Every year, the winter months affect various industries differently. Preparation is key to maintaining success through the cold weather season. However, this winter has many small businesses dealing with record-breaking bitter cold temps, extreme snow and ice storms which have left business owners shut down and unable to operate. Taking a few small steps to prepare and plan can not only help you get through the unexpected but ensure your doors stay open.
Prepare the Office Building
Winter storms are notorious for causing structural damage. Before the winter season, check your office space for leaks and cracks that could worsen during a potential storm. Shut off outdoor plumbing to avoid frozen pipes and invest in new weather stripping to stop melting snow from leaking inside.
Salt The Sidewalks
If you plan to be open during severe weather purchase salt or brine to prevent ice from forming on the sidewalks. This can prevent unnecessary slips or falls on the business property.
Invest in a Generator
Keeping a reliable power source on hand is both a safety precaution and a smart investment for the business move. Even a small generator can help keep important devices running like walk-in coolers or refrigerators. A generator can make the difference between being able to keep the power and electricity on and offer services when neighboring businesses are shut down.
Have a Snow and Ice Removal Plan
Plan ahead and contact a removal service prior to any upcoming storms. Have enough emergency funds allocated for snow and ice removal to cover your entire business and the surrounding property. A build up of snow and ice may prevent customers from being able to easily access the business as well as present potential safety hazards.
Take The Time to Detail Your Inventory
Use a camera to take photos of the building exterior and take the time to photograph all equipment and inventory. Keep these records in a safe and dry space. In the event that anything is damaged during a winter storm, this will make any insurance claims much easier to replace the damaged items.
Have A Mail Back-Up Plan In Place
Have a backup plan in place in the event of a mail service interruption. Often times severe weather can cause delays in the mail service meaning employees end up without paychecks and vendors are not paid in a timely fashion. Investing in an automated online service to issue paychecks via direct deposit or setting up the ability through your bank to pay vendors online will ensure the business can continue to operate as normal.
Stock Up and Keep an Emergency Kit Inside the Business
In extreme and sudden weather changes your employees may become snowed in at work. There may also be instances where employees or customers may need to wait out the storm. Consider investing in a winter emergency kit that includes vital supplies to have on-site.
Keep Your Staff and Customers Updated
Have a plan in place to easily communicate with employees of upcoming storm warnings and updates. Let employees know ahead of time to look out for updates via email or text or phone call. Ensure your employees and their families have access to an emergency plan that includes evacuation routes. Have a plan in place to also inform customers if and when you’re closing. Use social media channels to relay fast and accurate information. Also, place a sign in the storefront if you do plan to close due to a storm or severe weather.
Taking the time to plan ahead put preventative measures in place can help your small business stay open during a winter storm. If your business needs access to fast funding throughout the winter season to contact Merchant Funding Solutions Inc for a free no-obligation loan consultation.
The information and insights in this blog post are provided for educational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice from Merchant Funding Solutions Inc. Please consult your financial advisor before making any business financing decision. For information about Merchant Funding Solutions products and services, please visit the Merchant Funding Solutions FAQ page.