It’s an understatement to say the Covid pandemic blindsided businesses in 2020. However 2021 is the year of the big vaccination and we have most of the information we need to plan our return to business. Failure to do so will cause you and your staff undue anxiety and on the upside you may miss an opportunity to come out the far side of this pandemic in better shape.
So first things first, the government has published a timeline for the rollout of the vaccine (see below). It’s likely that the reopening for business plan will bear some resemblance to this timeline also. Throughout this whole period it is a certainty that the same precautions we implemented in 2020, will be mandatory for all businesses. So let’s keep things simple and make sure that you have all precautions in place enabling you to focus on business goals in 2021 and beyond:
- Have you a documented Covid Response Business plan? At a minimum include review points for March, June and September and given your experience in 2020, is there anything that needs to change in the way your business operated?
- Do you have enough supplies to see you through to the end of the year – hand sanitizer, cleaning products, masks and is all of you signage still in place or could anything do with being replaced eg floor markings?
- Have your staff completed a simple Covid-19 induction? This is available online, for free through the Health and Safety Authority – click here. Make sure you collect certificates from all staff and keep these on record. Then make sure your staff know the specific procedures in your workplace.
- What is your plan for an employee who feels sick with Covid symptoms during their working day? This was one of the key learnings from 2020, make sure staff know that they should not present to work if they have any symptoms or are close contacts. The implications of doing so are highly detrimental for your business – more staff becoming close contacts and therefore major disruption. Inform staff of the government illness benefit plan in place – click here.
Finally it may not seem likely at present, but have a plan for how to cope with more business than you expected, especially in the mid to latter part of the year. Things may change much quicker than you expect and there is pent up demand in lots of areas. Make sure you don’t miss that wave!
If you need any help with your plans, feel free to give us a call – contact us. We have mentored many SMEs in Louth through the Local Enterprise Office and are readily available to help. Best of luck and wishing everyone a very successful 2021.