Four Franchising Load Shedding Tips
Take the load off
If there’s one thing that’s here to stay, it’s load shedding. Eskom is struggling to get through its maintenance backlog. What’s more, the power utility expects its power stations, Medupi and Kusile to be fully operational in 2018 and 2019, respectively. This doesn’t bode well for the country’s growth when you consider that access to electricity is one of the key drivers of economic activity.
The franchising sector has been badly hit, every hour without power is a lost opportunity. Unless you’re a wood-fired pizza takeaway! This means franchisees need to be proactive and make sure that power cuts don’t cripple your business. The good news is; we’ve done loads of thinking on how you can shed those your electricity anxieties.
Four franchising load shedding tips
#1: Get a generator
You ideally need a generator to cope with load shedding and minimise the impact it has on your business. Having a generator on standby means that even if the power goes off for a few hours, your business can keep running – you don’t have to close your doors and lose valuable business.
Getting a generator is what businesses like Domino’s Pizza and McDonald’s have done. Greg Solomon, McDonald’s South Africa CEO told News24 that “McDonald’s, which has more than 200 restaurants in South Africa, plans to have about 75% of its outlets connected to a generator before August,” Currently, about 40% of the outlets have generators.
So what kind of generator should you get? It all depends on your electrical requirements.
- You can get a 2KW generator for about R2000 to R5000 if you have fewer appliances that need power.
- If, on the other hand, you have a lot of appliances to power, a 10KW generator that costs about R20 000 should be sufficient.
- A larger restaurant operation running kitchen equipment and fridges will require an industrial grade 150KW generator. This would be priced between R300 000 to R350 000. Certainly a sizeable investment!
Many banks now finance generators, so speak to your banker about finance options link to raising finance.
To cover your bases, be sure to speak to electrical experts first and shop around! Not only will they be able to recommend the best option for your business, but they will even install important generator safety measures.
If you decide to install a generator, don’t forget to service it and fill it with diesel regularly. The last thing you want is for load shedding to begin only to discover the generator has a problem.
Franchises within malls can’t fit individual generators, but most established malls should have generator backup and a load shedding strategy. It’s the mall’s responsibility to communicate to customers that the mall has backup power. If they don’t, you need to put pressure on your centre management. If your mall is lagging, you need to take the reins and communicate your seamless service to your customers.
#2: Know the schedule
When power cuts are in place or will be in place, load shedding schedules are made available. While these are not a 100% accurate, you should still take note of them. Having the latest load shedding schedules for your area gives you a better idea of when load shedding is likely to affect your business.
If your businesses’ power supplier is Eskom, log on to the official Eskom load shedding website for regular updates or follow @Eskom_SA on Twitter for updates. If you’re a City Power customer, log on to their website for updates of follow them on Twitter @CityPowerJHB.
To get notifications sent to your phone, download the Load Shedding App.
#3: Investigate solar
This may be an option for some franchises, but solar comes with a hefty price tag! Prices depend on your square metre size and how energy intensive your franchise is. Realistically, solar is an option for an office-based franchise but costs for a restaurant could be upwards from R1 million.
For offices, a smaller solar-power solution costing about R8000 can provide power for your company’s electric gate, while an installation for R120 000 should be able to power five computers, a server, lights and an office kitchen. Just like with a generator, makes sure only a professional installs your system.
#4: Put up a UPS
A cheaper option for an office-based franchise is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Office-based franchises could consider installing Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). This works both as a backup battery for your computer and regulates the amount of power it receives. As soon as the power switches off, the UPS switches on. If you also have a generator, a UPS ensures that your equipment performs a proper shutdown until you can connect, preventing, for example, data corruption. In general, a UPS is probably the most convenient and least expensive way to maintain essential power.
Don’t let load-shedding cripple your business
As mentioned before, load shedding is here to stay, and it will severely affect your company’s bottom line if you aren’t proactive. So be sure to use these tips to survive load shedding so your business can continue to grow even in these darker times.