Slowly but surely, businesses are beginning to reopen. Just about everyone is operating with new procedures, guidelines, and pressures. Understandably, business owners are more than eager to get the ball rolling; to open their doors, re-engage with customers and clients, and gradually recover from the impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods. Candidly, their future depends on how well they execute their reopen strategies and earn the trust of customers.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a series of resources that may be helpful as you reopen and make the modifications required to not only comply with guidelines from your State’s leaders, but also ensure a safe environment for your team, and your customers and clients to get back to business. They have published a “Guide to Reopening Your Business” and a “Coronavirus Guide for Small Businesses” – both downloadable – along with a wide variety of State and sector-specific tools to help you along the way as questions arise and new challenges present. I encourage you to leverage them and use them to your advantage by clicking here.
Additionally, I believe it is important for every business owner and manager to remember that compassion and empathy are going to be critically important in the coming weeks and months. The pressure is on for you as the business owner or manager, but you are not alone. The pressure is on your team members who need their jobs, and who are committed to your company. Many people’s lives have been flipped upside down since March. Emotions will be running high, and I expect they will run the full gamut – from excitement and positivity to apprehension, sadness, and maybe even fear. Be patient. Be kind. Be understanding. Be flexible, as much as you can. Keep the communication lines open, and remind everyone on your team that alignment works both ways. As you commit to being transparent and keeping your folks informed, ask the same in return. Make sure your team knows you want to hear from them, are there to field and answer their questions, and will provide unwavering support as you set a new rhythm and adjust to new norms, together.
Lastly, and this might be the toughest recommendation of all … try to have some fun. Everyone can use a little lighthearted humor in their lives right now. Embrace the changes, recognize the people standing around you are your strongest supporters, and demonstrate your gratitude. No one is implying that what is ahead will not be stressful; it will. But try to find some ways to layer some laughter in the mix, too. We can all use a good dose of that these days!