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Winter might often be referred to as an old man, but there is nothing feeble about the damage this cold and storm-prone season can cause to your business. Take steps to protect the enterprise you have worked so hard to build.

Assess Your Level of Risk

Here is a grim statistic that might motivate you to take steps to protect yourself: Over 25 percent of small businesses never recover from a disaster, be it natural or human-made. While some events cannot be anticipated, you have more control than you might think.

Start by taking a thorough look at your property, paying special attention to your electrical system, pipes, roof and other critical systems. Take some time to figure out how much money you need in reserve in case of a business shutdown that might last as long as six months. Then, get the property and liability coverage that will provide the safety net you need. You can obtain fast insurance quotes from your existing broker and numerous competitors.

Plan for Disaster

When trouble strikes, you must have a well-rehearsed plan in place to protect yourself, your employees, customers and property. Once you develop a specific disaster policy, meet with everyone on your staff to review it.

Backup

If a severe storm or power outage occurs, you might be without electricity for an extended period of time. Protect your lights, phone systems and computers by purchasing a backup generator. Just as is the case with insurance, you may never need it; however, it is invaluable if you do.

Obtain Emergency Supplies

Taking a little time to develop an emergency kit could literally be a lifesaver. Consider purchasing battery-operated radios, candles and first-aid supplies to keep on hand just in case of disaster.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

You already have property and business insurance coverage of some type, but does it protect you in the event of a catastrophe? Carefully go over your existing policy to see if there are any loopholes, and talk to your agent about filling the gaps.

From blizzards to power outages, wind damage to business interruptions, winter poses many threats to your retail establishment. By taking these preventative steps, you can minimize your risk and put Old Man Winter back in his place.