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Changing Careers and Forging Ahead

A popular article on LinkedIn this week addresses career change.  Personal growth sometimes requires new challenges. “There often comes a point in your career where it’s time to re-evaluate. Things change. You change,” writes  business podcaster Jessi Hempel.  “How do you screw up the courage to leave the safety and security of the subject you’ve mastered and start something new?” To examine this question, Hempel interviews Robin Arzon. Arzon left a secure career as a lawyer to affirm and cultivate a new version of herself: an athlete, who is now the head of fitness programming for Peleton.

Your path may take different turns, but Hempel is right–we change! Maybe you’re ready to be your own boss and embark on a career as an entrepreneur. We can help you find a business that resonates with your passions and values. Maybe you’ve been at the helm of a business for a long time and you’re ready for something new. We can help sell your business to the right buyer and set you up for your next adventure.

Here are some highlights from the interview, featuring some great insights and advice from Arzon.

On figuring out what you want to do: Intellectual folks often find that it’s simple to just dig in. But that doesn’t mean that [the work is] actually aligning with our values, with our goals, and with the happiness quotient.”

On beginning to think of herself as an athlete: ” I had to really recreate myself and start to write a different story once I realized that I was curious about what this running thing was.”

On leaving a predictable career path: “I bet on myself, and I still believe that I’m my greatest investment.”

On figuring out how to turn her fitness love into a career: “I wanted to somehow marry the business acumen that I had acquired as a lawyer with something that was forward-thinking and modern, marrying technology and entertainment. And I wanted to insert myself in that story, not telling other people’s stories, but telling my own.”

On how to tell if you’re on the right career path: “it’s just a quarterly, seasonal gut check: what am I doing? Where am I going? Have I been uncomfortable enough recently? And if the answer is no, I’m not on the right path.”

On moving forward: “In every area of our lives, we’re doing this delicate dance between tension and resistance that often creates momentum, and release from that tension so we can actually get things done.”

On building resiliency: “Willpower is a muscle. I believe that resiliency is like a muscle. The more that we visit those opportunities, the greater prepared we are for the next one.”

If any of this is sparking inspiration for you, contact us for experienced support as you take your next steps!

Tips to Achieve (the Elusive) Work-Life Balance

“What impact has working from home had on productivity and creativity?” A recent study conducted by researchers from Harvard Business School, MIT Media Lab, and McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin explored this question with more data than has historically been available.

The Study

The researchers state: We decided to explore how employees have fared since they began working virtually. To that end, we started surveying a diverse group of more than 600 U.S.-based white-collar employees during the second half of March and have continued to do so every two weeks since then. (This article is based on results collected through May.) Approximately half of our respondents are women, and half are men; they hail from 43 states; nearly half are married; and more than a third have children. About 40% hold management positions. We have been asking them about their job satisfaction, work engagement, perceptions of their own performance, conflicts with colleagues, stress, negative emotions, and current living situation, among other questions.

The results of this extensive study are fascinating. In general, they find that work is OK! The survey indicates that job satisfaction and engagement fell steeply during the first two months of the pandemic and shelter at home orders, but then recovered. Many respondents even report higher happiness and productivity working from home.

The Challenge

The transition involved leveling up communication skills, remote management strategies, adapting to some technology, and maintaining work- life balance. While we’re collectively figuring most of it out, work-life balance remains elusive (perhaps because it wasn’t a huge strong point under normal circumstances).

The workday significantly increased at the beginning of all-virtual work: In the weeks immediately after the lockdown began, only half of employees were able to maintain a 10-hour workday or less, whereas nearly 80% had been able to do so previously. These patterns have started to trend back to pre-lockdown levels, although the workdays are still 10% to 20% longer on average.

10% to 20% longer on average! If you are one of the many people struggling to keep work circumscribed, time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders suggests following these four steps.

Step 1: Define “After Hours”

Saunders suggests you do this by defining and thinking though the non-work goals you have for a daily and weekly basis. How much time do you want for family, friends, exercise, cleaning, sleeping, etc? Work that time into your schedule and protect it. Obviously, getting work done is important. But, if COB is kind of arbitrary these days, define it by when you want to start working on your other goals for the day.

Step 2: Have Mental Clarity

Be really clear on what needs to get done, when, and the steps required to succeed. Make use of project management apps, calendars, or your own system of sticky notes. The point is to avoid Middle of the Night Dread and start your days with organized purposiveness. Saunders suggests an end-of-day wrap up and plan of action for the day to come. Then leave it at that.

