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How to Prepare Your Business for Re-Opening After Lockdown

How to Prepare Your Business for Re-Opening After Lockdown

Read Time: 6 Minutes

instantprint

16 Mar 2021

In February 2021, the government released a ‘roadmap to freedom’, outlining key dates for re-opening businesses across England. Now that we have dates for re-opening businesses (albeit they’re not set in stone), it’s down to you to get everything you need for your big re-launch. 

But we’re not going to make you do that all on your own – we’ve created this calendar to make prepping your business to open safely and successfully when the time is right, including gathering your marketing and safety essentials. So, without further ado, let’s crack on with – excuse the dreaded phrase – getting your ducks in a row for a post-lockdown business boom.

 

How to Prepare to Re-Open Your School or College

Earliest possible re-opening date: 8th March

With getting students back into face-to-face learning environments set as the highest priority in emerging from lockdown, this is the first industry to be re-opening, with not a lot of time to prepare! Luckily, many schools have been running on at least a skeleton basis for the last year and will already have a lot of the things they’ll need to re-open already, if not here’s what we recommend.

As soon as possible

  • Refresh your safety signage – handwashing guidance, parent drop off point signs, socially distanced queuing areas, one-way systems
  • Equip your staff – make sure staff have access to clean face coverings, like our Type IIR Surgical masks that are available in boxes of 50
  • Conduct a COVID-19 Risk Assessment – if you’re planning on opening up your breakfast, after school and other supervised out-of-school-time activities, make sure these have gone through a rigorous Risk Assessment just like the rest of your operations will have and put measures in place to mitigate the spread of infection, such as encouraging regular handwashing

 

 

How to Prepare to Re-Open Your Gym or Leisure Facilities

Earliest possible re-opening date: 29th March (outdoors), 12th April (indoors)

4 weeks before opening

Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, looking at areas that might put staff and customers at the most risk of spreading infection and find ways to reduce this risk. This might mean introducing a limited-numbers rule, socially distancing exercise equipment and cleaning more regularly.

 

3 weeks before opening

Get all the safety signage and equipment you’ll need to reinforce social distancing including:

  • Social distancing reminder posters
  • Floor stickers for one-way systems and queues
  • Handwashing station with sanitiser
  • A supply of face coverings for your staff
  • Cleaning supplies

 

2 weeks before opening

At this point you’ll need to prepare your team for re-opening, so make sure they know all of your new procedures and what they need to do to keep your facility safe and clean. 

You’ll also need to start your re-opening marketing, letting customers know you’ll be re-opening, setting back up their membership accounts and how they’ll need to book a slot to visit.

We recommend:

  • Advertising your re-opening date on social media
  • Sending an email announcement out to members
  • Putting up a re-opening PVC banner
  • Posting out flyers in your local area to drum up new business

 

1 week before opening

Getting close! A week before opening, go in and make sure all the internal signage that you ordered a couple of weeks ago are in the best places, create your one-way systems by putting down floor stickers and putting up posters.

You should also be consistently posting – at least once a day – on your social media channels. Best give those members another email too, making sure they know how to book a slot and the procedure for using the changing rooms and other facilities.

 

Opening day

On opening day, don’t stress out if some of your measures don’t quite work or there’s something you’ve missed in your risk assessment – you can tweak your process whenever you need to!

And if you need any extra posters to help you out, remember that you can get them the very next working day when you order from instantprint.

Check out our full range of free safety templates for re-opening gyms and leisure centres here.

 

How to Prepare to Re-Open Your Shop After Lockdown

Earliest possible re-opening date: 12th April

4 weeks before opening

First things first, refamiliarize yourself with the safety measures that were in place last time you opened, as they’re back again! These include social distancing, regular handwashing and wearing face coverings whilst inside the shop. 

If social distancing would be difficult in your shop, you might want to limit the number of visitors at a time, with a socially distanced queue outside.

All of these things should be part of your COVID-19 risk assessment – look at areas of risk for customers and staff and see what kinds of solutions you can find, such as implementing a one-way system or more regular cleaning of surfaces.

 

3 weeks before opening

Get all the safety signage and equipment you’ll need to reinforce social distancing including:

  • Social distancing reminder posters
  • Floor stickers for one-way systems and queues
  • Handwashing station with sanitiser
  • Limited numbers sign
  • Countertop sneeze guard barrier 
  • A supply of face coverings for your staff
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Cleaning supplies

 

2 weeks before opening

At this point you’ll need to prepare your team for re-opening, so make sure they know all of your new procedures and what they need to do to keep your facility safe and clean. 

This is also prime time for advertising your grand re-opening to customers and building up the hype!

We recommend:

  • Advertising your re-opening date on social media
  • Sending an email announcement out to previous customers
  • Putting up re-opening posters in your shop windows
  • Posting out flyers in your local area to advertise your re-opening date

 

1 week before opening

You’re almost there! In the week before you open, make sure to go in and arrange your shop in a way that makes it easy for customers to socially distance themselves whilst shopping. This will include putting up all the safety signs and materials you ordered a couple of weeks ago, setting up a one-way system and making sure you have a safe way for customers to queue at the till.

We also recommend ramping up your digital marketing activities – sending out emails, getting people excited on social media and updating your website. Let people know of any new rules or procedures you’ll have in place too, like contactless payments only or limited numbers in the shop.

