Mask Mandate part 2?
If your state enforces masks again, or restricts certain businesses to be open, what are you going to do to ensure your business does not close?
My fiancé works for the government and told me they're requiring masks in all areas vaccinated or not. Not long ago we, as a collective, were under the impression that vaccines would bring us back more of our pre-2020 lifestyles. Now, as it seems the masks are returning what can we do as business owners to make sure we do not get shutdown?
Start off simple
Do not get too much on your plate too fast. That's what happened last time. We were all scared and running around not knowing what to do. Let's take a deep breath. Put masks back out on the sale racks, and decide if an employee will guard the door monologuing about wearing masks again.
Know what makes you, and your team, comfortable
Without starting an argument, I know people on both extremes of the COVID 19 fence. There are some who wear 3 pairs of gloves per hand and haven't left home since early 2020, and know those who believe you will be microchipped if you get the vaccine. Doesn't matter who is right, who is wrong, and who is nuts. This is your business, don't forget that. If your state has not put down mandates on masks, or what type of businesses are open- ask yourself these questions:
Do I feel safe around my customers?
Do I feel our business needs to take better care with cleanliness?
Do my employees seem afraid of the virus? If they do, what can I do to ease their minds? Is work from home an option?
Do I want to require my customers to wear masks or show proof of vaccination?
Should I have a booth at the front of my store offering masks and hand sanitizer?
Do I need a "No Masks Needed" sign made?
These are just a few questions to start you off. You need to know how you and your employees feel before setting any business rules.
What went wrong in 2020 for your business? I may be biased, but I saw a lot of businesses cut advertising when advertising is what they truly needed. Were customers easily able to tell if you were open or closed? Did your customers know if they had to wear masks inside your business or not? Were you short-staffed?
Sit down and ask yourself to relive the entirety of the lockdowns in 2020. What did you commend yourself, and your staff, on accomplishing? What did you not do so well? What do you wish you did differently?
Did you know that 60% of business closures due to the Coronavirus became permanent by September of the same year? This does not include businesses who tried to reopen and could not sustain the first loss.
2020 showed us all that nothing in this world is guaranteed.
86.3% of small business owners make less than $100,000. So, there may not be a lot of wiggle room between daily expenses, payroll, and getting food on the table. Be sure to make allowances for yourself, and your business.
Do you sell your products, or services, online? If you do, how often do you update your website, social media, and other internet-facing programs? Start your online persona now so your current clients can begin to get in the routine of checking your Facebook or Instagram to see your store hours or new products. 90% of people on Instagram follow a brand; let your brand be one of them!
It seems some states are requiring masks, so does that mean lockdowns are next? Only time will tell. Always be on the lookout for your business. Small businesses have a lot stacked against them, and a home-ridden society may drop consumer spending habits. Talk with others who run businesses and network with them. Ask them the questions listed above, and see how your cooperation could help other small businesses in your community.