7 Cold Weather Risks for Small Businesses in New Castle County
Prevent Your Revenues from Dropping as Fast as the Mercury
Whether it’s pounding rainfall, massive snowstorms, burst pipes on the heels of freezing temperatures or power outages, winter weather presents many threats that can lead to business shutdowns, property damage and loss of revenue.
Now is a good time to make a plan to stay open for business, while protecting your employees and customers from the dangers of severe winter weather.
Top Winter Risks that Threaten Small Businesses
1. Slips, Trips, and Falls
Icy parking lots and driveways, floors wet with melted snow, bunched-up doormats, and electrical cords all pose a risk.
Shoveling and salting walkways, mopping spills, putting up “Wet Floor” signs, and keeping all floors clear go a long way toward preventing falls.
2. Business Interruption
Bad weather can force businesses to close their doors unexpectedly. This will prevent your business from bringing in revenue during the storm. Even if your business is based in a warmer part of the country, you could be impacted if one of your suppliers is walloped by a storm and unable to deliver your inventory.
Have a protocol in place for dealing with bad weather, including a system for alerting your employees about whether they have to come in. Develop a backup supply chain so that you can keep the shelves stocked no matter what.
3. Snowed-in Employees
In some industries, you can’t open if your employees can’t make it in to the office. In others, your team can be productive from the snowed-in safety of their homes. If your employees are able to work from home, remember productivity is only possible if there are no issues with network connectivity and logging in.
Before bad weather starts, have a clear work-from-home policy and let employees give it a test run so they can be productive from afar.
During cold and flu season, germs can spread from one person to another at lightning speed. Sickness is one of the top cold weather risks for small businesses because this can have a disastrous effect on productivity.
Encourage employees to get flu shots to prevent getting sick. When someone starts showing signs of illness, have them go home so they don’t spread their germs to everyone else.
Home-Based Businesses are at Risk, Too
If you have a home-based business, there are winter risks that will affect your business. Take steps to manage the following risks:
5. Icy Driveways and Sidewalks
Ice can cause a risk if clients are visiting or packages are being delivered. A delivery person or client who slips and hurts themselves on the ice could legally hold your business liable for the cost of treating the injury.
Shovel and salt or meet the delivery folks at their trucks.
6. Power Outages
Snow or ice storms can lead to power outages. If you rely on a computer for your home-based work, having no power creates a whole new set of problems.
Most home improvement stores sell generators you can use to power your business. If you are without power, consider going to a nearby coffee shop or public library, where you could have access to power and WIFI.
7. Burst Pipes
When the temperatures drop, one major issue that could come up is a frozen water pipe.
They can create an inconvenience but, more seriously, can cause major damage to your property
Insulate properly and leave taps dripping in very cold weather. Check with your agent to make sure your home-based office and business equipment are protected. It’s important to remember that most homeowners’ policies exclude damage to business property, so you may need a commercial policy.
Storm or Flood Damage? Call SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle Today (302) 392-6000
Commercial Storm Damage Restoration
Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business. Wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage in a matter of minutes. There’s never a convenient time for flooding or storm damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
Commercial Restoration Presents Unique Challenges
SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial storm or water damage emergencies. Regardless of your property type or size, we will respond quickly to clean the property and manage the restoration project through to its completion.