Whilst the 1st of March may have been the official first day of Spring, the idea of warm days and balmy evenings still seems a long way off, as the UK battles blizzards, gales, freezing temperatures and now flood warnings.
Weather can have a huge impact on businesses as we reported last week in our article ‘Snow and the impact on restaurants’. The Federation of Small Businesses’ has therefore now published five steps SMEs should take when trying to get back to business as usual:
1. Look after your team – all responsible business owners should ensure that their staff don’t put themselves in danger. Employers should follow the official advice and ask their staff not to travel to work if the authorities are warning the transport networks are unsafe.
2. Keep in touch with your suppliers, customers and creditors – you might have used social media to warn your customers that you won’t be open, but will you be able to pay HMRC or utility companies on time? You’ll likely find people and organisations far more accommodating than you might think.
3. If the worst has happened, contact your insurer as soon as possible – you’ll want to make sure that you start the claims process as soon as possible.
4. Work with your local community – we know that many smaller firms are rooted to their neighbourhood, and many are going above and beyond to help those around them. Also seek advice from your accountant. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
5. Plan for the future – unfortunately, extreme weather events and other major incidents are more common than you think. Businesses should put together a business continuity plan to protect and maintain critical assets, processes and resources whilst identifying operational efficiencies to maintain or improve profitability. Click here to find out more.