We live in a world that’s utterly reliant on power and electricity.
Have a think through your morning, and see how well you’d cope without it. Alarm clock? Plugged in. Smartphone alarm clock? Needs power to charge. Coffee? Needs power from kettle. Toast? Needs power from toaster. Lights in your house? Well…
You get the point.
And besides you getting ready in the mornings, your work life would not exist without power either. Your office would be lights out, your wi-fi non-existent and the office fridge? Say goodbye to that delicious food.
But, obviously, it would be very unlikely that the power on the Earth ceased to exist completely. Rather, in the event of a power outage, you’re looking at a temporary annoyance – a costly, temporary annoyance.
So, it’s in your best interests to ensure that annoyance doesn’t exist – or is very brief. If the power goes out at your business for an extended period, you could be looking at loss of revenue. Or even worse, loss of a dissatisfied client, or clients.
And fortunately, there are several solutions that can help you combat this very effect. And luckily, all are simple and relatively cheap to implement. You must hope for the best and plan for the worst – and a backup power solution is one way to do that.
So, without further ado, here’s the ultimate guide to protecting your business from a power failure or outage. Don’t wait any longer!
Protecting your Business from Power Failure
1. UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)
An uninterruptible power supply is among the most essential bits of business equipment.
As the name implies, it will shield your business from power loss by keeping your equipment online if the power goes out.
Uninterruptible power supplies come on the form of a small box, with numerous plug sockets attached. And then, you simply use it as if it were a regular wall plug. If the power goes out, the UPS will provide power to any plugs that are plugged into it.
Some uninterruptible power supplies also come with a built-in surge protector, so you’re covered in more than one way. If you’re looking for one specifically with a surge protector, be warned. Not all UPS’s have one included, so make sure you read the description carefully.
On the whole, a UPS is a cheap, easy to implement power outage solution. The only downside is that it can only power a few appliances. So, while it may not be a good option for big businesses with hundreds of appliances, it can work for smaller ones. If you work from home for example, or only have a handful of employees.
2. Backup and portable generators
If your businesses is indeed on the bigger side of things, you’ll need something with a bit more juice. The purpose of a backup generator is to provide your building power when the main generator fails. Most backup generators can sense when your main power is out too, so will come on when you need them.
And even better – some backup of them are portable. The the sublime Yamaha ef2000is generator, for example. This means that if you are constantly on the road or you like camping, your business will rarely be offline.
There’s no legal requirement for backup generators, or any permits needed. You just have to buy the appliance, and pay to have it installed. It’s recommended you buy a separate cage or housing for the generator too, particularly if it’s outside, as most are.
Just remember that the generator is still a piece of electrical machinery, and it still needs to be treated as such. If yours needs servicing, leave it to a qualified electrician, don’t do it yourself. Unless of course you are a qualified electrician. In any case, check your warranty and contact the manufacturer if you have any problems.
3. Battery powered equipment and devices
It’s a simple solution, but one that is no less viable. By switching to battery powered equipment and devices where possible, you negate the need to worry about power failure as much.
Batteries are rather expensive but if you’re a large organization you won’t notice the small financial effects. Plus, you can claim them back on your tax return.
Not everything is possible to buy in a battery-powered state, however. Most of your big appliances, like PC’s, will purely rely on wall power. But, other, smaller appliances – like a wi-fi router – can be bought with batteries.
Another alternative to constantly buying fresh batteries is to buy rechargeable ones. Keep multiple fresh pairs ready and charged lying around the office in the event you need them urgently. This way, you’ll save a bit of money versus constantly buying normal batteries.
4. Utility interruption insurance
And your fourth solution is utility interruption insurance.
This will generally be an additional bit of cover you can add onto your insurance policy. If you have property coverage – and you should – it will come under that.
Interruption insurance won’t help get you back online after an outage, true. But, it will cover any losses incurred as a result of that power outage. This means that, if your power does fail, it will not be a complete, utter loss.
So did the power outage cause you to lose a business deal? You can recoup those costs. Did your shop have to close down for a while, losing customers? You can recoup those costs too. As long as you can prove that you would’ve made some money by having the power on, you’re covered.
Of these four power failure solutions, there isn’t one for everybody. Businesses of different sizes will need different things, so choose yours according to your needs.
But one thing that remains the same is that all businesses will need something, no matter how small. A cheap UPS or generator won’t cost you much, but can save your skin at certain points. The cost of investing in a power failure solution is far less than the costs of any date loss or customer loss.
And that’s the point. It’s highly unlikely you will even have a power failure. But don’t you want to be ready, just in case you do?