6 Tips to get your retail store ready to re-open after the COVID-19 shutdown
If you have been closed during the COVID-19 shutdown or only trading online, there are a few things that you might want to think about or plan before you begin to open again with customers in your store. Here are six simple tips for preparing your retail store to re-open:
1. Determine what needs to be cleaned.
Unless you have already been trading, then a good clean might be in order. Obviously you will need to wipe down all tables, display cases, shelving and counters – but what about other areas?
- Outdoors: The CDC in the US advises that outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on the footpath and in parks is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public.
- Have you been closed? If your business has been closed for more than 7 days, only routine cleaning may be necessary as COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces for longer than this time period.
2. Make a schedule to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
After you have opened, plan to regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces or objects such as:
- light switches,
- display cabinets,
- taps and sinks,
- touch screens
- EFTPOS machines
3. Consider how you can maintain safe behavioural practices in your space.
- Social distancing: How will you be able to ensure that customers remain 1.5 m away from your staff? Check that your counters allow your staff to keep 1.5m away from customers. If they are not wide enough, place an x on the floor to mark where customers should stand. Consider creating another x on the floor that is 1.5m away to allow for queuing if that’s appropriate in your store. Ensure queuing in change rooms or other communal areas is spaced appropriately. Check government guidelines as to how many people can be in your store at any one time and consider how you will monitor entries and exits to ensure this is not breached (remember that this number includes your staff as well!).
- Frequent hand washing: Perhaps consider introducing a requirement for staff to adhere to a hand washing schedule. Make hand sanitizer available for both staff and customers between hand washes.
- Avoid touching your face: Consider setting up a poster in the staff room to remind staff to try to avoid touching their face wherever possible.
- Ask staff to say home if they’re sick: Consider amending your personal leave guidelines to encourage staff to stay home if they feel unwell. It’s better to pay a small amount of personal leave then to have to close your entire facility.
- Frequently clean & disinfect surfaces: As mentioned above, make sure you have a plan to thoroughly clean frequently touched surfaces.
4. Consider refreshing your store.
Now is a great time to refresh your business! A couple of new seasonal stock items near the counters or in your window are sure to attract new shoppers! You could welcome your staff back to the workplace with a team meeting where everyone can make a suggestion for a new stock item or display feature that they would like to see on the shop floor. Consider touching base with your suppliers to start ordering new season stock, discuss payment terms and delivery arrangements.
- Consider how many staff will be required for your re-opening. Will they be full-time, part-time, casual or a combination of all of these.
- If you need to re-hire, make sure you consider the time taken to advertise, interview and train new employees. Renew any accounts with Seek.com or other hiring platforms.
- For your casual employees who have been paid the JobKeeper allowance, start to consider how many hours you can ask them to work to get up to the $750 allocation per week.
6. Consider your business cashflow requirements.
- What payments will you need to consider once the business fully reopens? Talk to your accountant to get on top of supplier payments, payroll, rent and other operating expenses.
- Will you need to seek short-term business finance to help get you through the next 6-12 months while your business recovers from the shutdown? Speak to our lending experts if you need.
- At Beyond Merchant Capital, we can offer you unsecured short-term business finance that is paid back as an agreed percentage of your turnover rather than a fixed amount. This may be particularly useful for you as your business starts to recover from the shutdown. We understand that business may take a while to return to normal and we walk beside you on the journey (no matter how many bumps we go over together along the way!) If you’re interested or would like to learn more, give one of our loan specialists a call on 1300 142 035 or visit www.beyondmerchantcapital.com.au
Speak with a lending specialist today about funding the growth of your business.