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Study: Cold weather damaging for small businesses

It's safe to assume that, even for a 100 percent online business, weather has an impact on operations and profits.
It's safe to assume that, even for a 100 percent online business, weather has an impact on operations and profits.

It's safe to assume that, even for a 100 percent online business, weather has an impact on operations and profits. However, a recently study by economists from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) in England found that extreme temperature drops have a significant impact on small businesses most of all.

According to Smallbusiness.co.uk, periods of very cold weather have seen quarterly profit growth on average 0.6 percent points lower than typical levels. When lower temperatures are one degree Celsius lower than the average, quarterly profits fall by nearly 2.5 billion pounds in the U.K. This is a much larger negative effect than any other form of adverse weather, including flooding, heat waves or snowfall.

"Many small offices are unprepared for such events as they often lack remote access to their work due to security concerns and a lack of infrastructure," Scott Corfe, head of UK Macroeconomics at Cebr, told the news source. "This is compounded in many cases by inadequate internet connections or computing power at staff homes. In addition, [SMBs] tend to suffer more than their larger counterparts who can spread the setup and maintenance costs of remote working infrastructure across many more staff."

This trend makes it even more important for smaller companies to invest in high-quality business continuity planning. Having a sound continuity strategy will minimize downtime caused by extreme weather and provide a solid support system during crises. Businesses have to be prepared if their infrastructure falls short during a disaster, and a continuity of operations plan will prepare them for the worst.

SMBs looking to invest in a business continuity plan may benefit from assistance, however. Hiring consultants can help you to expedite the planning process and minimize risk.