Ready for Freedom Day? 8 tips to help you get back to business
Can you feel it? Vaccination rates are on the steady rise – and in fact ahead of schedule – which means Freedom Day is almost here for NSW! Hopefully, the rest of Australia will get there soon, but in reality – no matter where you’re based – it’s not too soon to start thinking about what reopening your business looks like.
The NSW government is predicting we’ll hit the 70% double-vax mark this week, and businesses will be able to open to the vaccinated public on the following Monday (the 11th October!). Now, of course we know it’s not a true “Freedom Day”, there will still be a fair few restrictions in place to keep everyone safe and healthy – but it’s a start and there’s definitely a buzz in the air.
So, it’s time to talk about getting back to business – how to reopen your business and make the most of the Freedom Day hype.
Consider what restrictions are still in place
Firstly though, we have to be aware that there are still plenty of restrictions in place until the vaccination rates hit at least 80% to 90%. Businesses should be aware which of these restrictions relate to them and how they can affect both staff and customers.
Conduct risk assessments
Before you can reopen your business, you need to look at updating your risk assessments and policies in line with the current rules. Keep these up to date and easy for your staff to access and comply to.
You may need to find out if your staff’s vaccination rates and therefore able to work under the new rules. You may need to put processes in place to check your customer’s vaccination passports, etc. Be prepared and put a plan in place before Freedom Day.
Train your staff
As a small business owner, you know you can’t be everywhere at once. It’s so important to train your staff so they know what restrictions they (and your customers) need to comply to so you don’t face any repercussions or fines.
Keep your staff and customers safe. Make sure you’re still keeping up cleaning schedules, check-ins and mask-wearing as required. Empower your staff to keep each other (and customers) accountable! No one wants another lockdown or harsher restrictions to come back into play.
Order stock or inventory well in advance
It’s a good idea to order stock and get your inventory sorted before the 11th. Also keep in mind that suppliers will need to keep up with demand, especially since you’ll be reopening your business on the same day as everyone else!
If you’re ordering products, keep in mind that supply chains have been significantly affected by the pandemic, so there may be delays getting your goods too. It might be necessary to come up with contingency plans so you can still open for business on Freedom Day and help you get ready for peak season.
Need cashflow to get the stock or inventory you need? A short-term business loan could be the way to go. Capify can help – get in touch with us about how we can help you with getting back to business.
Communicate with your customers
Whether by signage in your window, social media or carrier pigeon – make sure your customers know when you’ll open and what rules they need to follow before and after Freedom Day.
Manage expectations by being as transparent as possible! If your customers will need to abide by certain rules while at your premises, make sure these are known ahead of time. If you’re going to continue with only click & collect or delivery instead of completely reopening your business – let your customers know so they can continue supporting you.
Marketing strategy & offerings
Get a marketing strategy in place for the big opening day! Along with communicating to your customers, you may want to offer an incentive to help kick-start your business and make the most of Freedom Day. Have a think about the promotions that will help get cash flow moving again – what will encourage your customers to spend more or reward loyalty?
Of course, we understand marketing can be expensive. A short-term business loan can give you the capital you need to help you get the word out. Remember, Capify can get you funds in 24hrs, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
Keep a level head
We know a lot of small business owners are feeling some level of anxiety about getting back to business. Likewise, there are a lot of customers who are concerned about the risks of getting back out into the public – vaccinated or not!
The best advice we can give is keep a level head. Don’t expect drastic results overnight – especially when there will still be a number of restrictions in place until at least December! Make a plan, break it down into chewable chunks and focus only on what you have control over.
Rethink you business model long term
If we’re being honest with ourselves, this probably won’t be the last lot of restrictions we have to face. Plenty of other countries are reinstating rules and restrictions despite vaccination rates.
So it’s best for your business to have contingency plans, and to put steps into place now, supported by your current growth. As a small business owner, this is the best way you can ensure your business’ longevity, profitability and success moving forward.