As an appointment-based business, you are likely wondering how best to navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19).
How will I keep my employees and patients/clients safe? How can I protect myself? How will I continue to effectively run my business?
The situation is changing quickly and as such, it’s important to act swiftly. That’s why this blog post is an essential read for appointment-based businesses like yours.
This blog post will offer tips on how appointment-based businesses can navigate the current health crisis, from protecting your patients to how to keep your business running effectively.
1. How to Protect Yourself, Your Employees and Your Patients/Clients
First and foremost, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest information provided from a reliable source – your local public health unit and/or the Public Health Agency of Canada.
At the time of this writing, the average public health unit across the country is advising:
- Prevention. Wash your hands, cover your mouth/nose when coughing or sneezing and stay home if you are sick. Additionally, regularly disinfect surfaces, including doorknobs, handrails, tables, desks and so on.
- Increase COVID-19 Communication with Staff. It’s also important to increase communication around the virus with your staff, including conversations around proper hygiene.
- Reduce All Non-Essential Travel (Including to the United States). Secondarily, Canadians are also urged to avoid non-essential travel during this time, including to the United States.
- Practice Social Distancing. While many of us are familiar with the above tips, social distancing is a lesser-known strategy that many Canadians are being urged to practice alongside of the above.
This can take many forms; in the workplace, it means limiting exposure to bigger groups of people, such as at the lunch room. It means limiting non-essential meetings (which is also applicable to your clients as well). It literally means increasing space between employees and your patients, including greetings that involve touching or hugging. In public, avoid prolonged contact (more than 10 minutes) and close contact (less than two meters) with others as well.
- Consider Flexible Work Arrangements. Many businesses across the country are taking precautionary measures to reduce the potential spread of the virus by working from home and have already started to do this as of the time of this writing. If this is a possibility, it is something to seriously consider (more on this to come in the next section). This can take other forms as well, including flexible hours or staggering start times.
How to Keep Your Business From Running Outside the Office
In the event that the country is told to self-isolate/go into quarantine, or whether you are taking precations and are already working remotely, this section will offer tips and tricks for how to keep your business running during this time.
- Keep Your Patients/Clients Updated. Whether via SMS/text messages, email, social media or even the Yocale Marketplace, it’s a good idea to keep your clients up to date as to what your clients can expect moving forward.
- Video Conferencing via Yocale’s Upcoming Video Conferencing Feature. Now is a great time to be able to access Yocale’s new video conferencing platform. This feature will be connected into Yocale, allowing for remote video conferencing appointments.
(This is a great feature for businesses offering virtual appointments, including financial advisors, therapists, counselors, coaches, naturopaths, consultants, nutritionists, legal, etc.
- Turn to Online Sales, Marketing, Etc. While most appointment-based businesses will be unable to offer their core service during this time, now is a great time to look to other revenue sources like ramping up your online sales or marketing initiatives like these marketing strategies.
Wrapping It Up
While the coronavirus is undoubtedly going to change daily operations, now is the time to think more seriously about alternative sources of revenue and to plan for the future.