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UK small businesses must prepare for another harsh winter

13/10/2010

The wintry weather that affected the UK at the start of year was some of the most intense since records began. You’ll remember the struggle getting into the office (which more often than not ended in failure), mass school closures and an almost entire shut down of the country’s transport infrastructure.

You will not be surprised to learn that meteorologists at Positive Weather Solutions are predicting similar conditions this winter...

UK Snow 2010

As a result, the Forum of Private Businesses (FPB) has urged small businesses, which were badly hit last time round, to establish contingency plans in advance.

During the height of January’s chaos, the FPB estimated the UK’s small business community was losing up to £230 million a day – a figure SME’s can ill afford to bear in the current economic climate.

Small business owners should draw up plans now for the following key areas:

  • Staff – heavy snow will undoubtedly lead to road, rail and air closures; Have your staff got the capability to work from home? Can they access work emails outside your internal server? Can you re-route telephone calls to their home / mobile number?  Have you looked at virtual office services?

  • Premises – cold temperatures can often lead to heating failures and burst water pipes; Have you considered short term business premises in case the worst happens? Does your office have back-up generators? Building insurance? Have you updated your disaster recovery plan recently?

  • Enquiries – Do you have contingency plans for re-directing and handling sales enquiries if staff cannot get to your office?

  • Deliveries – your vans may be stuck in the warehouse for an indefinite period of time; Can you outsource your deliveries to a courier? Do you need to contact customers regarding the delay of their ‘next day delivery’? What about international orders?

Don’t let your competitors gain the upper hand in the event of the cold weather – prepare early or risk plunging your business into a ‘deep freeze'.

For information about our call answering services or emergency recovery serviced office space please call us today on 0800 634 6346 or email info@abbeyoffices.com.