The ever changing weather in the UK has more to answer for than you first might think, weather and business do not always go together. Not only can wet summer months dampen our days and put our barbeque plans on hold, the weather impact on retail sales can result in quite a devastating blow for business, whilst a summer scorcher can have the opposite effect.
The hot summer months of 2013 saw the sales of ice-cream, air conditioning units and paddling pools rocket. However, it is not only those items that we associate with hot weather that receive a boost. The positive effects of the sunshine can send consumers into a buying frenzy thanks to the “feel good factor”.
The bottom line of any business can be significantly impacted by the weather, and although the good and the bad times generally even out, the weather is something that every business should be prepared for. Not just seasonal businesses either, holiday companies, hot tub suppliers and maintenance firms and deck chair manufacturers for example, all sorts of businesses are affected even if not directly.
The weather should be part of the focus of any businesses economic plan, particularly if recent met office reports are anything to go by. Their current findings suggest that the next two years are set to be the hottest on record globally with the summers in Europe getting cooler.
Here are a few things to consider to help businesses weather the storm.
#1 Your Customers
Understand your customers buying behaviour throughout the different seasons and in different weather conditions. In order to optimise sales, this kind of information is relevant to all kinds of businesses. Take the growing market of eCommerce as an example, it could be that during cold wet spells sales increase as consumers shop from the comfort of their armchairs. However, hot sunny days could have a negative impact on sales whilst consumers enjoy the outdoors and visit alternative style retailers. Having a good understanding of the effects of the weather on your businesses performance can make your future sales predictions more accurate and aid in preparation for forecasted weather fluctuations.
#2 Your Products
Apart from changes in the demand for products, some are subject to price variations that are related to the weather, which could affect your manufacturing costs. Take farming for example, the weather has a direct impact on the yield, a lesser yield can send prices rising which could impact the price of a restaurant meal to the consumer. A rise in the cost of raw materials can push up the prices of any associated products. Predicting these rises, or falls, is helpful for the businesses financial projections.
#3 Your Property
Very adverse weather conditions can have quite an impact to property, don’t underestimate just how destructive the weather can be. Your business property could be damaged by weather, or even erased in minutes from floods and water damage, or storm damage from high winds. A business property that is unfit for workers could see your potential profits falling through your fingers. Risk assess any property that is open to weather damage and keep your maintenance tasks up to date. Better to be prepared.
Has your bottom line been influenced by the weather? Let us know in the comments.