A woman in a mask browsing clothing in a store.
As COVID-19 restrictions ease over the coming weeks, now is the time to consider how you will reopen your business to customers. Consider the following tips to plan your reopening safely and successfully.

Put a plan in place

It is important to create a plan before you reopen. This will allow you to open your doors and for things to run as smoothly as possible. You should consider and plan for factors including:

  • restrictions or limits that are still in place and how you will manage them
  • how quickly you will reopen your business to customers
  • how many staff you will need to accommodate your customers.

After the financial impact of COVID-19, you may need to recalculate your expenses and manage your finances. Creating a cash flow forecast may be useful to plan for your reopening, understand where you can recuperate lost revenue and maximise profits.

Find out how to create a cash flow forecast.

Protect your employees and customers

Ensuring a clean environment for your customers and employees is essential for a successful return to business. Set up a regular cleaning schedule to make sure your business premises is as safe as possible.

Consider what practices you can put in place to protect your employees and customers. You might want to take precautions to minimise risk such as wearing gloves and masks, or using physical barriers such as sneeze guards.

If your business requires staff to wear PPE (personal protective equipment), you should provide training to staff about how to wear it correctly.

To reduce the risk of infection among employees and customers, spend some time educating your employees about how to prevent risk. This includes highlighting the symptoms of COVID-19 and encouraging staff to stay home if they feel unwell.

Find out how to protect customer safety, understand their rights and keep them supporting your business.

Find the latest information and resources to keep your employees safe.

Manage your stock

If your business has been closed for an extended period of time, you may want to revisit your stock levels. As businesses begin to reopen, there is likely to be an increased demand for supply. Make sure you have enough stock before opening to fulfil customer needs.

You should get a good idea of demand before ordering a large amount of stock. Monitor the needs of your customers over the first few weeks to help decide how much you need to order.

Learn how to track what's selling and manage your stock levels.

Communicate the reopening to your customers

Your customers will be eager to hear about your reopening. Spread the word through your website, social media, email or phone call.

For some business types that require bookings, such as hairdressers or personal services, try and schedule customers in prior to reopening. This will mean you can maximise your time and get back on track faster.

You may want to reopen with a promotion or special event. For example, the first 50 visitors to a store could go in the draw for a prize. This can help encourage your customers to return and can promote your business.

Continue remote and online services

Some of your customers may not be ready to re-enter your business as soon as you open. They may not feel comfortable visiting you in person yet or might prefer the convenience of online arrangements. By offering alternatives to in person services, such as contactless click and collect or a delivery service, you may reach more customers and increase your bottom line.

Understand the benefits of selling online.

Read next

Visit our guide to continuing business for more tips on the steps you can take to help keep your business operating in times of uncertainty.