We’ve already talked about preparing your home for winter. But, the season’s almost here and we still haven’t mentioned small businesses! Depending on what industry you’re in, these seasonal changes can impact your business cycle a little—or a lot. Either way, the more people who you have to consider, the more complicated coordinating can become. So, we’re here to help!
It’s always better to ask about things before they actually become an issue. If you rent commercial space for your small business, then you definitely need to clarify some winter-related matters with them. Are they responsible for snow removal or does that task fall to you? Is this something that’s included in your regular bills or will you need to budget for additional expenses? Unfortunately, whoever takes on this task will also get the liability. You want to be especially careful about clearing snow/ice and keeping it that way. Because if anyone (customer or employee) falls and injures themselves on the premises, then they could take legal action against the responsible party.
Speaking of Snow…
For many industries, winter is a slower season. So, the last thing you want to deal with during this time of year is higher operating costs. Use some of your extra time to assess and address potential hazards. If your office is a little bit drafty or has noticeable signs of wear-and-tear, you should ask your landlord to fix those issues now, prior to any winter weather. Now’s also a great time to review your business insurance. Depending on what type of policies and protection you have in place, that should help if any weather-related damage occurs. If not, we may just need to upgrade your current coverage. Call us at Freedom Insurance Agency for a quote today!
Have a Plan in Place
Whether you decide to shut down for snow, holidays, or any other federal observances, it’s best to get everyone on the same page! Even if you’re a sole proprietor, you should still establish guidelines, so your clients will at least know what to expect. Often, local businesses will coordinate with the closings and delays of nearby governments and/or school systems. That way, they can just defer to their decision. Still, if you’d like to have your own policies in place, just be very clear about who’s making the call, who’s communication this information, and how you’ll handle exceptions. Unfortunately, the weather isn’t the same everywhere—especially not in Maryland. If you have employees, they’ll appreciate a little leeway and the ability to work from home on days when the roads aren’t safe. Of course, this option isn’t available in all industries. But you’ll need to have a plan in place for when/if winter weather disrupts your daily operations, too. There are no definite rules for everyone. Just use your best judgment and caution to keep everyone safe this season!
As a business owner, you have more responsibilities than most this winter, but you have one important resource on your side: us! Feel free to come to us with any liability or weather-related questions you might have. We know you have a lot to do already, so allow us to serve as your consultants on these and other matters. Stay safe and warm this season!