Winter can be a difficult time for businesses, particularly small businesses. Extra costs, lower foot traffic and other complications can really damage your bottom line. Here are a few things to plan for if you’re trying to stay open through the cold season.
Make Your Business Accessible
You need to be accessible, both to your customers and your employees. That might mean looking into a sidewalk clearing service or deicing parking lots Washington or your area. Keep informed about snowplow routes and stay aware of whose responsibility the sidewalks are. There’s simply no point being open if your customers and employees can’t get to you, so be realistic about whether the cost of being open that day outweighs the benefits.
Prepare for Extra Costs
Winter is expensive. Clearing the parking lots and sidewalks costs money, keeping the building heated costs money and there is always the chance of other unexpected expenses like burst pipes from freezing temperatures and broken gutters caused by ice dams. Your rainy day fund may in fact be a winter weather fund.
Bring People In
Extra costs aside, business often slows in the in certain seasons. Unless you are in the business of snow removal, January and February can be extremely slow months for many small businesses, particularly in the retail sector. You may have to get creative to bring people in with sales and special offers. Whatever you can do to get customers and clients in the door will help.
Small businesses do not have the resources and advantages that larger corporations enjoy, and that makes them vulnerable. But with the right preparations and enough forethought, your small business can easily weather winter storms and seasonal fluctuations alike. Just remember to be accessible, prepared for the extra expense, and have a plan to bring people in.