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Social distancing: what does this mean for business

Social distancing has become a phrase that we hear everywhere we go. Many people wonder how they will operate under this new norm. But before we look at that, let’s understand what does social distancing mean?

Social distancing is better defined as physically distancing. You should keep a minimum distance of two metres between you and other people. You should not gather in groups and you should avoid mass gatherings and crowded places. The reason for this physical distance is to prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19. This disease is spread by an infected person coughing, sneezing, or talking and the droplets are launched from the mouth or nose and then land on the other person’s nose or mouth. It can also be transmitted through a surface which may have been contaminated by someone carrying the disease.

With this definition in mind, let’s consider what steps your business can take to adhere to the new social distancing rule.

1. Teach and equip your staff about social distancing

For the comfort of your staff and your customers, everyone has to have a clear idea of what social distancing is and how you will implement it within your particular workspace. You need to explain the importance of keeping a safe distance between people and why it’s crucial to use a mask effectively. You should also supply your staff with masks, hand sanitiser and anything else they may require to do their job safely and securely.

2. Understand the limitations which have been instituted by the government

You must review what the restrictions are on goods that can be sold during each lockdown period. If you have a retail outlet, you should ensure that your shop is thoroughly cleaned daily, that you have hand sanitiser available at the entrance and exit of your shop, and that each of your staff members is wearing a mask or you have protection between them and the public.

3. Be social

Though you may not be able to have in-person communication with your customers, you can still talk to them on social platforms. Make sure you keep your customers informed about how you are operating during these times. You can also use social media to see how your customers may react to potential pivots you may need to do in your business.

4. Get digital

With social distancing, we need to limit the amount of contact we have with people. Therefore many individuals will prefer to do online shopping or take courses through online platforms. It may be time to consider e-commerce for your business.

5. Think about digital payment systems

With the virus potentially spread through touching contaminated surfaces, people may not be keen to touch a card machine. It is important if you do use a card machine to sanitize between each customer. You could also offer customers the option to pay through Zapper, SnapScan or a similar service.

We hope these five steps will help you to navigate this new norm we find ourselves in and that we may be patient and kind with each other while we find our bearings.

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