|Weather affects some businesses, not others|
|Friday, February 4, 2011|
By Neil Siders
The graceful decent of a snow flake meandering side to side as it glides up and down on the wind before resting on a low-lying branch may mark a sight of beauty for students hoping for a free day of snowmen and sledding, but for the business world, the transportation issue that comes with snow can be a headache.
However, despite all of the recent snow in the area, local business owners and the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce said that they had not seen a significant effect on business as a result.
Brenda Payne, President and CEO of the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce, said, while snow might impact one business negatively, that it often can support other kinds of business such as grocery stores.
Payne also noted that light weather events, such as the recent snow, usually did not have a big effect on business in the area as a whole.
“The chamber believes strongly that marketing your business through all the avenues available, social networks, Chamber of Commerce, customer data base and print media, will keep your business top of mind and is the best way to move customers back to your doors, once the weather improves,” said Payne.
Marc Palmer, owner of the local Shane’s Rib Shack, said that though he did see a drop in business during the times this year when the roads were still covered in snow, that following the snow thaw, the business has rebounded successfully.
“We have slow days when the snow is still on the roads, but when the kids are still out of school but the roads begin to thaw, we experience what is call ‘Cabin Fever’ rush, and we will rebound from any losses we might take during the slow time,” said Palmer. “It really all balances out.”
Palmer said that winter months are often a slow time in the business world, as people are less willing to be out and brave the elements, but business always picks up in the spring.
With the economy slowly turning around, Shane’s has experienced a little more success during the winter months this year, Palmer said.
“The best advice I have for a small business person looking to deal with the winter months and bad weather is to be prepared ahead of the time. “During the colder months, it is often not how much profit the business turns, but rather how little investment the owner has to commit during those months.”
Palmer said that he thought the economy was turning around, but the ascent out of the decline and the return to business as usual in the area will be a slow process.
Jim Berry, manager for Play It Again Sports, which sells new and used sporting equipment, said though he and the owner had trouble getting from their homes out of town to work, bad weather often increases their business.
Berry said that costumers buy cold-weather sporting gear, such as sleds, when it snows that would not otherwise be purchased in this area.
“Also, people buy more workout equipment when they can’t get out side,” Berry said.
Berry said that the business prepares for the cold weather by ensuring that the store is stocked with cold weather gear and makes sure that they have employees that can make it to work despite the bad weather.
“Luckily we have a few local guys who can always make it in,” Berry said.