Small Businesses Gear Up to Serve Customers Through Heat Waves


Heat waves often lead to lower activity for small businesses. But for companies that help customers stay cool, from frozen treat stands to AC repair services, heightened temperatures create a frenzy of activity. So, these businesses need to keep an eye on the forecast and prepare their teams for these periods.

Chris Cantrell, services manager with Logan Services, an HVAC contractor in Ohio, told WHIO 7, “Over the weekend, just from Friday to Monday, there was probably five or 600 calls.”

Cantrell said that most of these calls were for maintenance or repairs. And customers usually want to address issues quickly. So, teams need to be fully staffed and prepared to work quickly to provide the best possible service.

For some businesses, there are also safety issues that come with serving customers in extreme heat.

David McKennan, co-owner of Clayboys, a family-owned shaved ice stand in Maryland, told DC News Now, “I told all the guys that work out here – who are primarily just high school and college kids – to bring the biggest water bottle that they can find and fill it up with ice.”

Even with precautions, there are some businesses that need to simply halt operations. For example, roofing companies and contractors who work outdoors may need to give their teams days off or extra breaks to keep them safe. And on the consumer side, people are often more likely to stay home instead of going out shopping or to restaurants when it’s uncomfortably hot outside.

On both sides of the issue, it’s clear that extreme heat can make a serious impact on activity for local businesses. While these periods usually only last a couple of days, it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast and make plans to either address an influx of activity or overcome a slowdown.

Image: Envato

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.