Businesses rely heavily on electricity to run their day to day operations. However, when the power goes out there is a major reduction in productivity which results in lower turnovers. In some cases, extended periods of load shedding can lead to situations from which it is difficult for businesses to recover. It is thus important for business owners to plan for these events as it gives them a competitive advantage and mitigates any losses that can occur due to load shedding.
Power outages can affect your business in numerous ways, each of which has an impact on the bottom line of your business and your productivity:
- Decrease in revenue: If a company is unable to produce a service or deliver a product that it normally provides, customers are going to look elsewhere. Unfortunately this is the hard truth and may result in the customer finding a new provider which they now prefer due to their service in periods of power outages. Gaining these customers back may require significant marketing efforts, and as a result, significant time and money will be required to rebuild a solid customer base.
- Unturned Inventory/Damage of Inventory: Restaurants, grocery stores, medical facilities and any other company dealing with perishable goods has to ensure that the quality of their products are preserved. The quality of these products are mostly regulated by temperature which requires electricity.
- Decrease in productivity: Employee productivity decreases during load shedding. Employees may not be able to complete their tasks when their equipment is down. Results may include backed up workloads that you have to pay your workers overtime in order to complete.
- Loss of computer data: When the power goes off, data loss occurs. Because computers and operating systems are complex, they need to shut down properly to preserve data. Any files your employees were working on prior to an outage can be lost or become corrupted. Even worse, if power outages occur regularly, as load shedding does, it can damage your hard drive and reduce its lifespan.
How to prepare
- Business continuity plan. Developing a business plan for power outages prepares your company in case a disaster occurs. A continuity plan helps outline how to continue to deliver products and services to your customers regardless of any internal operational problems that may occur because of outages. Having a plan will help ensure that personnel and assets are protected and can still function properly.
- Run your business on solar PV with battery backup. Invest in a solar energy system that will not only reduce your current electricity bill, but also supply battery backup in periods of load shedding. This will ensure that productivity is not hampered and that your electrical equipment will be protected from damage. In South Africa solar energy is a tax deductible asset resulting in a 28% net discount on the purchase price of the system at the end of the tax year.
- Install a UPS device. One way to help prevent your company’s computers from being damaged or losing data stored in RAM is to use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) device. UPS devices with battery backup allow business to carry on as usual during power outages. Many UPS devices also have surge protection to help mitigate damage to computers from spikes.
Prepare your business for load shedding today
Don’t let your business suffer from revenue and productivity loss. Start preparing today by investing in a solar energy system or a UPS device for your business.