Winter is one of the best times of the year for a lot of businesses. The holiday season means that people will be buying gifts for their loved ones. Black Friday originally got its name because it was the day retailers went into the black (making money) for the year. There is, of course, another side to winter that’s less appeal to companies: the weather. Here’s how you can prepare your business for winter weather.
Have Plan for Snow Removal
If your business is located in a region that experiences annual snowfall, you need a plan for its removal. Snow, and especially ice, are huge hazards. About 1 million Americans get hurt by slipping and falling every year. Winter is by far the worst time for these accidents. There are many places they can show up in and around your business. First, make sure parking lots and sidewalks are always cleared of snow as soon as possible. You should have a reliable snow plowing company clear your parking lot. People won’t shop with you if they can’t even get to the door. Keep salt and a snow shovel handy for sidewalks in front of your business.
Inside you’ll need to ensure all slick floors are kept dry. Tile and certain concretes are especially prone to slickness when combined with water. These tasks can be hard for small companies without a dedicated janitorial staff. However, you need to ensure the safety of your customers.
Make Sure Your Buildings and Vehicles Are Ready
Winter can cause a lot of extra strain on buildings and vehicles. Here are a few things you can do to get these critical assets ready for the season:
- Remove debris from gutters and around building(s).
- Have a professional inspect your heating system.
- Check that your roof doesn’t have any weaknesses.
- Put winter tires on your vehicle(s).
- Keep jumper and tow cables in vehicles.
- Don’t let the gas tank get too low. This can allow condensation in the tank to freeze.
Know Your Insurance Policy
You should be familiar with your business insurance policy heading into the winter season. If you don’t have business insurance, get some general liability insurance quotes. You can’t risk the dangers of a major lawsuit if someone is hurt at your business. It’s unwise to overlook the many possible accidents that can occur during the winter time and the resulting liability. While general liability insurance covers your premises in case someone gets injured, only commercial auto insurance protects work-related vehicles. Many leaders find that bundling these coverages saves them money and worry during the wintertime.
Get a Backup Generator
It’s impossible to say if and when Mother Nature will hit with a major storm. Sometimes winter surprises are strong enough to knock down power lines. In this case, you need to have a backup plan. A generator is the best option for many businesses. They come in a wide variety of sizes. The market is saturated enough that even smaller companies can afford to get a unit that won’t bust their budget. Thinking ahead can let you capitalize on events when other stores don’t have any power.
Know When to Let People Stay Home
Some bosses are notorious for forcing their employees to come in despite unsafe weather conditions. It’s important to keep things in perspective. If there’s two feet of snow on the ground, don’t make your waitresses drive to work. It simply isn’t worth it. All you’re doing is unnecessarily risking people’s health. If your employees can’t get into work, it’s unlikely you will have many customers anyway. It’s not a bad idea to have a set limit for temperature and snowfall. If the threshold is met, just let your employees stay home. You’ll regret it if anything happens to them.
Winter is a wonderful season for a lot of businesses. This doesn’t mean you can ignore the potential dangers that come with the cold and snowfall. Preparation is key to surviving winter as a business owner.