The 5 Steps for Building Your Post-COVID Business Plan and Reopening Your Business

The 5 Steps for Building Your Post-COVID Business Plan and Reopening Your Business

Written by Daniel Castillo, MD, MBA

June 23, 2020

As employers look to operate in the environment of COVID-19, they must first plan and implement strategies to maximize the safety of their employees, their customers and their daily operations. This can be a daunting task, with the most basic question being the most difficult: “Where do I even start?”

There are five critical areas that business owners and operators should focus on related to post-COVID planning: the physical space, facility maintenance processes, employee screening, employee support and communications. Asking crucial questions about how to move forward in these areas will help prioritize. There is no right answer for everyone, nor do all of these questions apply to every business. But it you take the time to at least ask them, you’ll have a strong understand of which areas need your attention the most.

Translation: you’ll know where to start.

1. Physically adapt the workplace or business environment to social distancing

Unless your business is 100% virtual, you likely have some combination of employees, customers, suppliers and vendors gathered together.

  • How can you change the physical landscape of your business to reduce and minimize people being close and in large numbers?
  • Can you limit the number of customers in your establishment at any given time?
    • What products or services could be sold online?
    • Do you have the technical capabilities in place?
  • Can you reduce or limit the number of employees in your establishment at any given time?
    • What changes are needed to support a remote workforce in the long term?
  • Can you implement delivery or curbside pickup options?
    • For operations where this isn’t realistic, what other measures can you take?
  • How do your plans vary whether your employees are inside or outside (construction, for example)?
  • Can you restrict or prohibit visits to your place of business by anyone non-essential such as a suppliers or vendors?

2. Implement the use of new disinfection techniques and personal protective equipment (PPE)

Being proactive to mitigate the threat of viruses is key to any return strategy.

  • What is your current process for disinfecting your location and how well is it enforced?
  • What physical locations in your facility are the most likely to be problem areas?
  • How do you currently use PPE in your business and to what level?
  • How do you train on the proper use of this equipment?
  • Are you able to secure an adequate supply of what’s needed?
  • What restrictions could you consider placing on customers, suppliers and vendors who enter your facilities?

3. Institute employee screenings and testing

There has been a great deal of focus on screenings and testing as key tools to combat the spread of the virus, and appropriately so. Early on, some companies implemented temperature screenings and even though we now know that many people spreading the disease don’t have fevers, those screenings may still have a role.

  • How can your business implement either diagnostic testing (does someone currently have the disease?) and/or antibody testing (did someone previously have the disease?)?
  • What should your thresholds be for each test?
  • What should your protocol be should someone cross those thresholds?
  • What role can your insurance provider play in these decisions?

Reminder: testing is still just a tool. There is no testing protocol that can guarantee you will prevent an infected (and potentially infectious) person from entering your workplace. What it can do is help you identify a potential threat earlier so that you can reduce the chance it becomes a widespread outbreak.

4. Enhance communication and education provided to employees

This is not a time for spin or fear of “What will our employees think?” Be honest, say what you know and, yes, say what you don’t know.

  • What are the major concerns of your various constituents (employees, customers, vendors, suppliers, etc.) as they relate to your business?
  • Who (owner, senior leadership, human resources, etc.) should be your spokesperson to deliver these messages?
  • What are the various ways you can communicate with your constituents (meetings, emails, phone, website, etc.)?
  • How frequently should you communicate with each group?

5. Provide easy access to healthcare resources

Whether people are distracted, fearful of visiting a medical office or clinic, or whether those medical resources are even readily available, there has been a significant drop in healthcare provided outside of COVID-19. But people, including employees, still have the same basic healthcare needs. This need for a broad array of solutions that provide innovative targeting and engagement strategies is why we are here.

  • What are the current resources for employees to access health benefits?
  • How can you show support for employees so they feel comfortable seeking out health-related resources?
  • What role can telemedicine play for your employees?
  • Is an onsite medical staff an option for your business?
  • How can you partner with health insurance providers to communicate effectively?


The answers to these questions—at least the ones that apply to you and your business—will put you in position to prioritize appropriately. Doing this planning sooner rather than later will be crucial to success as your business reopens to the new normal.

Have a question or want to learn more about Matrix's COVID-19 management program?

Daniel Castillo, MD, MBA
Chief Medical Officer & Group President, Product, Quality & Innovation

As the Chief Medical Officer of Matrix Medical Network, Dr. Daniel Castillo leads a national staff of nurse practitioners, physicians and other providers delivering healthcare services to individuals in their homes, workplaces and through a fleet of mobile health clinics. Dr. Castillo is highly focused on assisting employers keep their employees safe and their critical sites operating in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having also earned his Masters of Business Administration, Dr. Castillo’s  unique understanding of both clinical and business concerns has made him a leading voice in helping companies navigate a path forward.

Dr. Castillo has a unique personal and professional perspective on COVID-19 as he treated one of the very first COVID-19 patients in Illinois and ended up contracting the disease himself. He understands firsthand the clinical challenges and personal toll of this disease and has been active in advancing solutions and approaches to keep people safe and improve their access to healthcare resources.