Reopening our businesses is like seeing a lighthouse through the fog right now. It’s there, but it seems far away. Many states across New England are in phase 1, so reopening should be on every business owner’s mind. This is a different type of reopening, though. It’s not dusting and airing out the store. That’s okay – Waltham Pest Services can help.
We’ve got five great tips to help you confidently reopen:
TIP #1: Don’t forget about social distancing
The six feet apart requirement from the CDC has not gone away, and we don’t know when that will happen. So, make sure you make that requirement easier to abide by. Having one-way aisles, taking unnecessary objects out of your store to create more space, and adding plexiglass barriers are all ways you can help. Your employees will benefit from it as much as your customers will. Additional ways to help your employees are having separate break times and discouraging congregating in common areas.
TIP #2: Keep your employee’s health at the forefront
Some jobs just can’t be done remotely. Make sure your employees that do come into work remember their health. It may sound silly, but ask them to perform daily health checks. It makes them think about how they are feeling and truly be in touch with their health. Check temperatures at the door and provide your employees with the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) at a minimum. Once Covid-19 tests are more available, consider providing them to your employees. It will keep them and your customers safer.
TIP #3: Safe handling measures
Takeout and delivery is not only for pizzerias anymore! Retail stores are able to have pickup and delivery, but knowing how to do it correctly is important. The less human interaction, the safer your customers and employees will feel. Having a dedicated space for pickup items will mitigate confusion. Putting seals on bags will show the items inside haven’t been touched after being placed in the bag, and be sure to mark bags clearly with names so customers don’t accidentally touch someone else’s items. These are just a few common-sense ways to show your customers it’s safe to purchase from you. Don’t turn them away by not taking some simple measures like this.
TIP#4: Tell everyone what you’re doing
Customers and staff will be more confident in your location if they know you have a reopening safety plan and are following it. How can you let them know? Write it down and post it wherever people can see it. It’s ok if your customers see your safety plan for the employees. It’s better that they do, actually. If you go with a professional disinfectant treatment, be sure you get a window cling and a certificate to proudly display for all to see. Facebook, email, twitter, Instagram – all great ways to get the word out about what you are doing to make your location safe for anyone who enters. The safer they feel, the more likely they are to frequent your place of business.
TIP #5: Get that disinfectant treatment done
There are plenty to choose from. Just make sure the one you choose is doing everything you need. Are they taking the time to do a wipe-down of all high-touch areas like doors, racks, bathroom fixtures, etc. or are they just misting? The wipe-down may take longer, but it’s more effective, so you’ll want to make sure they are taking the time to do it. Be sure the product the company you choose is using is not only defined as “practically non-toxic and not an irritant” by the EPA but still strong enough to take out 99.99% of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other pathogens including H1N1 Swine Flu and E. coli. Even better if it’s on the EPA’s “List N” of products that meets their criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent of Covid-19. If you have food or at least food areas (think lunchrooms), the product should be rated “no rinse required on food contact surfaces,” category D2, by NSF International. And don’t think of this treatment as a one-off. Adding it to your regularly scheduled cleaning is best.
The “new normal” has to be the worst term that has come out of this whole thing, but it’s fitting for this. It’s not business as usual anymore and doing the right thing includes more than just the five tips above. They’re at least a good start. Just make sure to talk about it. With your customers, with your employees, with anyone that will listen! They won’t know if you don’t tell them. Be sure to listen as much as you communicate, too. Response to this is only as good as the customer feels. If they aren’t feeling safe and they tell you – take it to heart and be flexible enough to change if necessary. If you do make any changes – tell everyone!
Nobody can wait for this all to be over. Whether it’s just using the swings at the park again, sitting down to a nice dinner at a restaurant, or buying a nice, new pair of shoes – freely going wherever we please may take a little time and alleviating of nerves. It’s not impossible, though. Waltham Pest Services can get you started with a clean slate with the Waltham® UltiClean™ disinfectant service mentioned in tip #5. It’s an excellent start. Give us a call to help with reopening today.