If it wasn’t already hard enough to run a small business in South Africa, government has now added electricity blackouts to the already bloated red tape environment that we have to deal with.
The bad news is load shedding looks set to be with us for a number of years to come, therefore it is essential that you do have a long term plan in place to deal with its effects on your business. Ignoring the problem is not an option therefore use the opportunity to reengineer your business and reposition it ahead of your competitors.
The good news is, there are many simple and cost effective steps or processes that you can be put in place that will benefit your business. While not all of these listed below might be applicable to your business, they will certainly steer you in the right direction:
- Generators and invertors are an option if you have the resources. If not chat to your neighbours, maybe you can pool your funds and purchase one to share?
- If your business is not office bound you can simply pack up and work from another location. There are many flexi office spaces popping up, that could be ideal.
- You can replace office servers with cloud based offerings, thereby needing a smaller UPS to keep the network up or switching to a wireless network.
- You can begin replacing desktop machines with laptops thereby using battery power when the lights go out. This could be part of a long term equipment replacement strategy?
- You can let staff work from home or other remote locations, the added benefit here is you might be able to down grade to smaller offices.
- You could change your office hours to work around the load shedding. Moving start times, lunch times, etc. Chat to an HR specialist as there might be labour regulation ramifications that will need to be taken into account.
- You could begin moving your building “off grid” by slowly making small changes that will ultimately produce massive saving within a few short years. There are many consultants that are able to prepare a plan that you could follow as your budget allows.
The small businesses that are going to thrive are those who are going to embrace this problem and work towards finding a solution that works for them and their customers. The businesses who are going to struggle are those who try ignore the problem and hope that governments fixes it.
At Phezulu we do more than just encourage entrepreneurs to be innovative, we are your “one stop SME shop”, assisting with everything from Accounting, Business Management, BEE, Consulting, Company Registration to Payroll and Mentoring.
For more information please visit our website www.phezulu.net or give me a call 010 003 8558