As the temperature continues to drop, the threat of winter storms affecting the area where your business operates and services is more and more constant. Winter storms can bring freezing rain, ice, snow, and high winds all at once; conditions can that easily knock out power for days and make travel on the roadways very difficult. Having a plan in place for when bad weather hits is vital to ensure that business will be prepared to handle whatever a winter storm may bring, all while keeping the safety of customers and employees in mind. Follow these tips to make sure that your New Jersey or New York business is ready to take on the winter weather!
Determine What the Risks Are
The first step in developing a winter storm readiness plan is to examine which areas of your business will need attention. If your business is in a stand-alone structure, be sure to inspect roofs, pipes, and window seals. Have any generators serviced before the weather begins to get cold. How do customers and employees get to and from your business? Lou’s Landscaping’s snow removal in New Jersey and New York provides an initial consultation to determine how much area will need to be cleared, amount of salt needed, and to mark off flower beds, sidewalks, and other items that may get covered by snowfall.
Can You Afford to Close?
When winter weather hits, it often leaves roadways in rough shape, and most of your would-be customers are stuck shoveling out their cars instead of driving them to your business. Your business should have a plan in place for severe weather days, where employees are able to easily access their work and all necessary files if they will be working from home. In the event your business loses power, consider having a generator installed if part of your business requires constant power, like a restaurant or food store with perishable items. If your business is forced to close due to the weather, be sure to contact any customers, clients, vendors, and meetings that may have had appointments or deliveries with you that day to give ample notice that you’ll need to reschedule.
Business owners should also be aware of the cost of a business disruption like a winter storm. Once these costs are determined, business insurance or a cash reserve should be secured to ensure that a closure from a winter storm doesn’t send your business spiraling.
Have a Communication Plan
Before the storm hits, your business’ communication plan should already be firing on all cylinders. Being able to provide updates to employees, vendors, and customers well in advance will give you the peace of mind after the storm hits that will allow you to focus on getting the business back up and running without getting hundreds of calls all day asking whether you are open or not. Utilize social media networks to inform customers in the area if you are closing or having different hours than usual. Lou’s Landscaping and Design contacts all of our commercial snow removal clients the night before to let them know what time we will be coming through to clear their lots so making a decision on whether to open or close can be made well in advance. Your communication plan shouldn’t stop with immediate business contacts. Businesses should also have numbers and contact information for various repair businesses, such as plumbers, roofers, and mold remediation services in the event that the snow, ice, or water caused by a storm has more serious effects on your business’s structure. If your business relies heavily on electronics and data connections, have your data provider and a server technician on-call as well so that business isn’t delayed any further due to technical issues.
The New Jersey and New York area is usually good for quite a few heavy snowfalls per winter, and it seems that each year brings more and more accumulation as these storms pass through. Don’t be caught unprepared for this year’s offerings of snow, ice, and cold winds. Have a plan in place for your business, and get in touch with Lou’s Landscaping and Design to arrange snow removal and plowing for your commercial space so your business can get back to doing what it does best, fast.