With the Covid-19 pandemic crisis continuing unabated since January of this year, no one seems to have a clue as to how and well this existential crisis will end. While an unprecedented lockdown, may offer a temporary panacea of sorts in keeping the pandemic numbers from spiking, it may not be the best solution in the long run. With livelihoods at stake and the economy going into a free-fall, it makes it all the more imperative to get to learn to ‘live with this pandemic”.
Small and big businesses owners will have to “man up” and re-open their stores and reboot their businesses by ensuring that they follow all necessary precautionary and safety measures that would help keep store owners, employees and their customers safe by ensuring that they are not infected by the COVID 19 contagion.
If you are running a store or a business outlet, here are a few suggestions that would help in putting safeguards in place to help protect your employees (staff) and customers at your store stay safe:
AT YOUR STORE:
- Ensure that your business store is clean at all times.
- Stock up your workplace with an adequate supply of sanitizers, disinfectants, soaps, masks and gloves.
- Ensure that the air-conditioning is switched off. Ensure all windows of your store are open to minimize the risk of inhaling re-circulated air.
- If your store boasts of a sizeable working staff, try to work towards having a minimal staff at the store on any given day. Evolve a “duty roster” to help your staff support your store on a shift basis or on specific days of the week, to avoid overcrowding at the store.
- If possible, sanitize and disinfect all your merchandise at the start of the day. You may use wet swipes or disinfectants for this purpose if it offers a practical solution to keeping your merchandize sanitized at all times.
- Practice and ensure “social distancing” inside the store at all times.
- Make wearing safety face masks mandatory, at all times. Also ensure that face masks are put on properly. Wearing gloves would definitely offer an extra layer of safety.
- Monitor employee temperature before they enter the work place
- Ask employees to sanitize their hands before entering the premises
- Request sick employees to not report to work.
- Encourage employees to wash their hands more often and make it mandatory for them to wear their masks at all times when they are inside the store premises.
- Keep yourself and your employees well informed with the latest news updates and additional safety precautions that they might have to take to help them stay safe.
- Monitor customer’s temperature before they enter the store.
- Provide customers with hand sanitizers and request them to sanitize their hands before entering the store.
- Restrict customers entering your store to a minimum at any given point of time to ensure that social distancing and safety measures are maintained.
- Customers waiting outside the store would also need to be requested to maintain social distancing and wait for their turn to enter the store.
- Ensure customers wear safety face masks at all times at the store. Also, ensure that face masks are put on properly.
CHECK OUT & PAYMENTS:
(i) Make it mandatory that your cashier wears safety gloves if he or she is accepting or returning cash from or to a customer.
Payments via Digital Payment Devices:
(i) Promote contactless payments if possible.
(ii) Otherwise, ensure all payment devices are properly sanitized after a successful digital card swipe
PACKING & DELIVERY:
(i) Use disposable bags while handing over the purchases to your customer.
(ii) If your customer puts in a request for having their purchase delivered to their homes, ensure that you have a “Contactless” delivery done to their homes and the delivery personnel wearing all necessary protective gear in the interests of the safety of the customer.