Thursday, 10 November 2011

Small firms must prepare now for winter weather

Accountants Cannon Moorcroft of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire have just sent their e-newsletter. This article caught my eye.

"Small businesses are being urged to prepare now for winter weather, as the unseasonably mild conditions across the UK look set to end later this month.

YouGov data shows that 13 per cent of small businesses said they were 'seriously' impacted by last winter's bad weather and 37 per cent said they experienced weather-related problems.

As a result, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) is warning small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to start planning ahead by making sure their premises are winter proof, insurance is up to date, and contingency plans are well thought out.

The last two winters have seen arctic conditions, with ice and snow causing havoc, and this December is likely to start with severe frosts.

Commenting, head of campaigns at FPB, Jane Bennett said: "Disruptive snowfall hampers deliveries, triggers heating and power failures, and can sometimes mean employees can't get to work,"

"The past few winters have demonstrated just how susceptible the UK is to extreme weather, and the cost to business quickly runs into millions. When infrastructure grinds to a halt staff can't get in to work, and that's a body blow which hits small firms with fewer staff the hardest.

"It's essential small businesses do all they can themselves to mitigate the impact, and being proactive now will mean not having to rush out a last minute reactive plan on the eve of bad weather, which may not be all that effective.

"It worth remembering prevention is also better than cure - something as simple as making sure water pipes are lagged could save a business thousands in lost revenue if it has to close because of flooding. Businesses need to think about their contingency plans now to ensure they aren't put out of action by another nasty winter," she added"

This is a very important reminder not only for business people, but also all property owners including Landlords letting out their property.

If the property is empty between tenancies either have all of the water in the property drained out (It is no good turning off the stop cock if all the tanks and radiators are full of water as otherwise as soon as it gets warmer these will burst). Alternatively if you are trying to let the property it is more inviting if the heating has been left on, however it is well worth checking out the insurance situation with your insurance company.

If you are a tenant going away over Christmas / New Year or an owner occupier do make sure that the property is properly heated whilst you are away. Quite often it can be fairly mild just before Christmas (although this was not the case in 2009 and 2010) and it turns much colder whilst you are way. It is a good idea if possible asking a friend, relative or neighbour to keep an eye on the property and if there are signs of it getting really cold, adjusting the heating levels accordingly.

jml Property Services have a large selection of Landlord and Tenant insurance companies advertising HERE and for business and homeowners HERE

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