Step 3: Communicate with Your Colleagues

Even if your job requires more constant accessibility, you can communicate how you would like to be reached. Saunders suggests something like, “It’s fine to text me during the day with questions, but after 6:30 please send an email unless it’s urgent.” That way you’ll know only one channel of communication is worth fretting over “after work.”

Step 4: Get Work Done at Work

“It’s exceptionally difficult, if not impossible, to not be distracted about work when you’re stressed out because you haven’t gotten your work done,” says Saunders. To avoid this vicious circle, guard your time. Saunders recommends timeboxing. Make (and keep) “meetings” with yourself when you can focus on getting things done. The time you spend organizing and prioritizing your projects from the mental clarity step will come in handy here. And communicating that you’re Do Not Disturb (unless it’s an emergency) helps your colleagues help you stay focused.

One interesting finding from the Work From Home study is that we’re all in this situation together. It’s not just a platitude.  If we’re all adapting to working from home, no one is at a special disadvantage because of working from home. While this doesn’t exactly imply equity, it might help you relax enough to take some care of yourself.

 

6 Tips for Managing a Positive Customer Experience

Customers are venturing back out to shop, dine, and feel a semblance of normalcy. However, the consumer experience has changed since the onset of stay at home orders. Social distancing requirements, masks, and ubiquitous hand sanitizer are reminders of why we need these precautions. We know that emotions strongly impact purchasing decisions. Anxiety and frustration are common, and disappointed expectations can make things worse. Make your business feel good. It will help customers be comfortable now and build loyalty that carries into the future. Here are six tips for welcoming your customers back into a positive experience, even if things are different.

Make sure your business looks and feels clean

Many people are still very worried about their and their family members’ health. You can cheerily model healthy behaviors at your business to help customers feel safe. Calmly make your efforts to protect customers visible. Employees can clean surfaces while customers are shopping. Anyone at a register can frequently use hand sanitizer. Friendly signage can even be an opportunity to deliver messages about your brand’s values and care for your community,

Remind customers the rules apply to everyone

New  Mexico currently requires masks to be worn in public. If you own or manage a business, you may have already observed that some customers resist this. Consistently insisting (politely, of course) that everyone in the store follows the rules helps communicate the fairness— and unavoidability— of your policy. Having signage may help to avoid extra conversations as well.

Be transparent about changes, challenges and delays

If your customers don’t know the rules — or the reasoning behind them — they’re less likely to follow those rules.  To cut out annoying surprises, use complete honesty and transparency with customers before they come into your store. This rule also goes for any potential delays or supply chain shortages you may be experiencing.

Train employees to be helpful and answer questions

Customers are still adjusting to the realities of post-pandemic retail shopping trips. To minimize anxiety, designate some employees to help shoppers navigate your store, in addition to posting clear signage throughout the premises. Businesses should  also tell customers how to best share their questions and concerns.

Set reasonable expectations

Even if your business has the resources to continue performing at the highest level, your vendors and suppliers may not have the same capacities. It’s important to be realistic about what’s possible and set customer expectations accordingly. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver than to inflate customer expectations and fall short. Here again, transparency helps!

Make it easy for customers to provide feedback

As the pandemic evolves, so must your business’s policies and procedures. Things may continue to change in the coming months, and while communicating these changes to your customers is essential, it’s equally critical to invite feedback.

6 Tips to Recession Proof Your Business

This year has thrown more than its share of curveballs at business owners. Changing guidelines and shifting consumer confidence make planning exceptionally challenging. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce shares these six tips to safeguard your business for potential difficulties ahead.

 

Embrace adaptability

The pandemic has given small businesses a crash course in adaptability. Businesses that weren’t operating online or remotely suddenly found themselves making huge changes to their business model on the fly. This willingness to pivot quickly and be flexible with your previous plans is the key to surviving the current recession.

Listen to your customers’ current needs

Understanding and serving your customers’ needs is important at any time, but it’s especially important to empathize with their current struggles and changing purchasing behaviors right now. By collecting insights from consumers and suppliers in the form of focus groups, surveys and one-on-one interviews, your business will be better able to adapt to rapidly-changing needs and behaviors.

Master the art of cash flow management

Keeping a close eye on expenses and cash flow can help you plan for your financial future and avoid overspending in certain areas of your business.

