There are many challenges to managing your retail operation during good times, but additional challenges during the pandemic need even more careful planning, oversight and management. It is important to understand the COVID-19 requirements that may still apply to your industry, suggested best practices, and resources available to help you.

COVID-19 Requirements

Nevada’s Roadmap to Recovery lays out requirements for businesses with specific capacity limits and other requirements. Starting May 1st, 2021, the state transitioned to local authority for setting specific requirements by business types. Visit the Nevada Health Response website for the latest updates on COVID-19 Guidelines in Nevada.

You should also check to see if your local authority has additional COVID-19 requirements for Retailers.

Industry Best Practices

Some general best practices and tips that may help you comply with guidelines and help your customers and employees feel safe include: 

  • Require customers and employees to wear face masks, provide masks for customers not arriving with their own face masks
  • Social Distance
    • Stagger or limit arrivals of employees and guests, following current capacity limits
    • Consider modifying or suspending your return policy
  • Innovate
    • Offer curbside and online or over-the-phone
    • Touchless payment options
    • Install and use a touchless, non-signature payment system
    • Have customers pay through an app on their phones
    • Offer kits for DIY flower arrangements combined with short YouTube flower arrangement how-to videos
  • Cleaning
    • Have hand sanitizer and sanitizing stations and products readily available for employees and customers

Business Basics

Business basics are more important than ever. Evaluate your profit and loss statement. Look for ways to reduce operating costs. Analyze your cash flow and breakeven to evaluate the impacts of guidelines and best practices on your operations. As Nevada’s COVID-19 measures evolve you may need to continually adjust your operations. Here are a few things to think about: 

  • Get Help
    • Contact a business development counselor at the Nevada SBDC by calling 800.240.7094 – we can help you assess your operations and decide on best strategies for your business
    • For questions about cleaning and disinfecting, strategies to control new waste streams, or other environmental questions, contact an environmental business advisor at BEP at 800.882.3233
  • Communicate
    • Keep communicating with your customers on social media and your website with announcements about your current hours and any changes in your operation
    • Be open about the measures you are taking to meet the new and updated guidelines; consider signage at your entrance so customers can be aware of the steps you are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to meet any new industry guidelines
  • Expand Services
    • Increase online offerings; explore selling through existing online platforms
    • Offer curbside pickup and delivery for online orders
    • Offer free or reduced return charges for online purchases of non-plant items
    • Offer gift cards
  • Potential Cost-Saving Measures
    • Reduce the amount of products in the store and only sell the best-selling, highest margin items
    • Purchase items for custom orders and limit extra plant and flower product for walk-ins. Encourage pre-orders and custom orders in advance
    • Encourage “designer choice” bouquets using leftover flowers and greens from custom orders
    • Reduce hours to minimize utility bills and increase time for cleaning, for example instead of staying open from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM operate from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
    • Consider energy efficiencywaste minimization and other sustainability strategies
    • Only turn on utilities that are needed – do not use all fans, lights, or air conditioners in the shop when there are fewer people
  • Creative Marketing
    • Update or redesign your website; make sure it is mobile friendly
    • Team up with local restaurants to create unique delivery or curb-side pickup of dinner and flowers
    • Offer floral arrangement live virtual classes packaged with pre-ordered pick-up/delivered bunches of flowers and greenery
    • Include online sales features on your website or use an existing online retail platform
    • Create a following on social media and keep in touch with customers
    • Use micro social media and focus more on the immediate neighborhood in order to bring in local customers
    • Advertise through local homeowner associations