With record snowfall across the UK, one wonders how businesses are surviving during the cold snap. While retailers definitely feel the winter pinch, other businesses can enjoy an upturn in trade as a result of cold weather. It is estimated that the cold weather and resulting staff absenteeism can cost businesses across the UK between £250 million to £1.2 billion per day (according to FPB/RSA Insurance).
Automotive businesses in particular thrive as road conditions deteriorate and it becomes necessary to find ways of increasing your car’s grip in the frosty weather as well as ways of defrosting the car! During icy weather, road owners flock to auto accessory shops to buy de-icing sprays (stocked by AutoSmart franchises!), as well as scrapers, snow socks for your tyres, night time car covers and perhaps a thermos flask to make the journey a little easier. Although more popular in Scandinavian countries, snow tyres are also becoming more popular in the UK. Hometyre franchisees, amongst other automotive businesses across the UK fit snow tyres for drivers.
Recently Continental Tyres carried out a survey on winter driving habits amongst UK drivers and found that four out of ten motorists drive without fully clearing their mirrors or rear windscreen from snow and ice and nearly two million drivers came close to crashing at least three times last year.
Scientists claim that due to climate change, these harsh winters set to stay in place for years to come, so snow and ice are weather that we are all going to have to adjust to and take enough precautions to ensure that the whole country doesn’t come to a standstill every time it snows.
Starting your own automotive business can be a good way to capitalise on a new need among drivers to get their cars ready for the winter, but there are other businesses which can thrive on cold weather also. Online shopping retailers are likely to benefit as shoppers are unable or too cautious to brave icy streets, one way for store front retailers to combat this is to ensure they have an effective online store set up to compliment their existing business. IT companies can also benefit by helping businesses set staff up to work from home, using remote access, video conference chat and other IT facilities. Plumbing businesses will no doubt be very busy during cold snaps, to fix exploded pipes and burned out heating systems.
Below is an interesting infographic from Continental Tyres on trends amongst drivers during the winter in the UK.