Looking at the current weather report, perhaps I should have titled this article “Winter Is Here”, but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it (nor does it reference Game of Thrones, which is where I shamelessly stole the line from).

So, November is here. For many of us that means the temperature is dropping, and the first flurries of snow are beginning to fall. Time to batten down the hatches and prepare for the cold, frosty embrace of winter. This means pulling out warmer clothes that have been sitting in closets for months, getting the boots and heavy jackets out, all that good stuff. Winter is essentially a giant inconvenience to everyone who lives in a part of the world that has to deal with it. But it’s not just a personal inconvenience, it’s a business one too. Have you taken steps to try and mitigate that? Is your business ready for winter?

If not, then now’s the time to prepare. Here are some tips.

LEAVE MORE TIME FOR EVERYTHING: With winter comes inclement weather. Snow, ice, wind, all that good (horrible) stuff. Inclement weather is going to make you, your team, your clients, and, well, pretty much everyone else, late. So for those times when you have to leave and go out into the cold, be prepared for it. Leave early. Give yourself extra time to get to where you need to go. An hour. Two if you have to. Check the weather reports and plan accordingly. You should also be prepared for your team, clients, etc to be late as well. It’s going to happen, it’s not worth getting upset over. Just plan to leave a little bit early and arrive a little bit late, and you should be fine.

BE PREPARED TO CANCEL:  Big meeting with a client? You’re going to have a hard time with that one if a sudden snowstorm hits, or your car breaks down. Or, of course, the same happens to your client. I’m not saying be overly paranoid, but keep a backup date/time in mind when making important plans just in case. A sudden, unexpected incident forcing you to cancel a meeting shouldn’t end up costing you, and won’t, if you have a backup plan in mind.

PREPARE FOR LOWERED INCOME:  This time of year has another nasty side effect. People spend less money. In some industries, this is not the case, but in many, you’re going to encounter a winter slump. Business is going to drop. People are less inclined to spend money with the holidays just around the corner, or if doing so involves going out into the cold. Hopefully you’ve been budgeting carefully, so that if you hit a slump you aren’t scrambling to pay your team, your bills, and your business expenses.

This time of year has the potential to really screw with your business. Be prepared for it, and hopefully it won’t take too big of a bite out of your PIE.

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