Oh God, where do I start” or “What do I need to do” or “How do I do this all again?” are the most frequent questions that my retail clients have asked me when they face the challenge of re-opening their business after such a volatile and long closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

My advice is simple, but I hope reassuring to them.

I start off by saying “take a breath, think big and just take small steps”.   I challenge them to stay positive and remain calm.   This calm and positive behaviour will reassure all their stakeholders and themselves and will help with getting the Re-opening plan designed and implemented.

“Don’t follow the pack, think about what affects your business and your staff.  Look at your business model and all the things that tie it together and then make a plan to suit your organisation.  A perfectly tailored short term plan to get back to business successfully, based on the mantra of reopening with Positive Energy and Enthusiasm”

This is what to do:

Get a pack of colour stickies, use a plain wall or white board and design your Re-opening Plan using a system like a Kanban.  Prioritise Headings with Urgent Tasks, i.e., “I need to do this immediately ” and then follow up with the detail.  Below is a picture of what I mean!

Beside each task, bullet what needs to be done, a start date, and perhaps by whom.   And then move this item into the next heading until the task is completed.    Keep it SIMPLE.   Don’t get bogged down.

If you have departments, perhaps delegate tasks to each manager.  Get the job done, with as little stress as possible.  Focus on the big picture, motivate your staff and yourself to get the job done… And congratulate yourself when its complete.

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