So it has finally come to this. You have no choice but to close your business and wait out the COVID-19 crisis. All is not lost, this is just temporary.
Shutting down a business temporarily is a process. You need to make sure you do it the right way so that when things get better you can bounce right back.
Administration and Human Capital
1 Inform Your Workers of Leave Policy
Review your payment and leave policies for consistency with public health guidance and compliance with the legal requirements around the quarantine. Explain these policies to your workers and inform them of the payments and benefits that they should expect. Communication is very important; these are hard times for all of us.
2 Check for Business Interruption Clause in Your Insurance Contract
Does your insurance include a business interruption clause in it? Not sure? Knowing insurance companies, they are not going to call you. It’s up to you to find out. Right now, anything you can get to cover losses suffered is welcome.
3 Seek Waivers and Rent Abatement
Again, communication is very vital. Don’t just get up and leave. Avoid conflict and talk to your landlord. Request a waiver of these lease provisions or rent abatement officially. As the saying goes, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’.
4 Talk to Your Suppliers
Most supplier contracts include the so-called “force majeure” that can relieve either party of performance of the contract for unforeseeable circumstances and the COVID-19 pandemic definitely qualifies for that.
5 I Know I’ve Said this But Please Communicate
You and everyone around your business are not only worried about what’s going to happen financially but also are worried about their lives, health, and the well-being of their loved ones. Don’t make promises you can’t keep but also don’t keep anyone guessing. Make your plans clear.
Your Physical Place of Business
6 Inspect Everything Before You Close
Inspect your sales floor thoroughly including your service area and cash register. Storage, the toilet, etc. You do not want to come back to realize that the little leakage that you never noticed has turned your business place into a water reservoir. Water damage can be devastating.
7 Do a Deep Clean
Do some serious cleaning before you close. Think about it; you want to come back to a fresh start. Reduce the chance of spending the first day of your comeback cleaning instead of making money.
8 Be Ready to Open Tomorrow
Set your sales floor as though you could reopen the next day. You may not know when you will be back but those who are prepared will be in a better position to bounce back faster.
9 Give Special Attention to Your Store Room
You must reorganize your storage room so it is neat and workable during your grand reopening:
- fill in shelves,
- set new end features,
- add new signing, and
- update your speed bump displays
Yes sir, when you reopen your store is ready to fly off the blocks.
10 Don’t Forget to Turn off the Lights
Turn off all electronics that will not be used while you are closed. Here are some common electronics you need to consider:
- cash registers,
- electronic vendor displays,
11 Keep it Safe
Test your security alarm, fire alarm, and sprinkler system. Notify your security contractor that you are shutting down, so they are sure there is no chance of false alarm. If it is triggered it is probably not you.
12 Adjust the Temperature
Adjust your business place’s thermostat to a safe level. Make sure the temperature is just right to prevent freezing, mold, and to protect sensitive merchandise.
13 Be Smart with Your Door Sign
A sign that just says ‘closed’ is not as impactful as a well-thought-of note that briefly explains that you are closing due to the COVID-19 threat but will be back to serve them again soon when it is all-over. The latter creates an emotional bond.
Prepare to Make Up for Lost Time
14 Talk to Us and Prepare to Roll Back Smoothly
This whole article has been about bouncing back quickly when the all-clear is given. We sincerely want to help your small business. Our free advertising campaign offer for small businesses targeting Muslim audiences is still open.
Advertising may feel out of place right now, so you don’t have to commit. You can talk to us at Muslim Ad Network and we will get back to you when you are ready and here is why you should; when all is well again:
- You will need to attract as many customers as soon as possible
- People will be looking for offers and you need to reach them easily
- The online shopping trend will continue due to newly discovered convenience and you don’t want to miss out
- People will be excited to be able to go out again and your restaurant, shop, or hair salon will be a good excuse for them to do so, but they need to see you when they are browsing the internet