Winter is coming and with the recent (and increasing) cases of flooding in my local area, Derbyshire, it highlighted how not being prepared for bad weather could be bad news for your business. The Beast from the East at the beginning of 2018 cost the UK economy £1bn a day. Whilst those conditions were on the extreme, it’s important to make sure you don’t get caught out. Here are some tips so you don’t get left out in the cold.

1. Plan for it.

Now I know that may seem obvious but does your business have a continuity plan for if and when any or every weather event occurs? How would your business deal with office closures, commuting issues for staff or absenteeism? What about your customers, clients or supply chain? What would happen to your business if they couldn’t operate? Having a plan will avoid any panic or confusion if and when it needs implementing.

2. Communication

Once your plan is in place, how is it communicated? At induction? In a handbook? Everyone in your business should be familiar with the continuity plan.

What’s your process during severe weather conditions? Who is the point of contact? What communication channels will you have in place during the severe weather? Are all your personnel files up to date and accessible even if away from the office?

3. Understand your Employer responsibilities and rights

You could lose significant revenue if you close your office at the first snowfall. But equally, your staff morale is going to drop if they are sat watching a blizzard from their office window. Making the call to shut any business or not to open in the first place is a tough one. You need to know your employer rights and what you can and can’t ask your staff to do, as well as any issues with pay. ACAS provide some excellent guidance on this (opens link in a new tab).

4. Alternative place of work

If you cannot access your main place of business for an extended period of time, do you have an alternative place of work? If your company runs on cloud based software, technically you could just pick your business up at any location and carry on as normal. But again, be sure of your employers rights when requesting changes to your employee contracts.

5. Remote workers

The significant increase in mobile connectivity and cloud based software has seen the increase in remote working or using virtual assistants. Having a virtual assistant in your business is vastly advantageous in any circumstances, but particularly during severe weather conditions. For example, for them you would not need to worry about any of the above. I am a virtual assistant and on Friday when river banks were bursting, roads were rivers and people were leaving work early to get home, I continued to work from the safety of my home providing uninterrupted business support to my clients, giving them one less thing to worry about. For my clients it was business as usual.

Although severe weather events in the UK are still pretty infrequent do you know how weather-proof your business is?



Craig Barker, Koobr

Here at Koobr, we hired Assistopia and Andrea to assist with client communication, project management, CRM administration and many more things. Andrea also identified areas of the business where we could make more money, a task which resulted in generating income that more than paid for her role for a year.

We think of Andrea as an integral and essential part of our team, all of the staff love working with her!

Craig Barker, Koobr
Owen Conti, Managing Director of Code 56
One of the great things about working with Andrea is that she’s not just virtual – she attends team meetings, keeps herself up-to-date with our operational challenges and offers suggestions on how to help.

Andrea and Assistopia have been instrumental in improving our invoicing process significantly and now our credit control is actually under control thanks to her hard work. She even handles our tediously boring jobs quickly and with a smile too!

Owen Conti, Code 56
Simon Thacker, Director at Greystone Advisory in Derby

I’ve worked with Assistopia with 2 organisations and it is clear to see that Andrea is organised, dedicated and asks the right questions and can work autonomously with the ability to push on a project. She is diligent and demonstrates her experience time and time again. I would recommend!

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Andrea helps me with research projects. She is friendly and professional and always delivers on time and to brief. By working with Andrea, I’m able to free up some of my time so I can expand what I’m able to do for my clients.

Freelance Technology Reporter, BBC
Mike Hindle, Founder of Clearcut Derby
It’s been really great working with Andrea and Assistopia. Andrea is very organised and professional – exactly what I needed from a virtual assistant. Highly recommended.
Mike Hindle, Clearcut Derby
Matt Elliott, Owner at Nutrition Angel
Andrea is the Donna to my Harvey!
Matt Elliott, Nutrition Angel
Lisa Edmundons, Owner of Amber Wills & Estate Planing Services, Derbyshire

Assistopia and Andrea have been such a help to me and my business. Andrea is a self starter, flexible, approachable and extremely professional. I would not hesitate in recommending her and Assistopia to anyone.

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When I looked for a virtual assistant in Derby, I came across Andrea from Assistopia and asked her to help me complete a complex digital administrative task that I was finding very time consuming. Andrea came to the table with a quick understanding of what needed completing, took full ownership of the task and I couldn’t be happier with the end result. Highly recommended.

James Blake, Powerful Ideas