Ah, winter. It can be a wonderful time and a time that leaves you with a lot of fond memories. Sunday walks through the woods over glistening powder, evening cuddles by a roaring fire, sledding or tubing, and laughing for hours. Winter is excellent for having fun and even relaxing. Still, it’s not always so fantastic for getting to and from work, operating heavy machinery, and the level of wear and tear that it inflicts on vehicles and properties. As a business owner or even an employee, there are lots of things that you need to consider when preparing a business and employees for winter weather. You may need to think about finding a commercial snow removal service (depending on where you live). You might need to fit snow tires to your delivery vehicles or have a maintenance man come over to give your building a good once-over before the cold and wet weather sets in.
We have the ultimate winter weather checklist to prepare you and your business for all the challenges that come along with your yearly dose of snow and ice.
Just like you’d scan the weather in the summer months for perfect weekend beach days, you’ll need to keep a close eye on winter weather reports, especially storm reports. If you have advanced warning, you can make whatever preparations you need to, even if that means closing for the day. If you are forewarned, you can be forearmed, and so can your employees; alternative transport arrangements can be made if necessary or work-from-home hotspots can be set up to keep things running smoothly no matter what the weather.
While having trucks and other equipment parked outside or near the curb during summer is probably safe enough, you’re liable to lose thousands of dollars in machinery and vehicles if they stay there during winter. We advise finding some sort of shelter, even if it’s just something basic (but sturdy) like a tin shelter to keep them out of the weather’s path. Anything you have to leave outside for whatever reason should be moved from underneath any trees or overhanging branches that might snap off if they are overloaded with snow.
Hire a Snow Removal Service
If your business premises are small or only one story, you’re likely to be able to handle at least a little bit of this yourself. We do advise consulting the professionals, though, to have any large-scale work done. Hiring people who do this for a living means that you don’t have to take time out of your own work schedule to do the job. It also means they have the equipment to do this potentially dangerous job really safely. Sidewalks should be shoveled and de-iced every day, and snow should not be allowed to build up on your roof too much, or it may cause severe and lasting damage.
If you are closing for the day or need to reschedule any existing appointments that you have with clients, you should contact them as early as possible.. Putting a notice up about your opening hours on your website and social media is a good idea, too, so that people understand why they aren’t able to reach you.
Keep in touch with your staff as well, for the same reasons. The weather may have looked okay an hour ago, but things can change quickly in winter, and severe conditions can develop in the blink of an eye. You must keep your staff and business safe, so have
plans in place for whatever situations might arise.
Have an Alternative Power Source
Investing in a generator might seem extreme when you have to set aside the money for it, but it won’t seem so excessive when you are the only business on the block that has power! Yes, generators take up a lot of space, they can be costly and are not always the most attractive machines, but they are there to keep you running when there are no other options available. In the long run, a generator can save you a lot of time and money, so if weather-related power-outs are a regular thing in your area, it might be a good investment.
Consider Extra Insurance
No one has the extra stretch in their budget to cover a collapsed roof or broken windscreen. If you’re concerned about potential issues like this, we advise that you talk to your insurance broker about which kind of coverage would be the best to take out. Most brokers offer disaster insurance or something like it or may provide weather damage-specific insurance.
It might seem like a lot of extra effort to prepare yourself and your business for winter weather, but if you take action in advance, you could save yourself more extra work in the long run.