Headache of the business owners
“We had headaches with the business before, but pandemic response is just a different kettle of fish!”
We heard this from a hardware shop owner in the Cambridge area, a few weeks ago. He was a small business owner with years of experience in the chosen sector – they were used to dealing with supply-chains, billing, financial administration, managing their staff, and helping their customers.
Complying with government guidelines
We learned from our conversation that they felt all at sea in ensuring that their business was safe for the staff and their customers regarding coronavirus. They had new and building ‘headaches’ about complying with government guidelines, and whether they were liable for breaches in these protocols.
Responding to COVID-19 was distracting them from their core business: helping their customers find the hardware they need.
Corona regulations are here to stay
This business owner wanted to get back to doing what he does best, but he also recognised that the pandemic regulations are here to stay. Quick-fixes and a few bodged solutions weren’t going to cut it; he needed concrete information and real help.
We have put together some useful tips on how you as a small business owner can make your business safer during the pandemic period.
MIB Security’s Corona Safety Checklist for Small Business Owners:
- Pre-Entry Customer Warnings – before the customer can enter into the premises, it’s important that they fully understand the COVID measures that are operating within the shop or business. Preferably this would be a sign outside the door, mentioning the key protocols being observed, and the importance of wearing a mask.
- On-Entry Hand-Sanitiser – this is particularly important if you’re in a business where the customer is likely to touch and handle your products inside. Affix a hand gel dispenser outside on the wall, or attached to the sign mentioned above. This at least means clean hands coming into your premises. The dispenser on the way out will also be appreciated by customers, who likely be leaving a ‘public place’ and returning to the safe ‘private space’.
- (Optional) Temperature Scan – this step requires you to have a staff member or an external contractor to be manually scanning your customers, to ensure their body temperature is within normal bounds. This may be more suitable for larger stores and businesses, or business types where the customer will be spending significant periods of time interacting with others. We wouldn’t recommend this for a high-street bakery for example.
- Social Distancing Floor Marking – small, simple but very effective. Use brightly coloured duct tape as a visual nudge for customers to observe social distancing protocols. Walking about your store, which areas do people tend to come into close contact. Queuing up is an obvious one, but if there are narrow shelves or areas where people pass, it may be optimal to have a one-way system through these areas. You can protect both your customers and your staff with floor markings at the cashier, this will help both parties remember to keep their safe distance.
- Staff education and protocols – last but certainly not least. As all small business owners know, keeping your employees happy, healthy, and well-motivated is central to continued success. When implementing these COVID-19 measures be sure to guide your employees carefully through each of the protocols. Be sure to listen to any of their concerns or suggestions, people have developed specific fears or irresponsible nonchalance during COVID-19, your staff included. It’s crucial to understand their individual response to these testing times, to ensure that they fit within the health measures you institute in their place of work.
Is a Perspex shield a good tool?
A Perspex shield at the cashier is a great protective tool and will show your employees that you are taking this threat and their health seriously. Other measures like regular hand washing breaks will both be appreciated and reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus.
So, there’s five basic steps that business owners can take to ensure that they are as COVID-proof as possible, and that they are behaving responsibly for their customers and their employees. We hope that headache is easing a little.
Security solutions on a larger scale
However, as experienced professionals, we also understand that sometimes health security needs are more complex or must be implemented on a larger scale in a more accountable manner. So, if your headaches are not solved by the checklist above, please contact us at MIB Security.
We can provide more information and tailored solutions to make sure that your business continues to run smoothly through the corona-affected months, or possibly years ahead of us. Our experienced and SIA-trained security officers operate across the whole Cambridgeshire area and our COVID-19 solutions include:
- Managing Social Distancing
- No-contact Temperature Screening
- People-flow Control
- Sanitation Control
- Activity Reports
- Risk Assessment & Security Consulting