Make a phase three reopening plan
Plotting your course gives you and your team a map to follow. A documented plan also assures customers and partners of your commitment to everyone’s shared goal: safety.
Start with your “why”
Begin formulating your plan by revisiting your corporate values. Again, all businesses share a couple of common goals — everyone wants to keep people safe, and everyone wants to conduct business. But each company’s values will determine their unique philosophy, approach, and even tactics.
So filter your corporate values through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hierarchy of Controls. It’s a visual that puts your options in perspective according to effectiveness and implementation difficulty. Typically, the most effective prevention measures are the most difficult to apply and enforce.
Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
What do these measures look like in practice? Experts at both Cornell University and the American Society of Safety Professionals have mapped the hierarchy tactics for a phase three reopening.
However, no outside expert knows your philosophical values as intimately as you and your team do. So gather your directors and managers and any other business leaders, and involve them in this mental work. The exercise will help determine the why behind your new strategy.
For example, if one of your values is “teamwork” or “interdependency,” then you might allow workers to show up each day without recording temperature checks or showing negative COVID-19 test results. You may say, “Our values compel us to trust one another,” and you’ll rely on your team members to use their judgment and self-screen.
But if your values are “transparency” or “radical candor,” you may feel it’s more appropriate to record temperatures, including leadership’s. (While the federal government allows temperature checks, remember to check with local and state regulations before asking employees personal questions).
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” writes Simon Sinek in his popular book Start with Why. Having a fundamental reason why you plan to open your way will allow you to defend your logic when uncertainties arise.
Consider your financial abilities and timeline
With your new, values-driven mentality, you can now assess your financial ability to transition back to open. Here’s how.
- • Examine your current profit and loss statement and balance sheet. Before deciding anything, you must know what you have (and why/where it came from).
- • Evaluate your cash reserves and current cash flow. An updated cash flow statement can help you determine your business’s financial health. It’ll show your ability to navigate unexpected events (surprise setbacks or opportunities) without skipping a beat.
- • Decide now what expenses and income streams are flexible. Based on your analysis of your finances, make a list of costs that may be suspended or even cut if necessary to accommodate the upcoming transition. Then, brainstorm revenue sources and financing options that could come in useful.
- • Forecast scenarios based on financial possibilities. Know exactly where you’ll be in three months, six months, and a year, depending on what reopening moves you make now. Envision the financial outcome of today’s decisions.
If you’re like most small and mid-market business owners, these financial analyses are beyond your current capacity. You may not have the time, data integrity, processes, desire, or know-how, or to sit down and study your finances before reopening.
Thankfully, though, that’s what we at Ignite Spot do best. Talk with an Ignite Spot accountant (for free) today by calling us at 1-855-694-4648. We’ll help you know exactly what you need to use concrete financial data to decide the best reopening course for you.
Knowing your financial status simplifies the timing of your phase three reopening strategy. And that’s great because next, you’ll plot the plan’s timelines. All that’s needed is a list of upcoming moves you plan to make, and what will prompt them. Ground this timeline in a combination of external and internal events.
“External events” could include the following:
- • Governors’ orders
- • Declining local case counts
- • Nearby hospital capacities/system loads
- • Vaccine availability
Internal milestones may involve protocol readiness — when will you have the tools and processes poised to execute? It could also entail employee sentiment. Many small businesses are taking this opportunity to survey team members on their feelings about the transition.
To inspire your own survey, TinyPulse offers a helpful list of 10 pre- and post-return-to-work questions you can use.