The Challenges of Reopening Businesses During the Pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone and this includes businesses in the LA area. Due to a widespread, deadly, and highly contagious virus, the CA area has been forced to shelter in place more than once. Even though the public health crisis is serious, this is not the only crisis that has developed. This has also led to a major economic crisis that has left individuals, families, and businesses scrambling to make ends meet. As businesses start to reopen, there are a number of challenges that have risen to the surface that businesses will need to address.

One of the biggest challenges has to do with marketing. How are businesses are going to reach prospective customers in this environment? It is important to take a well-rounded approach and this includes brick and mortar business signs. “Every successful business in Los Angeles, be it small or large, needs a bold sign to gain exposure and become a household name,” shares Gevorg Hambardzumyan, the CEO and business signs expert at the local sign manufacturing company, Front Signs. With a big, bold sign, it will stand out day or night, rain or shine. Furthermore, this sign is permanent. There is no need to pay for it every time someone puts their eyes on it. It will do its job for free, once in place.

In addition, it is important for businesses in the LA area to think about digital marketing as well. The reality is that marketing has to adjust if businesses are going to keep up their revenue streams during the pandemic. In an era where many people are not leaving their homes due to the virus, companies have to come up with other ways to provide their products and services to potential customers. This is where digital marketing and eCommerce can be helpful. Businesses in the LA area have to run an effective SEO campaign to make sure they are picked up by search engines. Then, they have to tailor their websites to provide a positive user experience (UX). This is how companies can reach potential customers during the pandemic.

Of course, there are other major challenges as well. One of the most significant issues that businesses will face as they try to reopen has to do with safety. The virus is still with us and the pandemic is going to be present until there is a vaccine uncovered. Therefore, companies have to come up with strong plans to make sure that everyone stays safe as they come to work and show up at the store. Therefore, companies need to stay up to date on the latest recommendations from the CDC and make sure they adhere closely to protect themselves both from a medical perspective and from a legal one. This means coming up with ways to enforce social distancing at their place of work, provide stations for handwashing, and making sure that everyone wears a mask. This will go a long way toward helping businesses remain open.

Furthermore, businesses have to grapple with the fact that one or more of their employees is going to test positive at some point in time. The reality is that the pandemic is still with us and it is still very much alive in CA. This means that it is only a matter of time until one of the employees catches this virus. Of course, that individual will have to go into quarantine for at least two weeks; however, does this mean that companies have to get all of their employees tested? How is this going to work? Furthermore, does this mean the company has to close for two weeks as this process takes place? These are very real issues that companies will have to face if they want to reopen during the pandemic.

Another major challenge that businesses will face as they reopen has to do with their supply chains. Even though businesses in the LA area might be reopening, this might not be the case across the rest of the country. Furthermore, this might not be the case across the world. Therefore, businesses might have their supply chains disrupted. What are they going to do if they do not have access to the inventory they need to keep their companies open? What are they going to do if they cannot get the supplies they need to provide their products and services to their customers? On the flip side, businesses have seen a marked revenue reduction due to the pandemic. What if they do not have the funds to pay for the supplies that is coming in? It is important for companies to take a close look at their contracts to see what their options are.

Next, businesses also have to have a plan in place for times when employees are out sick. When they reopen, they have to be prepared for the fact that employees are going to leave on short notice. Sick leave for employees doesn’t just mean for them. What happens if they have a child that gets sick? What happens if their kids get sent home from school because the school has to shift to some sort of virtual mode due to positive cases? These are a few of the major challenges that businesses have to face when it comes to sick leave. Companies need to think about the laws that have gone into place and how they are going to comply with them when it comes to the benefits of their employees.

Finally, many businesses in the LA area took advantage of the PPP. This is great; however, they also have to have a plan in place to show that they have met the conditions of the program. This is where documentation is everything. All businesses have to make sure they document how they spent the funds they received under the terms of the program. Documentation is everything and will go a long way toward helping businesses secure the forgiveness that they so desperately need to stay open during the pandemic.

These are just a few of the biggest challenges that businesses in the LA are going to face as they reopen in the midst of this pandemic. While times have certainly changed, there are ways for businesses to operate successfully even in the current climate. Businesses that have questions and concerns need to listen to the advice of trained experts when it comes to the pandemic. This will help them protect themselves as they seek to recover from a time of unprecedented crisis in Los Angeles.

Feature Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay