (or pivoting) operations.
What is your business and where is it located?
When did you first close and/or pivot operations during COVID-19?
What were your concerns when reopening and how did you address them? (examples of topics to discuss below)
- Bringing employees back
- Financing expenses
- Implementing a remote work model
- Making customers/clients feel safe
- Other relevant insights
What would your advice be to small business owners preparing to reopen in the near future?
As a Travel Company, during the pandemic - we worked from home from mid-March to the end of June mostly.
We were already able to work remotely due to our technology model and during these times we stayed in touch with all our customers even though there was no travel business.
We also always offered our customers a 24/7 service for emergencies, so the question of how to manage our customers did not derail us, rather we were already ready for it.
In regards to getting back to work, we returned 01Jul with 50% of staffing with some working from home. We are fluid in working style and this model remains in place. Its more important for the Ops team to be at the office (with all the safety procedures in place).
My advice to small business owners would be to manage their costs well as we do not know what is in store in the near future and any predictions we make can easily be de-railed. So my top advice is to manage your costs.
We are in a battle in a campaign in a war between economy and biology.
Reopening the economy too soon means the economy wins the battle, but biology wins the campaign. We get that haircut and a good meal in a restaurant, then people start getting sick again, the medical services get overrun, and the lockdowns are more strict and longer lasting to try and recover.
Reopening the economy with one eye on the biology means stalemate in the battle but we win the campaign. The slower, more considered and phased opening of the economy means COVID-19’s reproduction rate stays on the right side of ‘under control’ and the need to completely shut down the economy for a three to four month stretch goes away. We learn to adapt to a new normal of distancing in daily life.