There may be no need for power cuts to conserve electricity this winter but they can still happen and at this time of year .. when you are at your busiest ... would be a complete pain in the back if not a massive disaster. And it's not just power. What would happen if the internet went down?
Because losing electricity and internet doesn’t just mean the lights but everything else as well, like phones, computers etc. And because you will have no idea how long it will last you can’t just stay off line and hope - power and internet down could mean lost sales.
Here’s our top six tips to dealing with supply failures:
1: Check the fuse box
If the lights go out check that it isn’t something in your building. Check the fuse box and if it keeps tripping turn everything off and try again. Assuming it stays on, switch each device on one at a time until you work out which one is causing the problem – kettles are often the worst offenders!
If it’s definitely not in your building call your provider. www.105.com is the central body for all electricity suppliers and you can call 105 to get help. Better still have your energy providers number stored in your phone.
2: Check the broadband
Internet providers have outages, the one we had last week lasted 18 hours and was a bally nightmare and even though we kept checking the recovery time kept slipping. We had somewhere else to work but in a shop that isn't so easy so again be prepared.
3: Keep connected
If it looks like it will last a while making sure you can take orders and process payments is crucial.
Always have one or two old phones (loaded with cheap PAYG sim cards) and tablets on standby and regularly charged up. Alternatively know you have access to someone else's!
If you don’t already have one buy a power charger and keep that loaded too. Outages can last for several hours, especially if the weather is bad, so be prepared.
Know how to transfer your land line to your mobile – it will avoid you missing important phone calls and valuable orders.
Make sure you can access your website and emails to download orders on all devices and test it now before you need it. Mobile tethering/hot spotting is a wonderful thing - it may mean you need to up your data allowance but with Valentine's and Mother's Day looming it may be money well spent.
Put a post out on social media channels that power/internet is down but you are still contactable albeit maybe not instantly.
4: Light up your life
Candle power is romantic but very dangerous in a working environment. Invest in some battery operated lights and make sure you have plenty of batteries. Poundland are the best value and in tests actually outlasted top brands.
For staff have some headband torches - may not a great look but means they can see what they are working on!
5: Keep safe
Working in the dark is potentially dangerous ... you can trip over things and hurt yourself so always keep a clear path way and avoid cluttering up gangways etc with stuff. It’s actually something you should do whether the lights are on or off!
6: Unplug your appliances
When the power goes unplug non-essential appliances like TVs, computers, microwaves, radios etc because, when the power comes back, the surge of electricity could fry their circuits.