Negotiate new terms with your vendors

Vendor expenses can add up quickly, and during a financial crisis, discussing concessions or negotiating new terms with vendors and suppliers can be extremely helpful to all parties involved.

Diversify everything

Tyler Read, CEO of PTPioneer, said the best way to recession-proof your business plan is to diversify every element of your business, especially your income streams and the markets you serve. Read also recommended diversifying your staff to bring diverse perspectives to the table.

Keep investing in your business

Surviving the current economic downturn will be difficult for any business owner, but keep looking for opportunities, even when things feel bleak, said Vitale.

Despite the uncertainties, there are exciting opportunities in New Mexico to buy a business. If you’re thinking of relocating and becoming a New Mexico business owner, we can help. Learn more about businesses for sale and contact us for more information.

Who Might Buy Your Business?

When selling a business, you’ll want to consider the different buyer scenarios you’re presented carefully.  The buyer pool for most organizations can be very diverse, and different kinds of buyers pose different implications. It’s important to develop an understanding of the parties’ backgrounds and their intent to buy. Of course, will help you find the right fit, but it never hurts to be prepared. These are five of the more common types of prospective buyer profiles you may encounter.

  1. Individual Buyer

    These are individual buyers who aren’t affiliated with an external organization. This scenario can be advantageous for several reasons. For one, these parties have fewer strings attached, making them easier to work with than an existing business. They also typically have years of experience in their field. However, nearly 48% of small business buyers are also first-time buyers, according to this Market Pulse report. As a result, they may require additional training and assistance from the current business owner through the transition.

  2. Business Competitor

    Existing companies often buy out their competitors, which allows them to expand in their industry. This could be an excellent opportunity for a business owner looking to sell with little-to-no involvement following the transaction. These potential buyers usually already have an understanding of your general operations, so it takes much less time to get them up to speed. If you do pursue this arrangement, you will want to retain business broker services as many unique challenges can arise.

  3. Synergistic Buyer

    Synergistic parties are another type of buyer looking to expand their current operations. These buyers aren’t direct competitors, but more so companies in-line with your industry. They are interested in similar businesses that would be complementary to what they currently offer. A major plus of working with a synergistic buyer is that they are often more willing to pay a higher purchase price than other groups that need more financial backing. A possible disadvantage in this arrangement is that they typically don’t have the need to retain a lot of the seller’s current personnel, so downsizing is common.

  4. Financial Buyer

    Financial buyers are interested in the return they can receive by investing in a business. You may want to consider this arrangement if you are looking to maintain some involvement with your organization but do not have the capabilities, funds, or interests to continue serving as the business owner. You want to work with a business intermediary through these transactions, as they require a high level of detailed planning.

  5. Family Member

    Many small business owners choose to sell to a family member. Often, their successor is already involved with their operations and has received a great deal of training. Having this familiarity is of great benefit to a potential buyer, plus they can rely on their family member for support as time goes on. If this sounds ideal to you, our recommendation is to prepare this person as much as possible to minimize disruptions. If they aren’t ready for the responsibility, your business can suffer.

An experienced broker can help match you with the right buyer based on your personal needs. If you’re ready to sell, contact us for more information!

8 Tips to Foster Customer Relations and Build Loyalty

As businesses navigate reopening amidst uncertainty, customers are making their own decisions about where and how to make purchases. Fostering relationships with returning customers and rewarding customer loyalty are crucial during this time. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce shares these tips for reengaging loyal customers.

Extend reward redemption windows

A simple way to improve rapport with customers as you reopen is to extend the window in which customers can redeem rewards or points through your loyalty program. It’s important for companies to be understanding of various customer circumstances in this environment, so giving them the flexibility to come back when they are ready shows appreciation. Extending the window also means that when they do come back in, they can still use their rewards and you have more opportunities to win back consistent business.

Give special discounts and offers

One of the most important things you can do to reengage loyal customers as you reopen is to offer them discounts and deals just for them. Whether it’s a percentage off their first returning purchase, a buy-one-get-one-free offer or a similar deal, this will help make these costumers feel special and exclusive.

Improve or revamp your loyalty program

As you reopen, take a step back and think about how your loyalty program currently works to see if it fits with the current moment. There may be ways to change it to better suit pandemic-affected customers or those who have changed their shopping habits. For example, if your program usually offered discounts for certain in-store purchases, can those same benefits be extended to customers shopping online as well? Another way to improve your loyalty program could also be to simplify the sign-up process to ensure more customers can take part.

