Almost every week, a new group of businesses are given the green light to open.
As a business owner, what are my risks to staff and customers in doing that and can they be mitigated ?
The Government ideal is still 2 metre social distancing for customers and staff but Government has updated its guidance that includes the situation where 2 metre distancing isn’t possible and what steps can be taken to mitigate any risk.
These incorporate more cleaning, physical barriers being installed at pinch points in person flow or where staff need to work in close proximity etc.
These changes allow places like hairdressers to open when the service couldn’t be provided with a 2 metre distance.
All of these bring either direct costs or reductions in capacity and therefore turnover
The key issue for a business owner is to undertake a full risk assessment which we would recommend is discussed with staff as they will be the ones to implement it and as they are in the business front line, they will quickly highlight issues as well as areas where risks can be reduced.
That needs to be done alongside a business review to establish if the business can afford to open.
The impact of a reduction in customers coupled with increased costs for items such as PPE, frequent cleaning, staffing changes to meet what could be longer days etc need to be considered
When general retail opened, there was a busy couple of days followed by a drop in activity as people had used online more and were still worried about their health.
Areas such as hairdressing will have a backlog of customers to clear that may take some time and longer working days and therefore extra costs, but once that is cleared, the customer levels will be back to normal very quickly and may not cover the increased cost and risk of meeting health guidelines.
Restaurants will have a reduced number of tables, menus may need to be made disposable, increased cleaning of tables etc after each use, the staff ratio will change and may increase due to cleaning duties all of which will reduce the margins of the business.
Individual properties will also present new challenges where staff numbers need to be reduced to maintain safe distancing for staff and customers even with one way areas to manage flow, screens being installed where 2 metres isnt possible etc
At Harrisons Business Rescue we can help you with your business plan to open in what will be a different trading environment
We also work with other specialist who can offer help and assistance with the practicalities of opening and help reduce your risk
Contact us HERE