Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020

Business and COVID-19: Decisions Every Business Owner Will Face

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Stephanie Lipsey
Stephanie Lipseyhttps://www.stephanieslipsey.com/
Stephanie Lipsey is a businesswoman and co-owner of the Replenish brand, which includes the #1 rated Natural Hair Salon in Atlanta, a haircare line, and an apparel line. When she’s not in the salon, she assists her husband in ministry, and together they authored the book, “The Importance of Waiting on God”. Stephanie’s passions are enriching the lives of women and encouraging entrepreneurs who combine their faith in Christ with business

Over the past several weeks, entrepreneurs, self-employed, and small businesses alike have had to make decisions around COVID-19. As the economy continues to reopen around the country, some business owners are trying to decide if and when they will reopen, how their business will operate, and is it worth the trouble at all?

What is the game plan?

These are the questions that my business partner and I have had to ask ourselves over the last few weeks.

Essential or non-essential business?

business and covid-19Some businesses are automatically considered essential, but as a business owner, the decision to remain open for business is a choice, rather than forced. For example, a counselor can choose to schedule sessions or not via phone or Zoom, which is definitely a benefit. However, other business owners who cater or service the public were forced to close temporarily based on State’s guidelines. And, if you’re a salon owner like me, closing your salon wasn’t a choice but rather a necessity – and no work means no pay in this field.

To open or not reopen business?

Some businesses are still making their transition back to the “open” economy. When making the decision whether we should reopen, we monitored businesses like my neighborhood grocery store. I frequently visited the store once or twice a week and have seen the same faces throughout this pandemic – and they seem fine.

However, the news continued to paint the picture of many deaths due to coronavirus, and we all know people who have reported friends and loved ones personally affected by COVID-19. So, those comparisons we prayerfully took into consideration.

What will be my new normal?

For those who have decided to reopen their public-facing business, there are guidelines to follow for optimal health, safety, and sanitation. In order to prepare and maintain a “new normal” for business operations, businesses may consider doing the following for the short- and long-term:

  • Have a hand-held thermometer to check everyone’s temperature upon entering the premises.
  • Ask every customer to wash their hands, depending on the business.
  • Continue practicing social distancing by not allowing too many people in your establishment at one time.
  • Wear face masks and gloves (if needed).

I decided that when I reopened our salon, we would do all of the above. We encouraged our clients to observe these practices via email updates on policy changes and sanitization guidelines for their visit.

So, what’s the play call?

1. Pray and ask God for wisdom on how to proceed.

Arm your business with the best business advice available. Ask the Father, our true CEO,  when/if you should re-open, and how to move forward.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 (NIV)

2. Follow your State’s guidelines to be in compliance with health advisories.

As Christian entrepreneurs and business owners, we must operate our businesses ethically and with integrity. Honor the rules and guidelines for your business on a local, state, and federal level. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Romans 13:1 (NIV)

3. Continue to pray for protection over your business, employees, and customers.

Allow your business to be a place where all who enter can feel the favor and protection of God through your witness. Let God’s love abound to everyone associated with your business. “The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121: 7-8 (NIV) and Psalm 91 in its entirety

Remember, we are all in this together. No matter what you decide, God will be with us!

Stay safe and blessed,

Stephanie  

 

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