With states and territories across Australia working on their road maps out of lockdowns, we are all eagerly awaiting the easing of tough business restrictions, particularly for the many Victorian and New South Wales small businesses that have been heavily burdened.
Even though we can expect more freedom in the months ahead, safety is going to remain paramount, for our businesses, our teams and our customers. Here are some of the major considerations and resources you can use to make reopening as pain-free as possible.
Check the basics
For businesses in areas that have seen long lockdowns to curb COVID-19 transmission, getting back up and running may require a tune-up of your tools and equipment. It’s always better to fix things early, rather than when you have a busy queue of customers at your counter:
- Is your Square account active and set up correctly?
- Have you seen and dealt with any alerts in your Square Dashboard?
- Is your hardware fully charged or powered on and in good working order?
- Have you updated your POS app (Square Point of Sale, Square Appointments, Square for Retail, Square for Restaurants)?
- Have you updated your opening hours and any other key information on your website?
Try running some test sales so you can be certain everything is ready to go on reopening day. If you’re having hardware-specific issues you need to troubleshoot, check out our Square Register Guide, Square Terminal Guide and Square Stand Guide.
Take contactless payments
Contactless payments are an essential part of selling safely today. Every Square hardware product allows for contactless tap-and-go payments in person. In 2020, as an early response to the pandemic, the industry lifted the dollar limit for tap transactions (no PIN entry required) from $100 to $200. At the time of writing, there are no known plans for this to change.
To make payments as contactless as possible, you could consider skipping the receipt screen after the transaction is made, and letting your customers know that they can use their mobile or watch devices to pay too.
While all Square hardware is great for tap payments, Square Register is the ideal POS and payment solution to encourage safely distanced transactions. It has a completely separate customer-facing display screen which means more distance between your staff member and customers is possible.
Make your business premises as COVID-safe as possible
By this stage of the pandemic, your business should be familiar with the COVID-safe requirements of your state or territory and what this means for managing check-ins, capacity limits, vaccines, masks and more. While advice is constantly being updated, there are some government web pages you can visit to see what applies for your business sector.
- Safe Work Australia small business planning tool
- Fair Work Ombudsman COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace
- Australian Capital Territory government information for businesses
- New South Wales government information for businesses
- Northern Territory government information for businesses
- Queensland government information for businesses
- South Australia government information for businesses
- Tasmania government information for businesses
- Victoria government information for businesses
- Western Australia government information for businesses
Serve your customers online
While your physical doors may be finally reopening, eCommerce and omnichannel selling options are here to stay. For completely contactless payments and sales, you can create an online ordering page with Square Online in very little time. With your Square Online site, you can provide self-serve QR code ordering, as well as contactless pickup options for your customers. The online ordering page is free, and it automatically integrates with your in-person sales.
Even without a Square Online site, you can take payments remotely. You can use Estimates and Invoices to request and take remote payments for your products and services, no matter where you are. There are options for your customers to pay their invoice directly from their mobile phone or computer using their debit or credit card details.
You can also use Square’s Virtual Terminal to collect payments online. Virtual Terminal allows you to schedule recurring quick-charge or itemised sales for repeat customers. You can also connect a Square Terminal to Virtual Terminal to make wireless sales for 1.6% per in-person payment.
Further support for your reopening
Square has developed a number of resources in addition to this article, all designed to support you through these challenges. Visit the Immediate Support Resources page on the Square website, the Australian Seller Community and the many Support Centre resources for help when you need it.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.