 

Opening day

On opening day, don’t stress out if some of your measures don’t quite work or there’s something you’ve missed in your risk assessment – you can tweak your process whenever you need to!

And if you need any extra posters to help you out, remember that you can get them the very next working day when you order from instantprint.

Check out our full range of free safety templates for shops and retailers here.

 

 

How to Prepare to Re-Open Your Bar or Restaurant After Lockdown

Earliest re-opening date: 12th April (outdoors), 17th May (indoors)

As soon as possible

People will already be wanting to make reservations, despite knowing that the earliest possible opening dates are just that – not definite.

We recommend setting up a provisional booking system, letting customers book tables for when you open as soon as you can, but setting the expectation that the reservation will be automatically cancelled if the lockdown easing dates on the roadmap are pushed back.

Remember that the rule of 6 will still be in place until at least June, with same-household bookings only allowed from April-May.

 

4 weeks before re-opening outdoors

If you’ve got the capacity to seat customers outdoors, we recommend starting your prep by conducting a COVID-19 risk assessment of your outdoor area. Make sure it’s possible to set tables up for a maximum of 6 people, and that each party will be sat at least 2 metres apart.

You might think about revamping your outdoor area too at this point to make sure your business looks its best – a lick of paint, some extra tables, maybe even some fairy lights for lighting up warm late spring evenings.

You might also want to print some fresh menus – with a QR code that customers can scan to place their table service order online.

 

3 weeks before opening

Get all the safety signage and equipment you’ll need to reinforce social distancing including:

  • Social distancing reminder posters
  • Floor stickers for one-way systems and queues
  • Handwashing station with sanitiser
  • A supply of face coverings for your staff
  • Clear roller banners to separate tables
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Cleaning supplies

 

2 weeks before opening

For a smooth service, make sure staff know all of your new procedures that they’ll need to be following to stick to the safety guidelines. For example, taking bookings of up to 6 and table service only.  

You should also be shouting about your re-opening from the rooftops to get customers as excited as possible about making a booking with you!

We recommend:

  • Advertising your re-opening and how to book a table on social media
  • Sending an email to encourage people to book a table
  • Putting up re-opening posters in your windows
  • Posting out flyers in your local area to advertise your re-opening date

 

1 week before opening

Now that you’ve got all your safety signs and re-opening materials ready to go, head on into your bar or restaurant and set up your one-way systems and social distancing. You should also think about customers’ access to your toilet facilities, as if you’re opening up outside, you’ll need to create safe access to these

We also recommend ramping up your digital marketing activities – sending out emails, getting people excited on social media and updating your website. Let people know of any new rules or procedures you’ll have in place too, like contactless payments only or reservations only.

At this point, you’ll probably also want to think about what measures you’re going to be introducing inside your restaurant or bar because you’re only a few weeks away from the next lockdown restrictions easing.

 

Opening day

On opening day, don’t stress out if some of your measures don’t quite work or there’s something you’ve missed in your risk assessment – just keep tweaking it until all your safety measures are in ship shape!

And if you need any extra posters to help you out, remember that you can get them the very next working day when you order from instantprint. Check out our full range of free safety templates for bars, pubs and restaurants here.

But, you know what they say, there’s no rest for the wicked – repeat this list for your indoor dining or seating areas ready for re-opening indoors in May.

 


How to Prepare to Open Your Hairdressers or Salon After Lockdown

Earliest possible re-opening date: 12th April

4 weeks before opening

Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, looking at areas that might put staff and customers at the most risk of spreading infection and find ways to reduce this risk. This might mean booking fewer clients into your salon at a time to keep enough space between them, putting up clear banners between stations and supplying hand sanitiser to staff and customers.

We also recommend making bookings as early as you can, but let customers know that their appointments are subject to change depending on whether the re-opening dates change closer to the time.

 

3 weeks before opening

Get all the safety signage and equipment you’ll need to reinforce social distancing including:

  • Social distancing reminder posters
  • Floor stickers for one-way systems and queues
  • Handwashing station with sanitiser
  • Clear roller banners to mitigate the spread of airborne infections
  • A supply of face coverings and face shields for your staff
  • Cleaning supplies

 

2 weeks before opening

At this point you’ll need to prepare your team for re-opening, so make sure they know all of your new procedures and what they need to do to keep your facility safe and clean. 

You should also let customers know of any measures they’ll need to follow once inside your salon, such as wearing a face covering, sanitising their hands or getting a patch test done two days prior to getting their hair dyed if they’ve resorted to box dyes during lockdown.

Let them know via email, social media or by giving them a quick phone call.

 

1 week before opening

Getting close! A week before opening, go in and make sure all the internal signage that you ordered a couple of weeks ago are in the best places, create a queuing area outside to limit the number of people in at once and make sure there’s easy access to hand sanitiser at all times.

 

Opening day

On opening day, don’t stress out if some of your measures don’t quite work or there’s something you’ve missed in your risk assessment – you can tweak your process whenever you need to!

And if you need any extra signage or materials to help you out, remember that you can get them the very next working day when you order from instantprint.

Check out our full range of free safety templates for re-opening personal care businesses here.

 

If you’d like more specialist advice for ordering safety signage based on your exact business, get in touch with our friendly team for a free print consultation and we’ll walk you through all of our top recommendations!
 

Laura Mucklow

About the Author

Hi! I’m Laura and I’m the Head of instantprint. I’m dedicated to using my experience to help small businesses make the most out of their marketing.