How to Reopen Your Business in Highly Uncertain Times

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been hearing people make statements like these . . .

“We are just glad that we have survived the pandemic so far. But if there is a big resurgence, it could nearly kill our business.”
“We’re making plans to reopen our business, but scared we will have to shut down again.”

Reassuring Thoughts for Uncertain Times

These are risky times, and those fears are entirely justified. But when you stop to think about it, you realize that even in so-called good times, running your business puts you at risk. When you hire a new employee, he could turn out to be inefficient, dishonest, or worse. When you launch a new product, consumers might not want it. And if you staff up as the pandemic ends, you might later need to lay off some of those new hires if your profits don’t meet your projections.

But the bottom line is, reopening your business is now just one more process in the continuum of running your enterprise. You’ve lived with risk in the past, and you will continue to do so in the future. Yet you still need to assess and manage risks you are facing. Some risks are especially acute right now. But there are reliable and proven steps for calculating and minimizing the damage they pose to you.

List and Understand Where Your Risks Lie

What’s troubling you right now? What are you and other company leaders meeting about?

Maybe you are worried that you will invest in improvements in your office space to accommodate your returning employees, only to have them go back to working at home if there is an increase in Covid-19 in your area. Or you might hire new employees and then have to furlough them again. Those are worrisome and costly expenses, but they appear less crippling if you list them and take the next step too.

Do a Worst-Case Scenario Analysis and List the Risks from the Most Costly to the Least

Yes, fears could be keeping you awake at night. Maybe your biggest worry is that you will have to deliver the news to your people that your premises will remain closed a while longer. Or maybe you are worried that you will have to continue to pay rent on office space you are not fully using.

But if you ask, “What is the worst thing that will happen if I have to do those things?” you might find that their real cost is not as great as your “panic response” is leading you to believe. You might discover, for example, that allowing your employees to work remotely for another month has no extra dollar cost to you, even though you will continue to lease space. When you look at the potential losses and costs, you can put your risks into a realistic perspective.

Make Contingency Plans

Decide what your next steps will be if you have to cut back or reclose, and then reopen later. And get detailed in your planning . . .

  • If you have to allow employees to continue to work from home for longer than you were anticipating, will there be new or increased costs to you to provide them with additional equipment or make other investments?

  • If you need to renegotiate your lease now because you will have fewer employees in house and don’t need the space, how should you structure those negotiations, and how much can you save?

And Be Sure to Consider Short-Term and Flexible Solutions

Flexible working options can cushion your business from harm and help you to bounce back faster from any temporary setbacks.

Some of these solutions can include . . .

  • Securing short-term temporary working locations near your employees’ homes

  • Allowing employees to work fewer hours – or more hours on fewer workdays every week

  • Outsourcing specific functions on a temporary basis

  • Supporting employees who want to work from home on reduced schedules

Remember, providing remote and other space solutions is what KettleSpace does. Why not explore how our solutions can work for you?

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