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The Weather: Impact on Your Business location has a tremendous impact on the viability of certain businesses and conditions you experience. Regardless of where you fall on climate-change politics, weather-related trends and events cannot be ignored. They present challenges for some; opportunities for others.

Lessons from California

In response to a severe drought, on April 1, 2015, Gov. Brown imposed extensive water-use restrictions in California. The restrictions aim to cut residential and business water use by 25% over nine months. The restrictions apply to lawns, landscaping, golf courses, cemeteries, and campuses, and include a lawn replacement program (substituting drought-tolerant landscaping). So far, restrictions do not extend to agricultural use of water.

What does this mean? Small landscaping companies will lose business focused on mowing and maintenance. To survive, such companies will need to adapt by offering lawn replacement services.

Isn’t this always the way for small businesses? Didn’t anvil companies and blacksmiths have to adapt after the introduction of the automobile?

Lessons from the Midwest

On April 9, 2015, tornadoes devastated parts of the Midwest, wiping out towns in Illinois and leaving destruction across a good section of the country. With homes, businesses, and civic buildings destroyed, there is much rebuilding to be done.

Hardware stores, contractors, and just about every type of tradesman have work for the foreseeable future once insurance settlements and FEMA make payments available. Contractors from other parts of the country who are idle and willing to move (at least temporarily) may find opportunity here, but check for state/local licensing requirements.


Looking back at severe storms this past winter, business travel became a nightmare for many. Some found that videoconferencing or phone communication could substitute for in-person meetings.

Going forward, what are your plans in response to severe weather? Do you have plans to make any changes in travel for the future? Have you reviewed your insurance coverage to address concerns about potential hazards?

Mother Nature can’t be controlled, so it’s up to you to adapt your business accordingly.