Pipes burst. Air ducts fall. The power goes out. Do you have a plan for what you and your employees will do when one of these things happen? What about in the case of a large snowfall, bad storm or flood? Here are a few tips to help you make it through when things go wrong:
Anticipate: Take a moment to think about some of the worst possible scenarios that your store could face. While odds are against the chances of a total catastrophe, bad weather throwing a wrench in the works is actually pretty likely. At some point, you may also have to deal with flooding, a blackout, fire or another unexpected event.
Develop a plan: In the event of something truly catastrophic, there may not be a whole lot of recourse, but you should at least have some basic steps in place to help you get through almost anything that comes your way.
Get the word out: If your store can’t open, how will you inform your customers? Many people head online for information about businesses closing due to inclement weather, so updating your store’s Facebook page and website is a good way to get the word out.
Make sure your staff members know what to do as well — are certain employees expected to try to make it in, due to proximity? Who is responsible for each step of your plan? What should your staff members do if someone is injured in your store?
Check specific details as well, like if your lease contains set rules for clearing sidewalks and entrances, or exactly who you should notify if there’s property damage. Having a clear chain of steps to follow will help your team keep their cool in nearly any situation.
Be prepared to wing it: Even with a carefully laid out plan, there are going to be times when you have to roll with the punches. As long as everyone remains safe, you can find a way to sort out just about anything, regardless of how awful the situation may seem at the time.