The threats of climate change are real, and they are already being felt in many places around the world, including the United States. The intense hurricanes can rip trees from the ground and flood residential areas that used to be safe.
Things will be worse in the future as long as the world continues to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Experiencing natural disasters will be devastating to small businesses. Often, it entails starting all over again, buying new equipment and merchandise, which may not be something they can do. There is no way to prevent natural disasters from happening, either. The best response to worsening weather conditions all over the world is to prepare for it. Here’s how.
Future-Proof Your HQ
A business’s location is crucial for its success and, in the future, it may also be the key to survival.
When choosing the site fo your office building or store, entrepreneurs should assess the risks. Aside from the foot traffic or the local economy, before signing the lease or constructing your own commercial space, factors such as the likelihood of flooding and other potential damage caused by the changing climate should be addressed.
An office space, for example, that is near bodies of water should be elevated. That means climate-proofing the site should begin in the construction of the building. Hire an architect who can apply strategies to avert a flood in case of heavy downfall. This may include contacting and acquiring soil from excavation services to raise the structure so the lowest floor is above the level of the flood.
These factors should matter in the decision-making process because it would affect the future of the business. It may not matter in the short-term, but eventually, it could cause a serious problem when the water starts rising.
Flooding is not the only cause for concern. Soon, many places will also experience droughts, wildfires, and extreme temperatures.
Diversify Your Services
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 proved that small businesses should diversify services to survive any national or global crisis. In this case, it was an illness that led to countries shutting down and forcing the public to retreat to the safety of their own homes.
In the future, similar crises would happen. Whether it is another pandemic or a weather phenomenon, it should not disrupt your operations.
Diversifying your services could mean having a presence offline and online. Even if you thrive by providing your customers with a unique in-store experience, they should be able to acquire your products and services, with the same level of enjoyment, through a website.
This also involves preparing the supply chains and delivery services for a possible climate-related disaster. People should be trained beforehand, and there should be protocols to be followed in the event of a major disruption.
By establishing a diversified menu of services now, you would not have to play catch up later on. You can continue working as you should without losing revenue or consumers despite an economic, public health and safety, or political crisis.
Develop a Crisis Management Plan
Right now, the threat of climate change is not a question of “if” but of “when.” After understanding the risks that the business will face in the future, the next step is to develop a plan to respond to the extreme weather events when they happen.
First, determine the best way to protect your assets. Losing thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise and equipment that cost a fortune would lead to a major financial loss that you may never be able to recover from. Storing them in a way that they will be protected from flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes, and other disasters should be one of your priorities.
Second, businesses should also secure insurance. Like any other insurance, it would cover the expenses needed to rebuild the business after a disaster.
Third, cooperate with stakeholders and industry people. This will allow collaboration, instead of a competition, during a difficult time.
Join the Fight Against Climate Change
It is not too late for the planet to stop and reverse climate change. If everyone acts now, the dreary future where rising sea levels will cause mass migrations, and extreme weather events disrupt all activities will never happen.
Small businesses should pledge to make decisions that benefit rather than harm the environment. This may include switching to reusable or biodegradable packaging, partnering with eco-friendly suppliers and manufacturers, and finding ways to conserve water and energy at the workplace. These things may seem like small changes that will not make an impact, but they can save the world and the whole human race from the consequences of climate change.
The future is uncertain, but small businesses should still be prepared for whatever will happen. It is the only way to survive and achieve success.