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Each of the four seasons is unique. The weather starts warming up in spring, flowers start blooming, and baseball season begins. During summer, temperatures peak, trees have whole leaves, people take vacations, and the daylight lasts longer. As we move into fall, the leaves change color and fall off the trees, and football season begins. Finally, the onset of winter brings much colder weather across the United States, and animals start to hibernate.
While these and other changes associated with the year’s four seasons are something to look forward to and enjoy, they can also wreak havoc on your small business. Extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms, blizzards, strong winds, ice storms, heavy rainfall, and excessive heat can damage your office, disrupt your sales, and lead to financial distress. However, taking preventative actions now can help you keep your cash flow intact and prevent costly problems down the road. This Balboa Capital blog post has some helpful tips on how to prepare your business for bad weather.
Check your property for potential problems.
If you own a home, you know how important it is to keep everything up-to-date and in good working conditions. The same goes for your commercial property. Checking for potential problems might not be on your “to-do” list, but it needs to be.
Have a building inspector or a dependable contractor conduct a thorough inspection of your office once a year to look for clogged roof drains, exterior wall cracks, and HVAC problems. If large trees could come into contact with your office because of wind, rain, or snow, you should have them trimmed by a professional landscaper.
Protect your inventory.
Automobiles, commercial vehicles, and construction trucks are typically stored outdoors or in a freestanding facility. If your company’s inventory is held outdoors, it needs to be protected from harsh weather conditions. Otherwise, it will be subjected to extreme heat or cold, resulting in corrosion and the entrance of water, dust, and other contaminants.
You can protect your valuable equipment with industrial-grade outdoor covers that shield it from water, heat, and humidity. A more expensive option is to store your equipment in temperature-controlled storage containers, providing it fits.
Do not ignore your company’s assets.
You cannot control the weather, but you can control what happens to your company’s assets when a weather-related disaster strikes. The first line of defense is to store your essential business information and data in a secure cloud-based environment. For example, if Mother Nature drops torrential rainfall and results in a flooded office and a computer malfunction, you risk losing essential business data.
That is not the case if you move to the cloud. The cloud does what on-site technology cannot. It keeps everything safe, secure, and easily accessible from anywhere there is an Internet connection. There are many cloud providers to choose from, and you can finance cloud software for an affordable monthly payment.
Establish emergency procedures.
Bad weather can strike without warning, even hours before your mobile weather app alerts you. Because of this, you need to develop a plan that keeps your employees safe. First, invest in safety mats and rugs, heavy-duty flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, bottled water, dried food, and a generator.
Then, write up your company’s safety protocols if they are not already in your employee handbook. These protocols should explain what your employees should do in an emergency to remain safe. If your business needs to close its doors for a few days or weeks as a result of inclement weather, come up with a contingency plan.
Review your business insurance coverage.
Call your insurance agent to ensure you have the right amount of coverage. Business property damage insurance protects your company from losses when a property is damaged or destroyed. You can get coverage for any business-related item with value, such as furniture, technology, or a business vehicle.
Lastly, ask your agent about business interruption insurance, which can provide coverage for lost revenue, relocation expenses, and employee payroll.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.