On April 16, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced plans to reopen the state sometime in May, more than a month after he issued stay-at-home orders to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Although the guidelines for the reopening are still being planned, it would be wise for business owners to start preparing for their reopening, as well.
If you have a small or medium-sized business in Nashville, consult with your partners, suppliers, and accounting firm about the steps you need to take to make sure you hit the ground running when the economy reopens.
See these tips on what you can do now.
1. Check your financial health
All businesses have no doubt suffered setbacks from the stay-at-home orders, and getting back to pre-COVID profits will likely take some time. Keep in mind that the reopening will be done in phases, and social distancing measures will still be in place, so it won’t be business as usual for quite some time.
Crunch the numbers with your CPA to see how much you would need to reboot your business and stay afloat during the transition phase. If you need additional funding, you need to act fast to be eligible for the government’s economic stimulus programs. You can also consider the COVID relief packages available for small businesses from private companies.
Discuss your options with your accounting firm and enlist their help in preparing the necessary paperwork for the loans you need.
2. Look into best practices to minimize health risks
In reopening your business, you should continue to do your part in keeping yourself, your customers, your employees, and your community safe. Look deep into how you do business and identify the areas where health risks may be present, then find ways to mitigate them.
For example, you might consider having only a skeleton staff coming to work during the initial period. If you and your employees are working remotely, perhaps you can keep this going for a longer period or even permanently if you’re satisfied with the results.
Look into sanitizing your workplace and putting a safe distance between individuals. If your office space has an open plan, consider adding cubicles or dividers to separate employees. Provide sufficient hand sanitizers and display reminders about the need for sanitizing and physical distancing. Take all of these into account as you set your reopening budget.
3. Develop a marketing strategy to announce your reopening
How will your customers know that you’re back in business? Are there changes in your distribution channels that they should know about? Are there new procedures in your selling or purchasing process?
If you don’t have an online strategy to keep you connected to your customers, consider starting one immediately. With everyone sheltering in place, the internet has become the main engine that connects people and businesses together.
To make sure your business remains top of mind during and after the crisis, it’s important to establish an online presence now. Online channels are also the best platform to announce your return, as well as any changes in your operations.
Consult your accounting firm about the likely scenario you can expect when the economy reopens, and make sure you have made the right preparations for what lies ahead.
How to Hit the Ground Running After the Pandemic, Inc.com
4 Things Businesses Can Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Inc.com