Know and understand what’s happening locally

As COVID-19 has hit communities differently around the country, it’s of great importance to focus your reopening messages based on what is happening in your local community. For example, if your region is in a certain phase of reopening, your welcome back messages may be better suited for when your area enters a specific reopening phase. If your loyal costumers see an ad welcoming them back when your business isn’t technically supposed to be open yet, it may turn them off.

Link customer credit cards to your loyalty program

With many customers moving away from cash and more people using just credit cards, you can make it extra easy for customers to gain loyalty rewards by linking their credit cards to their accounts. Not only does this make it easier for customers to collect rewards, but it also opens up the possibility to use that data to better market deals and benefits to your most loyal customers. This addition to your customer loyalty program should be optional, in case customers are concerned about privacy.

Offer priority reservations or sales

One way to make your loyal customers feel more appreciated is to offer them priority reservations, appointments or sales. This could be as simple as sending your highest-tier customer list an email a day before your normal email list with information on reservations and appointments. Another example would be to offer loyal customers the ability to buy items before you market the items as you normally would. Even if these customers don’t take you up on these offers, it could encourage them to return to your store sooner.

Scrap pre-COVID-19 marketing and advertising

If you designed marketing campaigns or advertising in early 2020 or before, think twice about using those same assets now as you try to bring customers back. Many of these ads and messages don’t account for the changes surrounding COVID-19 and showing out-of-context messaging may turn off returning customers. For example, if you had photos of large gatherings you planned to use in your summer or fall marketing, some loyal customers may feel you are not adjusting to the moment.

Understand customer challenges and meet them

One way to help bring back customers more quickly is to actually ask them what they want and what would encourage them to return. This can be as simple as emailing your top customers personally and seeing what they are most interested in buying or asking about their needs. You also could run a survey of your top-tier customers about their current buying habits to see if you need to change your inventory, modify how you offer your products or make other changes.

Scenario Planning for Pandemic Outcomes

“Significant uncertainty surrounds what the ‘new normal’ could look like for firms beyond the COVID-19 crisis. But scenario thinking can help organizations better anticipate and adapt to dramatic changes, increase agility and resilience, and turn uncertainty into advantage,” according to this Knowledge@Whatron article.

Scenario planning is a powerful tool for developing strategy, especially given the complex web of unknowns in which we find ourselves. It leverages the cognitive, creative power of narrative to imagine and respond to possible futures. The thought experiment yields critical analysis, important insights, and the ability to innovate and prepare for a variety of eventualities.

For scenario planning to be as useful as possible, entire teams should be engaged and invested. If delegated to a small group as a fringe project, the resultant lessons will have diminished impact, cautions this piece by business consultancy McKinsey. The exercise works best when the narratives around each scenario are all deeply developed. The more information and connections a scenario involves, the more instructive its consideration will be.

Scenarios should represent a spectrum of good and bad situations. You can think of them as laying over a graph in which the x and y axes represent best and worst case predictions for key factors. For example, take economic recovery (weak to strong) and social/consumer behavior (scared to confident). Scenarios in that case might occupy quadrants such as “struggling economy and consumers are staying home,” “economy is picking up but consumers are avoiding public spaces,” “economy is still low but people are eager for new consumer experiences,” and “businesses are bouncing back and consumers are venturing out again.” Planning deeply for each scenario allows you to create a playbook and to better recognize patterns on the horizon. This Forbes piece outlines a step-by-step guide for applying scenario planning to your business.

One of the most useful and most challenging aspects of scenario planning is thinking beyond your own expectations in order to plan more comprehensively. McKinsey shares this advice (summed up concisely in this infographic) for navigating the perils of bias.

 

 

Facilitating Flexibility with Business Owners and Commercial Landlords

COVID-19 and related restrictions have made it necessary for many business owners and commercial landlords to evaluate options and create some measure of flexibility. “These discussions require both sides to assess a variety circumstances and issues, many of which are in a state of flux due to the uncertainty of COVID-19,” cautions real estate and finance attorney Steve Ostrow. He outlines some short-term options:

  • Rent Relief: Deferral versus abatement of base rent only or all rent including a tenant’s share of pass-through obligations for operating expenses and real estate taxes.
  • Rent Repayment: Repayment schedule for deferred rent including appropriate acceleration triggers for earlier repayment due to future lease defaults or adverse events such as a tenant’s permanent closure of its business, bankruptcy filing or loan default.
  • Tenant Assurances and Reporting and Landlord Forbearance: Arrangements addressing a tenant’s obligations to mitigate business interruptions and resume full operations; tenant reporting to landlord of ongoing financial condition, operating status and receipt of financial assistance under governmental relief laws; tenant and any guarantor providing additional security to landlord; and landlord forbearance.
  • Modification of Operating Clauses, Etc.: Temporary suspension or modification of operating covenants, co-tenancy, kick-out clauses and other lease terms.
  • Third Party Consents: Landlords and tenants obtaining required consents to lease modifications and rent relief from lenders and other third parties.

