I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year to remember, and we will all be glad to see it behind us. In preparation for a better 2021, here are a few financial reminders of things that might help.
All our lives and businesses have been touched by COVID-19 and the changes in how we have learned to do business have been, in many cases, actual physical costs. These additional costs may be tax deductible. For example, if you have a public area that has required COVID disinfecting, shields, guards, etc., these are business expenses and should be treated as such.
Of course, as always, keep close track of your expenses and make sure to document the new expenses related to COVID.
There have been a number of tax breaks and grants associated with the COVID crisis, particularly regarding required paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19. Rather than try to explain it in detail here, I’d advise you to go directly to the IRS.gov website for specifics:
You have seen and probably taken part in discussions related to how COVID has affected your life and business. Regardless of your personal stance on the situation when it comes to masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), please keep in mind that if you and your employees practice careful social distancing, use personal protection and have a good procedures in place for dealing with customers and their property, it can only be GOOD for business. What have you got to lose? Nothing. As we’ve seen in many places around the country, failure to use PPE and lack of a safety plan can result in you (or your customers) facing something worse than an inconvenience.
COVID Customer Service
The “new normal” terminology is so played out that we are ALL tired of hearing it. It can be frustrating that today is different than yesterday, but being vigilant and consistent continues to be the key to success.
Yes, of course, there are going to be individuals who will not want to comply with your safety protocols.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Have a plan on how to keep you, your staff and customers safe. Stick to the plan.
- Look at the new safety protocols as an additional layer of customer service and not as a hassle.
- Share your improved outlook with the masses via social media and other forms of advertising.
- Be gentle, but firm, that safety guidelines are designed for the best interest of all and are to be followed.
- If customers threaten to leave, let them. You do not need customers like that anyway. If people are selfish enough to put you and your team in danger, then they are not the type of people that you want to deal with to begin with. Good customers will appreciate your caring and will reciprocate with loyalty and recommendations.
While these additional steps that we are taking these days may seem like a drag, they are actually an opportunity to show your customer base that you care. If it helps to weed out your customer base and help it grow with the right kinds of people that will make your business successful in the long term, well, that’s just one more good thing to come out of a surprisingly challenging year.
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Keep your social distance. Act right. Be nice.