For many businesses, especially retail, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. In 2021, an average American is planning to spend almost $900 on presents alone. Alliant Credit Union, meanwhile, revealed that most are likely to increase their budget by as much as 10 percent compared to 2020.
The season usually brings a lot of snow in many parts of the country from the East Coast to the mountainous regions of the West. The white powder can transform any place into a winter wonderland. Add some lights, and you’ve got a magical retail space that drives more consumers looking to boost and delight in the holiday cheer.
But do you know that too much snow can do more harm than good for your business? Here’s why:
1. Accumulated Snow Can Damage Buildings
Snow can damage buildings in many ways. First, it can lead to roof problems, including collapse. Replacing an entire roof can be as high as $30,000.
Second, the weight of snow can cause sagging in building facades and walls. This can damage windows, doors, and other architectural features. Finally, ice dams can form on roofs, leading to water infiltration and increased moisture. It can make the space feel more humid and cause water to seep into the foundation.
2. Shoppers Might Stay at Home Instead of Going to Your Store
Weather forecasts can be unreliable. But one thing is certain: nobody wants to go outside if there’s too much snow, whether it’s caused by winter storms, thundersnow, or anything else.
While most people simply avoid outdoor activities when there are too many inches of the white stuff on the ground, others might stay indoors even if the weather is mild. They might do their shopping online to browse more products and compare prices.
3. Excessive Snow Can Lead to Accidents and Injuries
Shoveling snow is a physically demanding task that can lead to back pain, heart attacks, and other health problems. It’s also dangerous. On average, 100 snow-shoveling emergency cases are due to heart attacks.
That’s not all. Excessive snow can also make your customers and workers prone to injuries and accidents. Wet, icy, and snowy conditions can cause slips and falls. OSHA reports that the average number of days lost per worker due to nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses is 8.4. Multiply that by the number of employees in your store, and you’ll see just how much you’re losing because of snow.
4. Additional Workload Can Lead to Burnout
Excessive snow can also cause a huge increase in work for your employees. Some tasks, such as plowing and shoveling, are physically demanding. Meanwhile, others might include clearing walkways, driveways, and other outdoor spaces where customers or clients are known to frequent.
For your employees, the extra stress that comes with this much work can lead to burnout, which can have long-term effects on their well-being. It might affect their job performance in the short term as well as their mental and physical health.
5. A Frigid Temperature Might Lead to Power Outages
Cold weather can also lead to power outages. After all, frozen pipes are more likely to rupture when they’re under pressure from water that has turned into ice. It might take longer for the ice to melt because of low temperatures, so it could cause damage not just to your property but also to structures around you, which could increase your risk of accidents or injuries.
What Can Your Business Do About It?
Surely, you cannot stop snowfall. However, your business can consider many steps to maximize sales this season while keeping everyone safe, happy, and comfortable:
- Invest in tools. Buy pieces of equipment like electric snow throwers that can help your employees clear the property quickly and easily. They’re not noisy, so they don’t bother your visiting customers. Also, consider purchasing a gas, hybrid, or solar-powered generator as an energy backup.
- Create a safe workplace. Make sure that all walkways are well-lit and free of ice and snow. Provide employees with proper safety gear, such as boots, gloves, hats, and jackets.
- Encourage employees to take breaks. It’s easy for your workers to feel overwhelmed with all the extra work that comes with winter, especially when there is a lot of snow on the ground. Encourage them to take short but frequent coffee or lunch breaks outside to recharge.
- Offer other methods of buying. Set up an online shop and offer curbside delivery. Provide shipping services to customers who can’t come in person.
- Consider hiring seasonal help. When the workload gets too much for your regular employees, bring in some extra hands to help with the workload.
Snow can be a headache for businesses, but with the right precautions, it doesn’t have to be. Implement some of the tips above and enjoy a successful winter season!