While the recent wave of load shedding may have inspired more of us to indulge in candlelight dinners and non-virtual activities (yes, really!), it has been highly disruptive for SMEs. And while we all may be holding our collective breath to see what happens next with Eskom, the more intelligent move is to simply prepare for the worst. For savvy SMEs, such preparation need not break the bank! In fact, our tips will help you trim operational costs in the long-term. Bliss!
1 – Utilise the short-term happiness of the UPS (it’s clean!)
Okay, so we know that you despise acronyms: ‘UPS’ stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply and is essentially a battery that will keep electronic devices running for a short period of time. This can be a true lifesaver when you need to complete those essential tasks. Beyond the short-term relief, a UPS is even more valuable in that it will also (by virtue of its composition) provide ‘clean power’. On the other hand, while those noisy generators certainly can provide more continuity, generators often cause electrical spikes that damage equipment over time. In other words, generators produce ‘dirty power’.
2 – Purchase Surge Protectors (Simple but Critical!)
In line with the statement concluding Point 1, beware of electrical surges! And no, we are not talking about the surge of emotion you feel towards Eskom (or variants thereof), we’re talking about, well, real electricity. After a spell of load shedding, the danger is that when the power comes back on, it arrives with a spike or surge that can burn out or damage electronic equipment. Hence, we strongly recommend that business owners place surge protection plugs on all electronic devices. This is typically an investment of a few hundred rand – for devices that cost well into the thousands!
3 – Look for Power Savvy Hardware (hint: it’s under your nose)
While laptops and smartphones are useful fallbacks when the power goes out, SMEs can also opt for micro computing devices such as the CloudGateXs – a locally developed mini-PC that uses less than ten percent of the electricity that a typical desktop requires. This type of energy saving device enables SMEs to continue operating for a longer time (with much of the processing power and storage capabilities that traditional computers offer). No, this isn’t too good to be true…and yes, it’s highly affordable!
Now that you can equip your SME with the means to operate efficiently in the dark, you can also enjoy those candlelight dinners in peace!