Heavy rainfalls, high winds, snowstorms, storm surges, freezing temperatures, and melting ice caps… all of these could have a negative impact on your business. The weather around the world has been at an extreme these past couple of years. It is important that business owners don’t only focus on how to market their products and services, but also on how to prepare for every season and climate. Weatherproofing the business is now a reality that we must all face as the world experiences extreme and inclement weather conditions because of climate change.
Identify the Risks
What are the types of natural disasters that your region is susceptible to? Use the weather forecast to spot potential problems. News outfits and weather experts will also make predictions on what the region will face in a given time. So, for example, if you are living in Southern California, that would be drought. If you’re living in New York, that might be snowstorms. In Florida, it’s hurricanes. You have to know what weather problems your business could face, so you can prepare well for them.
Define Critical Functions
How will your business operate amid a hurricane, for example? Who and what do you need? A restaurant will need a functional kitchen to at least prepare the food for take-out and deliveries. A retail store will need a couple of your staff, too, to facilitate payments, fulfill orders, and set those orders for delivery. Most of all, you need a solid team back home who will operate the business from the internet. They will communicate with suppliers and consumers, and ensure the smooth flow of the business despite the inclement weather.
Secure the Physical Location
What structures, products, equipment, utility services, and inventory are in your store that have to be protected during a storm or earthquake? How can you prevent damage to these? Surge protectors, storm shutters, secured tarps, and uninterrupted power supplies are some of the things you need. But you also have to protect your physical store or office from looters. You can work with a steel fabrication company for high-quality gates and fences to seal your business location.
Protect Your Employees
As much as you would want to remain open even if the storm is surging, you need to think about your employees. Besides, who will go to your store or office when the weather is too risky? Saving lives always comes first. If the storm happens to hit your store badly in the middle of the day, then let your employees stay for the night. Nothing good will come out of letting them go home when there’s a hurricane raging. Ascertain that everyone is safe. Make a policy that will keep them safe from harm during hazardous situations.
Keep Your Data and Records Safe
This is the reason why your documents, data, and records should be on the cloud. Start investing in cloud storage solutions. Your business will reap the rewards not only when your physical records are in danger from fire and storm, but also when you need them for taxes, employment issues, and inventory. You can access all these on the cloud no matter where you are. This means going on vacations and still having access to your company’s data. Imagine how much of a practical solution cloud storage is.
Create a Business Continuity Plan
Severe weather can cause serious disruptions to your business. Be well-prepared for it as disruptions hurt your sales, customers, and employees. This ties to identifying the critical functions in your business. How can your business continue when the power lines have been cut? What will happen if your employees cannot physically go to work? Can you work remotely?
A business doesn’t just shut down when the weather is bad. You have to spell out how it will continue operating amidst the worst weather in history. Are your employees ready to operate the business from the comfort of their homes? Is there a plan in place for that? Make sure there is because every second your business is not functioning is a second lost to your competitors.
Keep in Touch
If worse comes to worst and you cannot operate the business, the best thing to do is to keep in touch with your employees and customers. Make sure that everyone in your employ is doing well. Once they are safe in their homes, it’s time to reach out to your customers. Send an email and wish them well during bad weather. They will appreciate the gesture, the thought that you’ve managed to send that email even amid what’s going on. They will remember that when everything is back to normal.
You need to keep the business going. Running and managing a business is a 24/7 job. You don’t stop just because the weather is bad. Even when you cannot operate it, you have to think of ways to keep your brand in your customers’ consciousness.