Oxygen is essential for bodies, but we rarely consider our breathing unless we’re practicing yoga or running a marathon. Likewise, electrical power is essential for most businesses, but far too many business owners fail to consider the sheer vitality of electricity and what might happen if that supply is suddenly disrupted.
Last week, business owners in Sioux Falls, South Dakota learned the importance of reliable electricity the hard way. While they only lost power for a day, imagine how you would suffice without air for one day. You get the picture, and for many, this crushed business for a time.
Last Friday, an underground explosion left roughly 500 Xcel Energy customers in downtown Sioux Falls without power. Power had been restored by Sunday morning, but even just this one day without power caused substantial difficulties.
Some businesses could adjust, making it a problem but not a crisis.
“I honestly believed it was north of us, but I got the call from some staff that came down and said that we were going to be down for the day,” Lisa Kollis, owner of Optics by Howlin Vision, told one local television station, KDLT News.
Because Optics by Howlin Vision had a second location not affected by the power outage, they were able to move their customers to the other location to avoid losing appointments.
“Thankfully we had another office in town that we could just move everyone [to] and take care of them over there,” explained Kollis.
However, not everyone was so lucky.
Minervas Restaurant was able to hire some refrigerated trucks to store food for a couple of days until the power was restored, which helped them save about 90 percent of the food, but their business was still hit hard because they couldn’t stay open to sell to customers. Without customers, there’s essentially no business to speak of.
“It's a big loss for us. Weekends is kind of where businesses is at, so it's definitely been a big loss,” Jerry Bremon told KDLT, general manager for the restaurant.
Businesses can gamble on reliable electrical power, but the costs of losing the bet are stiff. Lost productivity, wasted stock, missed deadlines, reduced sales, unreliable service for customers and damaged computer systems are just some of the costs that can hit a business that doesn’t protect against electrical challenges.
At the end of the day, the costs are just not worth it, and just like health insurance, the need for electrical reliability and protection can seem superfluous until it is needed. But then it is too late in many cases.
Minuteman reports that the average power outage is about 20 minutes, while the average extended power outage is nearly eight hours. Solutions like its Endeavor and EnterprisePlus uninterruptible power supply product line can supply backup power when the lights would go out otherwise; securing your customers and maintain business continuity in these far from pleasant surprises.
Sure, businesses can take a chance that power disruptions will never affect their business, but is the cost of lost power really worth the gamble? For most businesses owners who run the numbers, the answer is no to such gambles. Power protection, like health insurance, just makes sense.
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