Blizzards and Business Planning

As of Tuesday (January 25), Boston’s snow fall was 270% above historic norms and another major storm added another 12 inches on Wednesday into Thursday.

The same story is being told in many parts of the country.

The unprecedented number of severe winter storms this year demonstrates the need for contingency planning for your business.

Here are a few practical ideas:

  • Arrange working from home for employees. A telephone chain, automated phone call, or private posting on your company website can alert employees early in the morning that offices will be closed or opening late. Work to make access to the company computer doable from your employees’ laptops or smartphones. From your laptop, you can use GoToMyPC.com. From your iPhone, the App to help is Splashtop.
  • Stay flexible in scheduling meetings, appointments, and other business events. Re-schedule as soon as weather predictions suggest the original date won’t work any longer. To avoid the hassles of air travel in bad weather, use teleconferencing  or video conferencing where possible.
  • Obtain backup generators to run refrigerators or other equipment vital to your business in case of electricity outages.
  • Create new marketing offerings to customers. Many retailers, restaurants, and other consumer firms have lost significant business because of winter weather this year. It’s time to get creative. Special promotions can stimulate sales on good weather days.
  • Keep your sense of humor and remember that spring is just around the corner!

For more resources on disaster planning, which can be adapted for weather-related closings, see:

  1. FEMA
  2. Institute for Business and Home Safety
  3. Ready.gov
  4. SBA

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