In a recent virtual town hall hosted by MassMutual and The Business Journals, Chris Vanderzyden (CPA, CEPA, principal, Legacy Partners, LLP.) shared this advice about proactive B2B communications with landlords (as well as banks and vendors).

Every business owner should be in contact with all stakeholders continuously when in crisis. All phone calls should be followed up with emails in order to memorialize all discussions. Any changes in terms should be documented in writing. Recognize in your communication that your banks, vendors, landlords are mostly likely in crisis too, so expect the discussion to be a negotiation in search for a win-win for both sides of the table.

A [landlord], vendor, or supplier would much rather negotiate in advance terms that can be managed as opposed to a complete default. A business owner should be ready to present a solution that will help them and be supported with financial information. Again, expect the resolution to be a compromise on both sides.

If you are considering buying or selling a business, lease negotiations will likely be an important aspect of the interaction. According to Jeffrey D. Jones, ASA, CBA, CBI | President of Advanced Business Brokers, Inc.,

Lease negotiations with the landlord and/or the current tenant will be necessary to make deals happen. From a landlord standpoint, areas of negotiations include offering some free rent time, deferring several months of rent payments to the back end of the lease, or offering to lower the rent for some specified period of time. At the very least, asking landlords not to raise the rent over the current amount even though the lease may have automatic rent increases specified in the lease. Getting little or no concessions from the landlord may require the seller to offer creative financing alternatives to the buyer and/or offer to subsidize the rent for some specified period of time.

An experienced broker and business advisor can be instrumental in helping to navigate the choppy waters in which we find ourselves, and to facilitating cooperative outcomes. Contact us for support.

 

Financing a Business: 4 Options Evaluated

male accountant using calculator

Before leaping into a new business opportunity, most entrepreneurs face the challenge of securing working capital. Although it’s not an easy task, it is essential to getting your idea off the ground. It’s also not a decision to take lightly, as the choice you make will stick with you for years to come, even after your business starts making a profit. You can set yourself up for a win by researching the different avenues available and deciding the best action for your specific needs. Here we evaluate four of the more common options owners consider when deciding how to finance a business.

How to Finance a Business

When it comes to business financing, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Business owners must take their situation into account to plan for the best possible outcome.

Small Business Loan/SBA Loan

Last year, 43% of small businesses applied for a loan from a small business lender. Bank loans and lines of credit are a popular business financing choice for a good reason. They’re a reliable source for a short-term loan that allows you to grow. But, you want to be selective when choosing who to finance through. Banks, private equity firms, microlenders, and other venture capitalists are concerned with getting their money back, so they tend to charge high-interest rates. If you have a good credit history, you can do some shopping around to find better rates. Also, be sure to apply for loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. They tend to have more flexible terms and lower interest rates.

Angel Investor

We commonly see business owners acquire capital from an angel investor in exchange for an equity position. This is often sought by businesses that lack the cash flow needed to obtain a traditional bank loan. It’s less risky than taking a business credit card or a short-term loan. But, it comes with other setbacks that some aren’t willing to look past. Equity financing means forfeiting some control to a partial owner and granting this person a say in the business’ operations. Additionally, this person will receive a share of profits if you decide to sell. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you can work well with this person for the long haul.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular option, especially amongst business startups. Rather than acquiring a business loan from one financial institution, some business owners choose to raise small amounts of funds from a large number of people. Over 600 crowdfunding platforms exist, where billions of dollars are raised annually. Typically, the more successful crowdfunding campaigns offer something in exchange for a donation. Whether that’s exclusive member access or a free product/service, it’s good to come up with ways to incentivize your donors.

