3 things to think about when reopening during COVID

what to do when you reopen your store during covid

Cris Willis

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So, you are open to public walk-in traffic or making plans to open your store.  Have you thought through all of the aspects of your “new normal”?  Here are some key things to put on your to-do list.  After speaking with hundreds of retail stores across the country over the last month here is a list of the Best Retail Practices for the “New Normal” for the foreseeable future.

First, you MUST realize that we are not going back to the way things were before.

Things have changed, people have changed.  Our “New Normal” keeps evolving every day.

You must be flexible, think on your feet, and focus on the safety of your staff and your customers.  This will affect everything you do from hiring, marketing, staff development, cash flow, sales training, and more.


Step 1: Vision

Begin with a Vision of your business for the next 3 – 6 months.  To have the most positive outcome after this crisis you will need a new, post-pandemic vision for the business.  Sit and think about how you want/need your “new” business to run.  Looking towards the future of your business, what roles do you need to hire for, and which do you no longer need.  Determine what job skills are needed to run your new business.  You may have started an eCommerce site; you may be selling more on social media now or have just started selling on social media.

Write out your “Vision” of what your new business looks like, feels like, how it runs, etc.  Set goals for what you think your revenue and expenses will be for the next 3 months.  Then detail each “role” (job) that is needed in this “new” business.  Now you are ready to find the right “souls” (people) to fill the “roles” you need.


Step 2: What Souls fill these Roles?

As you determine which staff members fit into the right “roles” you may have to give them new job descriptions.  You might even need to hire someone new that has the skills necessary to fulfill a new “role” you have created.

Be prepared to “interview” all returning staff and new staff to make sure that they are ready, willing, and able to fulfill the new “role” you need for your “new” business of the future.


Step 3: Regularly Check with Current Public Health Updates

Continue to check with the CDC, state, and local guidelines for the requirements/recommendations for your area.  Each state/city/county may have different occupancy rates, rules regarding masks, returns, fitting rooms, and more.

Work with your team to develop your new strategies and protocols that need to be implemented as you open back up.  If your staff feels heard and cared for, they will have “buy-in” for the new procedures and will make sure they are carried out.


Websites for free and to purchase COVID-19 Signage:


Cris Willis

Cris is a business coach for independent retailers. With 25 years of experience owning and operating a family business, she now guides retail owners to make smarter decisions regarding inventory management, marketing, sales training, product assortment, and more. When not at work, she loves to travel the country with her husband in their motorhome.

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