Christmas is the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ according to the popular festive song, but for business owners, this is a time laden with worry. Many businesses are forced to close because of the adverse weather conditions, and this will obviously affect sales and productivity. Should you be a business owner, you need to find ways to overcome potential disasters. We will list some of the possible winter hazards below, with some helpful tips on how to overcome them.
Weathering the snow storm
The snow is great for snowball fights and making snowmen, but for those in business, it can be incredibly inconvenient. For anybody reliant on deliveries, this is especially true, and if customers can’t access the business because of a snow drift, sales are going to drop faster than the freezing temperature. So what to do?
– Arm yourself with a shovel and get ready to remove the snow from around your premises. You don’t want to get snowed in, and you most certainly don’t want to keep your customers and employees away because snow has blocked their access. Having the right equipment helps, so be prepared before the snow falls.
– You may not be the only one laden with snow, and your supplier may have the same issue. For this reason, you need to have the contact details of other suppliers, to give you alternative ways of receiving the stock you need. You might also buy in bulk before the weather gets worse, ensuring you have everything you need to hand. Alternatively, become self-reliant, with nitrogen generators and backup equipment that don’t require the services of a third party.
When staffing drops below an acceptable level
As the temperature plummets, so might your staff. They may not be able to make the daily commute because of the weather, and your phone may be inundated by staff members calling in sick because of those regular winter illnesses. You need your people by your side, so what can you do?
– If your staff aren’t needed on the shop floor, you might consider allowing them to work at home in warmth and comfort. Cloud technology means important files can be collaborated on, and video communications software such as Skype mean vital meetings can still take place.
– If you need staff working on the premises, you need to have a backup plan. Using an HR company to provide temporary staff, or advertising on local job boards for seasonal workers will help. You may need extra staff anyway during the winter, especially if you need to meet customer demand, so this should be a priority ahead of time.
Remember to weather-proof
Your premises are at risk from all kinds of damage. Heavy winds, ice, and possible flooding are just some of the natural conditions that can hit your business hard.
– You need to make sure your insurance policies are up to date. This includes building and contents insurance to cover losses to your property and belongings, and public liability insurance in the event of an accident on your premises.
– Carry out a risk-assessment around the exterior and interior of your property. In the same way you would check your home, have a look for any possible dangers. This might include making repairs to the building, and ensuring heating is up to scratch to reduce the problem of frost damage and freezing pipes.
– You may be handy at DIY, but even your skills may not be up to the job for some of the potential maintenance you need to carry out. You should have emergency numbers at hand, from plumbers to electricians, but you might also call them in early to check your premises for any areas that need fixing before disaster strikes.
You can’t control the weather, but you can take preventative steps. Follow our advice, and you should be able to survive during these perishing colder months.