Personal Investment/Borrow From Friends and Family

The last business financing option we’ll touch on is actually the one you should start with. Before seeking external funding, it’s best to try to raise as much as you can on your own. You should never put up your entire personal savings; you never know when an emergency will arise, and you’ll need cash-on-hand. But, again, lines of credit can be costly with high-interest rates. If you can cover a lot of business needs yourself or seek a low-interest loan from friends and family, you can save in the long run.

Acquiring a small business loan is a big step in the business buying process. You’ll need to make sure you can afford the monthly payments and have a good enough credit score to be accepted for a loan program. Contact us for more information on business financing and help with preparations.

Resource Roundup – 8 Reopening Strategies for Businesses

Businesses reopening amidst uncertainty regarding regulations and safety are facing some challenging operating decisions. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce shares these eight strategies to reopen safely.

Beefing up delivery, takeout and curbside

Restaurants and retail stores have been hit hard by COVID-19, so those operations are making big changes to try to survive this challenging environment.

In the restaurant world, many joints reopening are keeping dining rooms closed (even if they are allowed to open), and instead they’ve added improved delivery and takeout options to better serve wary customers. For example, in Georgia, restaurant dining rooms are allowed to reopen, but many noteworthy restaurants have created robust delivery and takeout options.

As for retail stores, they are beginning to test out new ideas such as curbside pickup. For example, the Mall of America in Minnesota now “offers curbside service from over 20 retailers, including Nordstrom, Legacy Toys, and Cinnabon” with two pickup locations.

Converting shared spaces into enclosed ones

While open-office plans have been all the rage in recent years, these types of offices often don’t offer enough separation to meet new social distancing standards. This may encourage many large office buildings to return to cubicles or add plastic dividers between desks that can create a similar separation effect. Some businesses are predicting new dividers could be as tall as 80 inches high to isolate germs.

“You’re gonna see a lot of plexiglass,” Michael Boonshoft of real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, which is helping offices prepare for this new office reality, told Wired. “Having that divider will make people feel safer. That shield between desks will be really important.”

Extra sanitation

Health concerns remain top of mind while the threat of COVID-19 remains, so many businesses that are reopening are touting extra cleaning and sanitation. Bed Bath & Beyond, for example, has said its locations will provide cart wipes and hand sanitizer dispensers in its stores as part of its enhanced cleaning protocols. Its employees will be also be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

COVID-19 testing for employees

One way some large employers plan to reopen with some sense of security is by providing COVID-19 testing to employees. For example, Station Casinos in Las Vegas has announced a free testing program with the intention to test all 14,000 of its employees before they return to work. On a larger scale, Seattle-based Amazon has announced it is setting up a system for testing workers around the U.S.

One strategy to open offices around the country is to do it slowly, with waves of employees allowed to come back at a time.

Gradual re-entry to the workplace

One strategy to open offices around the country is to do it slowly, with waves of employees allowed to come back at a time. West Palm Beach, Fla.-based clothing brand U.S. Polo Assn., plans to invite five or six employees back in its first wave.

“We’ll start with a handful of people, and evaluate the week, and add a few more people,” J. Michael Prince, President and CEO of U.S. Polo Assn and U.S.P.A. Global Licensing Inc., told WWD. “I don’t think we’re fully functional until mid-June.”

Staggered work shifts

One way reopened companies have made social distancing easier has been to create staggered shifts, so fewer people are working or socializing in tandem. One high-profile example of a company using modified shift scheduling is Boeing, which has implemented staggered shift times for employees returning to aircraft assembly plants in Washington state. The aerospace company also said it would spread out workers more to allow them to socially distance and require them to wear masks.

Requiring workers/customers to wear masks

While various state and local governments are requiring masks for people who can’t social distance, some stores and offices are requiring masks for workers and customers as well in order to safely reopen. For example, Dunedin, Fla.-based Achieva Credit Union said it will require all employees to wear masks in all communal areas, but face coverings won’t be necessary in cubicles.

Temperature and health checks

As fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, temperature checks are a relatively simple way to make sure sick employees can’t come into the office or sick customers can’t come into your place of business. While this has not been widely adopted yet, some businesses have added or announced temperature checking.

Southfield, Michigan automotive parts supplier Lear Corp., which has developed a manual for safely reopening manufacturing facilities, said all of its employees will receive health screenings and contactless temperature checks when entering buildings at the start of their workdays.

One prominent example of temperature checks for customers comes from Frontier Airlines, in order to attract people back to a safer environment. Travelers flying on the airline will have their temperatures checked before boarding starting on June 1.