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December 7, 2010

Snow business

Freezing conditions and heavy snow have impacted people up and down the country, but what’s the effect for small businesses?

While it might seem like a perfect way to welcome December the recent bad weather had created a series of financial and strategic problems for people and businesses alike. For your employees with children, the closure of hundreds of schools presents some serious childcare issues. For commuters and anyone who travels for work, it means being stranded at home, or in the office, with staff arriving late and wanting to leave early. It also means that meetings and conferences are cancelled, and any deliveries of products to your clients are also delayed.

Managing the effects of snow, and your level of success, can set you apart from your competitors. So, it’s key that you think about both clients and staff during this time.

  • Set expectations: if bad weather is forecast a warning email about delays or slight interruptions to the services you provide is a good way to keep your clients informed.
  • Prioritise: If you are restricted by the snow, work to achieve the most essential things, and those that aren’t impacted by the weather, your clients will appreciate your efforts.
  • Be logical: If travelling to and from work is going to take a couple of hours for your staff, and they effectively can work from home, would their time be better spent working on projects from home so your customers are still getting a service from you.
  • Be consistent: Work with your Managers and\or HR department to have a blanket strategy for managing the impact of snow on your staff. There are always those who take advantage of bad weather conditions, so it’s vital you are clear on what you expect from those who can travel, and those who can’t.
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