Any experienced retailer knows that winter can be a make-or-break time for business. Holiday shoppers are full force, looking for gifts and seasonal items. However, the cold weather also brings challenges, from increased foot traffic to inclement weather. That’s why it’s essential to get your store ready for the winter.
By taking some simple steps to prepare your store, you can ensure that it’s ready to meet the season’s demands. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Prepare your storefront
As the temperatures start to drop and the days grow shorter, it’s essential to start thinking about how to prepare your storefront for winter. Taking some time now to make sure your store is ready for the cold weather can help prevent damage from snow and ice and ensure that your customers can still access your business when they need to.
Some key things to think about include the following:
Securing loose items
Clearing away any debris that could be blown around by the wind is crucial. That includes things like loose signage, awnings, and outside furniture. If you have any items you can take inside to weather the storm, do so. Otherwise, be sure to secure them as good as possible.
Bolting down snow guards
If your store has a metal roof, installing snow guards can help prevent dangerously and expensively large sheets of ice and snow from sliding off the top and onto the ground below. This way, you can avoid any potential accidents and keep your sidewalk clear.
Checking your drainage
Your gutters and drains need to be working well before winter hits. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and freeze, leading to severe damage to your store’s exterior. Inspect them now and clear away any leaves or debris that could cause a problem later.
Caulking and weatherstripping
Checking your store’s windows and doors for drafts is always a good idea, but it’s especially vital in the winter. Caulking any cracks around windows and doors can help keep cold air out and prevent heat from escaping. It would be best if you also weatherstripped any entries that don’t have a tight seal.
Replacing broken glass
Most retail stores have glass windows and doors. And if any of the glass in your store is broken, now is the time to replace it. Cold weather can cause small cracks to worsen, and you don’t want your customers to be subjected to a blast of cold air every time they walk through your door. Commercial window glass replacement comes at an affordable price and can be done quickly, so there’s no excuse not to take care of it now.
Stock up on your inventory
With the holidays fast approaching, it’s essential to ensure you have enough inventory on hand to meet the demand. Customers will be looking for seasonal items, gifts, and other must-have items, so you need to be prepared. Doing a stock check now can help you identify any gaps in your inventory and get started on ordering the things you need.
When looking for suppliers, find ones that offer winter discounts or promotions. This time of year, every bit helps when it comes to keeping your costs down. Plus, it’s always good to have a backup plan if one of your suppliers experiences a delay.
Plan for increased foot traffic
Winter is one of the busiest times for retail stores. Not only are customers out doing their holiday shopping, but inclement weather can also lead to an increase in foot traffic.
To prepare for the influx of customers, make sure your store is clean and organized. Clutter makes it harder for people to move around, and no one wants to do their shopping in a messy store.
It would be best if you also thought about making the best use of your space to accommodate the increased traffic. If necessary, you may even want to invest in shelves or racks that you can quickly move around to create more space.
Seek seasonal insurance
Winter is unpredictable, so it’s essential to ensure you’re well-insured against any potential risks. And while most businesses are covered year-round, there may be additional risks during winter that warrant specially purchased seasonal insurance.
For example, suppose your business is in an area that gets a lot of snow. In that case, you may want to purchase winter weather insurance if a snowstorm damages your property. Or, if you operate a seasonal business, such as a ski resort, you may need to purchase seasonal liability insurance to protect yourself from any accidents that occur on your property.
In either case, it’s essential to speak with your insurance agent to determine if seasonal insurance is right for your business.
No business owner wants to deal with the hassles of winter, but there are some things you can do to prepare your store. From the physical aspects down to the inventory you carry, a bit of planning can go a long way in weathering the winter. And when spring comes around, you’ll be glad you did.