Mike Clark’s Business Bites: Ask yourself these Covid preparation questions

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How have you trained your staff to deal with customers who are not following your rules and guidelines, are you aware of social distancing and the use of masks? Photo / Brett Phibbs

What will you do when your business becomes an interesting place to be? Have you made a plan if a team member gets Covid?

How many conversations have you had in the past week where the topic of conversation became Covid-related within five minutes? The outbreak in the Palmerston North community has increased the focus on Covid. The latest mask rules and other regulatory requirements have caught the attention of business owners. Are you allowing this to be an all-consuming energy guzzler, or have you taken the necessary steps and are staying forward-thinking?

In unfamiliar situations, we need to do what we can, make our peace with it and make sure we have a feedback loop to stay on top of things, and then focus on finding our way through the storm. Feeding your attention to the panic monster saps energy from you and your team and infects customers and suppliers.

Assess the situation, make decisions, and do a quick review each day to ensure you stay on track. Strategies to consider should cover how to continue working if a team member is infected or is in close contact and needs to be isolated. Can you create team bubbles that alternate days in the office, or let some key team members stay away?

Think about your supply chain – should you stock up (provided you have the cash flow, of course!), contact suppliers, find alternative suppliers? Customer communication is essential – what signage do you have in place, how have you trained your staff to deal with customers who are not following your rules and guidelines, are you aware of who can be on site, distance between people, use of masks, etc .?

Do you have a PR strategy in case your company appears in the news as a location of interest? Are you keeping your marketing and sales activities compliant to ensure you continue to make money and maintain market share? Are you working with your dealers/hauliers and contractors to ensure they have appropriate plans in place?

There are many unknowns, and as the government tries to navigate these unknown times, the rules will keep changing. Vigilance and proactivity are the best ways to move forward. “This too shall pass” is a true statement – plan well and make sure you’re still sailing on the right side of this storm!

• Mike Clark is a director and senior trainer and facilitator at Think Right Business Training Company.

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