Winter is many people’s favourite time of year. While companies can be a lot busier during the colder seasons, professionals still appreciate the opportunity to rake in more business and profits.
That said, the winter weather can bring a fair share of disruption too. This coming winter is estimated to be punishing, with many firms already forecasting struggles and echoing calls for government help.
While things might be tough, your company should never succumb to despair. Instead, you should endeavour to be proactive. The season will commence on the 21st of December, so there’s still time to prepare for all the turbulence that may unfold.
Here are some of the best methods for establishing business continuity over winter.
Perform IT Maintenance
As firms become more reliant on tech, even the smallest outages can set off a chain reaction of further disruptions. Competence is king when it comes to maintaining your digital infrastructure. You could attempt to look after your computer systems internally. However, these tasks can consume significant resources, and an expert’s touch is required to ensure optimum performance. Therefore, it may be worth outsourcing these responsibilities to trustworthy professionals who deliver instantaneous results.
One example of what you can expect from outsourced IT services is Totality Services which focus on London IT support and can maintain all parts of your IT infrastructure. They can also provide training and guidance if you prefer a hands-on approach. Cybersecurity measures are also provided, along with expertise on compliance procedures. No matter the nature of your working relationship, partnering with services like this IT support in London will greatly improve your firm’s performance this winter.
Remember, customers may spend more time indoors during winter and are thus more likely to engage in some online shopping. Too much traffic, though, and your website can easily crash. Even small delays can test consumers’ patience, and they’ll try another site if it happens too often. Work with the experts and optimise everything for improved functionality.
Work with Private Couriers
Though the company website may run well, orders can still be botched during delivery. These risks are even more likely today.
Unfortunately, the walkouts of Royal Mail workers look set to continue over winter, and with it comes disruption for small businesses depending on these courier services. While one can easily sympathise with their situation, your firm can’t afford to take such a staggered approach to its delivery processes at such a busy time of year. Or indeed, any time.
It may be worth partnering with private couriers to ensure your goods flow freely. That way, your customers should receive their orders on time. Of course, these services can be more expensive than using Royal Mail, but if it ensures continuity for a time, it may be well worth the arrangement. You can always switch back to Royal Mail when things stabilise, contracts permitting.
Calculate Supply Disruptions
Your suppliers may also be affected by winter weather. Many goods have already been forecasted to be in short supply this winter, so it’s worth trying to avoid these logistical disruptions however you can. Analyse where your suppliers are based. Are they in areas that frequently experience hazardous weather warnings? Does disruption seem likely to you? If so, open up communications to get an accurate reading of their situation. It’s also a good idea to ask for updates so long as you’re polite and reasonable.
If things look dicey and contracts don’t prevent you from doing so, temporarily switching suppliers to a more reliable option may be best. Don’t burn any bridges, and endeavour to be respectful. Your supplier isn’t always at fault in these situations, and they should understand a temporary reshuffle if business needs are pressing.
Sustainability is also a great way to overcome logistical supply disruptions. If you can reuse eco-things like eco-friendly containers and conserve energy, it will lessen the need to purchase more. Solar power can potentially help, though it can sometimes be unreliable on wintery overcast days. Other businesses have backup generators ready to go, though, too. Have backup plans for your backup plans when it comes to energy usage.
Winter-Proof Your Premises
Few things can disrupt business continuity, like accidents and injuries in a workplace. Lawsuits can open up, firms can be plunged into disrepute, and few things about the company are ever the same again.
Look into the measures that keep your premises safe during winter weather. Use grit on the company car park to ensure cars don’t skid and people don’t slip. Display signs with warning messages near hazardous areas. Cordon off areas with tape and cones. Security lighting must work so companies can see where they’re going when it’s slippy out and darker sooner.
You could also try to double down on insulation around pipes, which should prevent freezing and blockages. If your workplace has a boiler, get that serviced at the earliest opportunity so you can be certain it’s functioning as it should.
Revisit your paperwork, too. Is all your insurance coverage up to date? All documentation needs to be in order, whether it covers repairs or worker and visitor safety.