Friday, 22 January 2010

The right Climate

Whether or not you weather the weather……..

Just what we needed, eh? Tonnes of snow, temperatures plummeting below freezing and chaos on the roads, trains and pavements!

Not only do we have to wear some of the more ridiculous items from our wardrobes to keep warm on our way to work, when we get there, there are other, more serious issues to deal with.

As a result of climate change, the weather is going to have a major impact on our businesses all year round, some positive and some positive.

It will depend on what your business is all about, where it is based, who your customers are, who your suppliers are and the type and condition of the premises your business is located in.

Sadly, the cost to business of this years “cold snap” is estimated to be around £700m across the UK so far and as a direct result of combination of the recession and the weather around 2000 businesses are expected to go bust by Easter this.

Temperatures will continue to rise in the summer and fall in the winter and we’re told to expect more and more rain throughout the year. So the likelihood is that you’ll need to start preparing for property damage and business disruption from the extreme weather conditions from now on.

Floods, high winds, very high temperatures and even hailstones will affect the way businesses operate so you will need to start thinking about the impacts now.

Energy costs will rocket as heaters stay on longer on or cooling is needed and even if this doesn’t effect you directly, it may have a major impact on your suppliers and end up costing you more which in turn gets passed on to your customers

Climate change may also affect the economy, which in turn could affect your business through increased taxes, more red tape and political changes

So, what can I do…………

 Within your business plan, you need to think about the impact that climate change will have on your business.

 Look for the positive impacts such as new opportunities as well as the negatives, impacts such as rising costs, changes in customers' buying habits and risks.

 think about how climate change will affect your supply chain and your customers.

 Plan and review your solutions….what will the impact be on introducing new systems, procedures, physical changes BEFORE you initiate them. Remember, your business needs to be operating smoothly and profitably so to make sure your business is financially sustainable, do your research first!

 Make sure your changes are adaptable. Will any changes you make now be able to cope with more climate change in the future?

 Make sure you can afford to make the changes. Some of these will have costs attached to them and you’ll need to make sure you have the cash to do it. If not, what changes will you have to make and what other costs can you cut to help you pay for your changes

 Get EVERYONE on your team to understand how to manage risk and deal with issues as they arise

 Don’t get complacent and think you’re safer than anyone else!

The more entrepreneurial of you out there though will of course be looking for the ways to make money out of climate change, but again its imperative that you plan these things in advance. If you don’t have a business plan, then give us a call ASASP and we’ll help you pull one together!

I’m off to thaw out now and book a holiday somewhere hot (but I’ll be taking my thermals with me just in case!!!)

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