COVID-19 has become a very polarizing topic for many people. Some individuals believe that it is a serious issue. Some individuals don’t believe it even exists. Others are somewhere in between. This has led to many people flouting rules regarding social distancing and mask-wearing. As a business owner it can seem hard to balance the scales between safety and not offending employees and customers. Here’s how to get it done.
Establish Clear Guidelines
Nobody likes being told that they are doing something wrong. This is especially true when they are under the impression that they know the rules and are following them. To avoid any confusion, you need to make sure that yourCOVID-19 safety rules are clear. Rather than saying, “Please maintain social distancing” use language like “Customers are required to maintain a social distance of 6 feet.” This language is much more specific. Anyone closer than 6 ft will know that they are in the wrong.
In some cases, individuals may believe that they are an exception to the rule. They may believe that they have a medical condition that excuses them from wearing a mask. Your guidelines should address these issues, and if necessary, offer alternative ways for these individuals to receive service.
Remind Customers and Employees
Sometimes, people will forget to follow the rules. In other cases, people will try to test you to see if you are going to enforce your guidelines. You can prevent any problems by proactively reminding people to follow your rules. At entrances to large businesses, you can have an employee greet customers and remind them to wear a mask. Social distancing posters can provide a helpful reminder to employees and customers. You can even have audio reminders play over the speakers every couple of minutes. At staff meetings, remind employees of their responsibilities and train them on how to encourage customers to be responsible. Through consistent messages and reminders, you’ll be able to help people understand that you are serious about your guidelines. This will go a long way towards achieving compliance.
Provide Masks, Gloves, etc.
In some cases, the best way to avoid a scene is to provide the individual with an easy way out. Rather than telling an employee or customer to go back to their car for a mask, you can make things easier by providing them with one. Those that forgot a mask will be extremely grateful. Those that hate masks will appreciate your willingness to make things convenient. You can even go one step further and provide gloves and hand sanitizer for those that are concerned. This will help customers realize that you truly care.
While compliance can be a tough battle, it is an important one. You can save many lives by helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. Customers will also appreciate that you value their safety. While some may complain about the inconvenience, that’s not nearly as bad as being blamed for endangering others. Keep up your efforts and things will start to get smoother with time.
Read this next: How to Optimize Your In-Store Inventory
Legal troubles can completely eradicate a business’s success. Keeping up with legal fees as well as bad press from the media can debilitate a company’s standing in the public eye. With the rise of cancel culture through social media, it has become more important than ever before to keep your business out of trouble.
Hire Legal Counsel
One safeguard you can implement to ensure you are not breaking the law is by hiring legal counsel. Business attorneys can help you analyze business practices and inform you when a law-abiding procedure is being kept or not. This can keep you out of hot water with the authorities.
Lawyers can help you frame your company’s rules in a stricter fashion, preventing employees from breaking safety regulations. Company lawyers can also help you with your taxes—navigating you through business tax codes and getting you the best tax cut available to you. While you could hire a lawyer full-time, it is often smarter to hire them on a contract basis.
Understand Business Law
If you don’t have the money in your budget to fund frequent legal counsel, you may have to take matters into your own hands. Fortunately because of the Internet, there are many websites that provide valuable legal information. You can learn about different forms of law and figure out where the blind spots of your business are.
There are also magazines and educational dissertations that can clarify and improve your understanding of business law. You can better understand why the laws exist, and make well-educated decisions accordingly. Additional education of the law can only help you as you delve into small business ownership.
Train Employees Frequently
You should not be the only one who is getting educated in laws applicable to your business. As the company owner or manager, you have responsibility over your employees to make sure they follow legal procedures. If they do not, your company could be under fire by social media pundits.
Hold regularly scheduled training. Make sure new employees are informed about safety and health procedures so they can keep themselves out of legal trouble. If one of your workers refuses to comply, you will probably have to let them go. This shows other people how important you take rules and regulations.
By implementing these practices into your business, you are creating a more secure legal environment for yourself, your company, and your employees. Respect the law, and make rule-following a practical part of your company’s environment.
Read this next: How to Reward Your Most Loyal Customers
When you work in sales, you can spend a lot of time trying to figure out the best ways to make more money. There are plenty of options available to help you maximize profits, but these few below are a great place to start.
