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Powering Your SME When the Lights Go Out Loadshedding might currently be on hold, but SMEs need to be prepared for future disruptions.

By Aaron Thornton

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While the recent wave of load shedding may have inspired more of us to indulge in candlelight dinners and non-virtual activities. It was 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. The good news is that for savvy SMEs, such preparations need not break the bank.

Related: Implement Eco-Friendly Measures And Cut Down On Operational Costs

In fact, our tips will help you trim operational costs in the long-term, running leaner, smarter businesses as a result.

1. Utilise the Short-Term Happiness of the UPS

"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

In line with the point above, beware of electrical surges. And no, we're not talking about the surge of emotion you feel towards Eskom (or variants thereof); we're talking about 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.

We therefore 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

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 10% 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.

Related: To Survive and Thrive, You Need a Growth Mindset

Aaron Thornton

MD of Dial a Nerd

Aaron Thornton co-founded Dial a Nerd with his brother, Colin Thornton, in 1998 as a consumer IT support company. The business-focused division was founded in 2002. In 2017, Dial a Nerd merged with Turrito Networks, a provider of niche Internet Services outside of the local network. Colin has subsequently become the Managing Director of Turrito, and Aaron is the Managing Director of Dial a Nerd.

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