Tips for small business owners to survive load-shedding
Issued by Irvine Partners - Mar 20th, 09:36
With small businesses already dealing with hikes in VAT and petrol, coupled with decreased consumer spending, load-shedding is a bridge too far, particularly for restauranteurs.
For those who took their chances with the last rounds of load-shedding and held back on purchasing equipment for standby measures, now might be the time to make those investments. Many business owners are taking loans to fund these capital expenses, says SME funder, Retail Capital.
According to the company’s group brand officer, Erin Louw, “Many establishments often increase their prices to cover the cost of capital equipment, but this may not be the smartest move as it drives the existing customer base away, not to mention new business."
“As it is, consumers are either reducing their restaurant visits or scaling down to just main courses and drinks to reduce the overall spend. Owners who are serious about staying in business should rather think long-term. We all thought that we’d seen the back of load-shedding, but it is back in full force.”
Those restaurant owners who bought gas stoves during the power crisis a few years ago are now at a distinct advantage. Louw points out that communicating that you have this facility available is paramount to good trade. If not, now is the time to invest in going gas and running fridges and other electrical appliances via a generator.
“Part of the reluctance by businesses to consider financing for these items is the perceived turnaround time from applying for a loan to installation. But we now offer a WhatsApp application process that can see your loan secured in 24 hours."
“If you want to attract business, then you need to show customers value - that you’re prepared to invest in the right equipment to keep them supplied during the dark days of load-shedding,” says Louw.
Restaurateurs can even couple load-shedding times with special deals, driving these on social media platforms or adverts and even inexpensive flyers.
Scot Kirton, chef-proprietor for the La Colombe Group (whose restaurant, La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek, won last years Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year Award), says that adapting to change is key, whether it’s in respect to a declining economy or load-shedding.
“Restaurants have had a tough time in Cape Town but now we need to adapt in other ways to keep our restaurants operating,” says Kirton.
Uninterruptible power supplies and back-up power inverter systems that keep tills and computers running should also be considered.
“Even if you have a generator, it can take a few seconds to kick in once the power goes down. But a UPS will bridge the gap and reduce the risk to vital equipment that can be severely damaged during sudden power outages,” says Louw.
Load-shedding, it seems, is here to stay. It’s essential that business owners take that investment step to operating fluidly when the lights go out.
H&M’s sales growth fails to ease investors concerns about margin pressure
18/06/2019 - 15:41
Fashion retailer H&M reported sales grew for a fourth straight quarter, but also hinted it had needed to invest more to boost its online business, disappointing investors already concerned about margin pressure.
Fashion house Chanel parades its independence as profits rise
18/06/2019 - 12:49
Luxury fashion group Chanel, whose star designer Karl Lagerfeld died in February, reported higher annual sales and profits and once again reaffirmed its independence, stating it was not for sale.
A Woolworths window display wins big in London
18/06/2019 - 11:34
A Woolworths window display that incorporated milk bottles and plastic hangers has snapped up a prestigious global award.
Five things you need to know about the pharmaceutical industry
14/06/2019 - 11:10
The pharmaceutical sector - both locally and globally - is following suite with general retail and going through uncertain times. More consumers are shopping the basics with baskets of necessities only. As CEO of the Shoprite Group, Pieter Engelbrecht, said in response to their interim results (which speak for the average South African), “In the external operating environment, economic conditions have left the group's core customer under significant financial pressure.”
The problem with influencer marketing
13/06/2019 - 15:16
Brands looking to embark on or develop an influencer marketing strategy need to think carefully about their choice of person and how believable the message is. That warning has been sounded by Anne Dolinschek, founder of specialist agency Nflu#ntial.