Preparing Your Chicago Business for Winter Weather and Emergency Snow Removal

emergency-snow-removalIn the winter, the weather in Chicago is trying at best. At worst, it is downright nasty. As a business owner, you know that Chicago area winter weather is more than just an inconvenience – it is a direct threat to your business’ productivity. In order to mitigate this threat, it is important to have a plan. Here are some tips for preparing your Chicago business for winter weather and emergency snow removal.

Arrange for snow removal in the summer

Commercial snow plowing companies have pre-arranged contracts with clients. Businesses with contracts in place are served first. If you wait until the storm hits to call a snow removal contractor, your business will be cleared last – and with the severity of Chicago winters, a snow removal company probably has a lot of customers to service before getting to customers without contracts. The longer your business is difficult or even impossible for customers to access due to snow or ice, the more money you lose. In order to ensure your business is accessible, contact a snow removal company during the summer to take time to set up a strong snow removal plan and a contract.

Make ice management part of the plan

Although snow removal is the key to getting customers back into your business, ice removal is just as important. Although ice is not as inhibiting to customer access as snow, it can still cost your business a lot of money; if someone falls, they definitely won’t be happy or spread good word of mouth and they may even try to sue your business. This has the potential to cost you hundreds-of-thousands of dollars IF you act negligently in managing ice removal. It’s not as easy as you think for people to sue you in Chicago for injuries as you might think, but if you pile snow somewhere that causes a problem or don’t fix a downspout or something that causes ice, courts may find you to blame.

In order to ensure that no ice threatens your business, specify that your snow removal contacts includes provisions to remove.

Have a communications plan in place

There is no need for your employees to risk their safety trying to get to work, especially if your business isn’t open yet. Make sure that you have a reliable communications plan in place so that your employees know when your business is ready to open.

When setting up a communications plan, be sure to note the best way to contact each of your employees;some people want to be called on their cell phone or even emailed. It might also be a good idea to set up a “calling tree” in which each employee is responsible for contacting another employee to let them know the business is closed.

The same principle applies to your customers as well. Utilize social media and your company’s website to update your customers on the status of your business.

For more information about how our services can help your business prepare for the next Chicago winter, contact us.