Charge More for Services
This may seem obvious, but if you are looking to make more money from your sales, you may need to raise your prices. You may be hesitant to raise prices, but if you are undercharging for your services, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
When evaluating prices for your services there are many things you should keep in mind. Consider the costs you incur to make the service happen and the time you invest in each service. If you spend some of your time working on marketing, you may want to adjust your hourly rates so you are paid the rate you deserve for the whole week of work.
Avoid Time Wasters
Any time you spend on the job should be spent making your business run more smoothly, marketing, and providing services. Any wasted time ends up costing you money in the long run, and by removing time wasters, you can significantly increase what you are being paid for the time you are spending at work.
Some marketing techniques are a waste of time, even those that have seemed useful in the past. Cold calling is a common method but often requires a lot of time with little reward. Social media is super effective, but running several social media accounts can be a time suck, it is much better to choose a single social media platform to start with.
Market on Social Market
Social media can be a great low-cost way to increase your sales and increase customer engagement. By making videos with good content, you can bring more attention to your brand and encourage people to use your service or products. If you have a good following online, or even when you’re just starting out, encourage followers to like, share, and follow your page as part of a giveaway. You can also pay for social media ads which can be another fairly inexpensive way to increase your sales.
Making money when you work in sales can be a big task, but by taking action and avoiding wasting time, you can maximize your profits and minimize the extra time you have to spend on it.
5 tips for starting your own business
(BPT) - There’s no doubt the pandemic has hit small businesses hard. Even in its early weeks, February to April 2020, the number of active businesses plummeted by 22%, according to a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research. And unfortunately, the consequences of the early shutdowns impacted minority-owned businesses even harder, with Black-owned businesses seeing a 41% drop, Latinx businesses 32%, Asian businesses 26% and women-owned businesses 25%.
Does that bad news mean that now is the wrong time to consider starting a new business? Not necessarily. Opportunities exist for small businesses today, including support and funding for start-ups — and especially for minority business owners.
If you want to start a small business, here are steps to get you started.
1. Do your research
First, make sure you understand the current market for your business. This step is crucial to turn an idea into a full-fledged business plan.
Ask questions like:
Ask other business owners about their challenges and rewards to explore whether this is a good option for you. Use market analysis tools recommended by resources such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) to get to know the market for your business.
2. Write a business plan
No business can find funding, investors or partners without a solid business plan. Learning to write a comprehensive plan also forces you to fully think through every aspect of your proposed idea. The SBA is a great resource to research types of business plans.
Enlist the help of other business owners during the process if you can to understand how their plans helped them and what to avoid.
3. Fund your business
Every business needs capital to get started. Your business plan’s financial section should provide a clear idea of the capital you need to launch. Most businesses rely on multiple financial sources, including:
SBA loans can be a good option. For example, Huntington Lift Local Business is a small-business lending program focused on serving minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses. Huntington is a top SBA 7(a) lender that has developed creative lending options and other features to help bring relief, recovery and growth to small businesses across the Midwest.
With Huntington's program, businesses can secure SBA-guaranteed loans from $1,000 and up to $150,000 with:
“The economic uncertainty sparked by the pandemic has highlighted the need for increased financial opportunity for everyone starting or sustaining their small businesses,” said Huntington’s SBA program director, Maggie Ference. “Everyone deserves a shot at success, and our program delivers a new solution to customers when they need it most, whether for a startup or an established business looking to grow.”
4. Develop a marketing plan
Creating a brand identity and communicating it well is crucial to success. Consider hiring or contracting marketing services to help you choose your business name, create a logo, build your website and develop a strategic marketing plan to get the word out about your business.
5. Take care of business
Dotting the Is and crossing the Ts is necessary for any business. Details include choosing your business location and registering your business, applying for all the required licenses and permits, including federal and state tax IDs — plus opening your business bank account. Also, consulting an accountant with experience helping small businesses can ensure you have your business and financial ducks in a row.
Starting a small business is a daunting challenge, but it can also be a rewarding opportunity. Taking the time to fully explore and utilize all the resources at your disposal can help ensure that your new business will be a success.
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