The so-called ‘Beast from the East’ which blew in some extreme cold weather from Siberia may have cost the UK economy 1bn a day according to some estimates which could translate into 50% reduction in GDP growth for the quarter.
If you did manage to venture out in some parts of the UK in early March, then you may well have noticed businesses had closed their doors waiting for the bead weather to blow over. While closing down a business for a day might not have much of an immediate impact on the business itself, there can be knock on effects further down the line.
For example if a service business is closed, then customers who need that service at that particular time can be left disappointed, which may prompt them to go elsewhere and in some cases take hard won customer loyalty with them.
The key to avoiding this kind of impact is to plan head for bad weather and how the business might cope with a prolonged spell of severe weather.
The first thing to do of course is to check on weather forecasts so you are prepared in advance for adverse weather conditions that may affect travel times and so on.
Next it is wise to put in place an action plan which might include what employees should do if they find themselves unable to travel to work. In some cases home working may be an option but if this isn’t planned for in advance then vital time could be lost.
Another important area to consider of course is your customers. Make sure you have notified them in advance of your intentions to close the business or there is at least a notice put up explaining that the business is closed temporarily due to weather conditions.