During winter time, the weather outside can pose a chronic threat to property. In some cases, the damage is inflicted over weeks and months; in others, it happens overnight. Business owners might begin to get nervous whenever severe weather is forecasted, as the damage caused to premises can range from mild to catastrophic. And that’s before we even consider the impact that severe weather can have on day-to-day operations.
If you find yourself in this position, there are a few things you might do to protect yourself. Let’s consider a few of them.
Have a backup plan for when you’re short-staffed
If your staff can’t physically reach your premises because of severe weather, then you might find yourself unable to function. There are a few ways around this – though some of them might not be appropriate for every business. You might have some staff work from home, or arrange for other staff to be on call in an emergency. In some cases, you might need to cover the shift personally!
Service your Boiler
It’s a good idea to have your boiler serviced annually, and ideally before the worst of the cold weather kicks in.
Check the Roof
Another area of vulnerability is the roof of your property. Keep an eye out for loose tiles, and make sure that the guttering has been cleared.
Use Social Media
Social media offers a great way to keep your customers informed of whether you’re open or closed, and what measures you’ve taken to keep operating. By removing the doubt, you make it that much more likely that your customers will pop in.
Invest in Insurance
If you don’t have specialised small business insurance, then you might find yourself exposed to unnecessary risk during spells of cold weather. In some cases, your business might be crippled by a sudden unforeseen cost.
Make sure Staff are Trained
During cold spells, or indeed at any time of year, it’s worth preparing for disaster. You’ll need to respond quickly in the case of things like floods and power cuts – and to a large extent this means planning and preparing your response in advance. Go through all the safety precautions you’ll take with your staff – but make sure that they still have the freedom necessary to take their own decisions when you’re not around to guide them.
Have equipment to hand
It might be that you have to deploy special measures to keep out the worst of the weather. This might mean sandbags, both to limit the danger posed by ice, and to keep floodwaters out of the store-room. Signs, cones, and basic cleaning equipment will all surely come in handy, too.