Winter can be rough for small businesses and 2022 could be one of the most difficult we’ve seen in a while. With higher energy prices leading to higher internal bills and a sense of worry amongst consumers, businesses could be facing lower incomes this winter period. Add on Royal Mail strikes and the potential for a colder winter and small businesses could really pay the price of a rough year.
There are a few ways you can prepare your business for winter 2022, from making sure that your insurance is up to date, to having contingency plans in place in case of emergency. Here, we’ve put together some things you could try throughout the season.
Make Sure You’re Insurance Is Up To Date
Having a good business insurance policy can help you ensure that you aren’t met with any unexpected or hefty costs in cases where claims are made against you. As the weather gets rougher, the risk of slips, trips and falls as a result of wet or icy surfaces increases substantially and it’s always better to be safe. While you might not think that a client’s fall on the pavement outside is your responsibility, it’s always best to have insurance just in case. If they slip in the entrance to your shop, for example, this could lead to a claim and having a policy in place will ensure you are always protected financially.
Prepare Your Premises
Preparing your property for adverse weather conditions in advance can help to prevent damage over the season. Preparations could include:
- Relocate any materials or equipment that could be damaged by water or extreme cold
- Check the roof and guttering for signs of damage or blockages
- Check antennas for signs of damage
- Ensure that pipes are well insulated to prevent frozen pipes
- Be ready to salt and de-ice your parking spaces, entryways and pathways around your business
- Consider a generator as a backup in the case of power loss
Have An Emergency Plan In Place
Whether it’s poor weather, unexpectedly high energy bills or low sales, having emergency contingency plans in place could help to prepare your business for the worst case. Severe weather, for example, can cause a range of problems from low staff numbers, to an inability to open your business at all and even damage to the property. Having plans in place like working from home, announcements ready to go in case you need to close and even transport alternatives for staff who might usually rely on public transport. The plans you put in place will differ depending on your business and the needs of your staff and customers. Sit down with your staff and work out the risks you face across
Account For Additional Costs
With energy costs on the rise and prices in general on the up, there’s a high chance that you and your business will experience additional costs this winter. Whether it’s the cost of heating the store or office all day or extra costs for your usual supplies or stock, you need to be ready to account for these additional costs over the coming months. Set aside an emergency fund if you can and try to calculate costs as accurately as possible with new and rising rates to ensure you’re never left with unexpected bills.
Have Back-Up Plans For Mail
Royal Mail strikes have been ongoing for a while now and there are set to be even more over the Christmas period. If you’re looking to send mail or packages and products to customers, it’s important that you have backup plans in place to ensure that customers are getting their goods when they need them. If you offer 24 or 48-hour delivery via Royal Mail, for example, you might need to look into an alternative courier for key strike dates, as well as make it clear to customers that delays may be possible.
Take Advantage Of The Holidays
It’s not all doom and gloom, however – as with every year, Christmas is coming and while a lot of us are strapped for cash this year, it is one time of year when spending seems to be a given. Take advantage of the demand and offer discounts and sales where possible to compete against other businesses and sellers, and be prepared to keep up with demand. If you can showcase good customer service, competitive pricing and decent delivery times, you can take advantage of the holiday season and help both your business and your customers.
For more information about how we can help your business with our variety of insurance policies, all you have to do is get in touch. We can guide you through the ins and outs of the insurance products we have on offer and help you get the best quotes for your business. Simply get in touch with Ashburnham Insurance for FREE ON 0800 1696137.