As numbers of those testing positive appear to be stabilizing, business owners are asking themselves, where do I start to make preparations to rebound from this pandemic?
While no one has a sure-fire answer to get everyone back on their projected paths for 2020, there are five things you can begin to do in order to steer your business in the right direction.
1. First and foremost, keep yourself healthy. Take the necessary precautions that have continually been stressed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and protect yourself by wearing a mask and gloves and washing your hands consistently. We all play a part to help keep each other safe—set the example and wear protective attire until the pandemic is under control. It is easy to take these suggested measures seriously when we are aware of how often we are in contact with surfaces that could have been affected by someone who has been exposed to COVID-19. Most importantly, try and stay mentally and physically strong. Stress increases your chance of illness, so avoid items that will add stress to your current situation.
2. Stay informed. Knowledge is power, and in an atmosphere where we are largely powerless over our circumstances and results, it’s imperative to continue to educate yourself on what is happening in your specific region, as well as the regions of your customers. As things continue to change daily, staying on top of the newest releases can be overwhelming, but, as a leader, it is necessary. Your team and clients may look to you for information on how they or their business can be supported. Reliable sources such as the CDC, the PA Department of Health, and the U.S. Small Business Administration are worth bookmarking.
3. Consider the safety of your environment that your team or clients will be returning to. Everyone, rightfully so, is going to want assurance that they will be working in a sterile environment. Consider how you will incorporate disinfecting measures prior to your team’s return and on a regular basis. All surfaces throughout your facility should be thoroughly disinfected to confirm COVID-19 does not exist. Incorporate continual risk mitigation techniques that will reduce exposure, including daily disinfecting throughout the day by all members of your team or designated personnel and having a contract to perform thorough disinfecting applications, in the event your space has become cross-contaminated. It could be as simple as someone coughing or sneezing that warrants your response to address the cleaning with a professional company.
The thorough disinfecting application should be completed by experienced professionals that perform bio-hazard treatment services. These professionals will approach the situation prepared to protect all personnel and are experienced with disinfecting infectious diseases. Unlike risk mitigation that you can incorporate during the workday, these treatments will cover all surfaces, of all material types, and be circulated through the air systems, typically through a fogging application.
This type of treatment needs to be thorough and beyond a regular janitorial cleaning. Inquire if the company performs regular bio-hazard cleanup services, also about the EPA listing of the product being used, the effectiveness rating, the type of product, and the dwell time. Confirm the disinfectant is safe for the contents within your space and that there will not be a residue left behind or harsh fumes that could cause respiratory issues.
Confirm the company will take ownership for the service they are providing. In times of widespread disaster and crisis, unfortunately, many opportunistic individuals and business owners see a chance to make a rapid shift or diversify their business services. Particularly in a time where health and safety are critical, it is important to use providers that have experience and training dealing with bio-hazard situations and infectious/communicable diseases.
4. Make sure you are maintaining communication with your employees and customers. Although we are not certain when normal operations will continue, your commitment to communicate is as important now as it was before. Continue to develop the relationships you have invested time building, prior to this pandemic. During these times, how we relate to each other and stay connected is fundamental. Everyone wants to know that they are not alone—offer support and be willing to share that they are being thought of. Regular communication doesn’t need to be anything specific but should be authentic.
5. Be mindful of how your business may be transformed or may need to transform. Uncertainty is an opportunity for you to be creative. Allow yourself to think outside of the box, or better yet, get rid of the box. Create a shift focusing on untraditional ways to operate and serve your clients. Maybe this is a great time to make changes? What processes and procedures do you currently have in place that may be outdated or that cannot co-exist with your new ideas?
Most importantly, take this time to really think about the end result you are working towards. Create a map that identifies your target. This doesn’t have to be a detailed plan. Obviously, we are not in complete control of everything, so focus on the direction you are going rather than the specific details. Seize this time to get clear on the results you will focus on. Your mindset matters—take care of yourself and don’t allow yourself to fall into a negative trap. We are made to thrive, not survive! Let’s commit to being a community that supports each other and helps one another. As community supporters of TheBurg, we have great hope that this state of affairs will help us build stronger connections, allowing us to grow personally and in business together.
Service1st Restoration is located at 330 East Park Dr., Harrisburg. For more information, call 717-232-5444 or contact President Jaime Novinger-Toigo at email@example.com or Siera Sambrosky, marketing director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service1st Restoration is a property disaster company serving the business community 24/7/365 with emergency services including: fire restoration, smoke and odor removal, water mitigation and remediation, commercial structural drying, structure and content cleaning, mold remediation, IAQ testing, bio-hazard cleanup services, virus decontamination and disinfecting services, including COVID-19.