Preparing To Reopen Your Business After COVID-19 Checklist

This checklist can be used as a resource to assist you in preparing your business to reopen after COVID-19.

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Financial Considerations

  • Establish a Break-Even Target Profit for both best-case and worst-case scenarios
  • Form a Cash Flow Budget for the next 3-12 months
  • Review the case study Projecting Cash Flow Needs in Times of Uncertainty
  • Determine if you should temporarily close, reopen the business when customer traffic returns, or close permanently
  • Establish a contingency exit strategy if sales in the next few months do not reach expectations or if your projection numbers become unattainable
  • If necessary, identify and apply for all available and emerging financial assistance programs

Note: Make sure your financial projections support taking on additional debt and you have accounted for repayments.

Assess and Update Products and Offerings
  • Formulate a list of how your customers’ needs have changed
  • Recognize and list potential additional revenue streams

For example: Consider offering online classes, family-style to-go meals,  or delivery services for a fee. Be sure to think about opportunities to use existing resources (such as machinery, personnel, or processes) in new ways!

  • Develop a written assessment of how your competitors have been impacted by the pandemic, noting any new unaddressed customer needs
  • Reposition your product offerings to meet the needs of existing and prospective customers
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Marketing Considerations

  • Adjust your marketing plan to communicate your company’s ongoing story to customers, suppliers, and employees
  • If needed, make improvements to your website to communicate any changes
  • If necessary, make ordering on your website more functional
  • Create and promote a system for cashless and touch-free customer transactions
  • Begin offering pickup or delivery of your products (if appropriate)

Tip: Reach out to businesses that sell complimentary products or services and already offer delivery to see if you can collaborate. 

Employee Considerations
  • Work to retain valuable employees that care about being a part of your company
  • Communicate with employees and make them part of future plans
  • Review your employee handbook and policies and make revisions if necessary

For example:  Make sure your sick leave policies are current, flexible, and non-punitive and accommodate sick employees staying home to care for themselves, their children, or other family members.

  • Establish a separate Back to Work Checklist for creating a safe and functional environment for employees and customers

Tip: Address items such as sanitation practices and safe distancing guidelines.


Note: CEF’s advisors provide helpful suggestions of an educational nature that are not intended to mandate or supersede the business practices or decisions of your Company, its owners, or managers. The information provided in this guide does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available herein are for general informational purposes only. You should contact your attorney to understand your rights and for legal advice about your specific situation.

This information was created in partnership with  Northern Initiatives and participating entities through Initiate Prosperity. Check out the full library of small business resources on the Initiate Prosperity: Powered by CEF site.

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