Loadshedding inconvenience business by means of loss of productivity, loss of income, theft, burglary, and poor connectivity. It poses challenges of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in business and the economy.
It is no use knowing about all the things that can go wrong when loadshedding hits, with no idea about how to avoid the risks, or at least minimise the damage. Small business owners are protective over the source of their bread and butter and here are some practical measures you can put in place to mitigate the risks associated with loadshedding.
1. Make it your duty to stay informed at all times
You should always know what stage of loadshedding your area is in and what time you will be affected. The last thing you need is to be surprised. There are some resources available via mobile applications which can assist you in this regard. To name just a few – EskomSePush and Load Shedding Notifier.
2. Look for alternative energy solutions
Invest in a UPS (uninterrupted power supply), an inverter, a generator, or solar power systems so that you are not affected by loadshedding or at least at a reduced degree. Whilst this can be quite a costly investment, the benefits far outweigh the cost. The pressures of loadshedding seem to be looming for at least two more years to come (2025).
3. Back up your data
When loadshedding kicks in and you lose connectivity on your operating systems like POS and mobile devices, it is easy to find yourself in a situation where you lose the document you were working on or unsaved records just disappear. Save yourself the stress of having to go through that and make it a regular practice to back up your data so that loadshedding does not pull a fast one on you! Most operating systems have automatic backup functions. Ensure that these functions are enabled and that you have sufficient storage available to safeguard your data.
4. Unplug your equipment from wall sockets
Once the dreaded dark hours are over, and the electricity has returned, the power surge impacts the steady voltage flow in the electrical system, which can damage the electronic components of the equipment that is plugged in.
5. Plan ahead to main productivity
Try your best to plan your day around loadshedding. Allocate those couple of hours of loadshedding to tasks and services that you can complete without electricity or at least with reserved charged devices or tools. This could also be a good opportunity to upskill, do courtesy calls or messages to clients promoting your business, and where you have measures in place to mitigate the impact of loadshedding, to share that with them.