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How South African Businesses Can Take Advantage of Load Shedding

Eskom has done it again, they’ve messed up the one job they had to do and what a big mess it is. The national power supplier continues to leave the country in the dark costing us on average well over R80 billion per month in lost revenue and production. It’s easy to complain and feel discouraged when state-run enterprises let us down especially when they’re paying some executives performance bonuses for a job less than half done. 

While South Africa is left with a candle and a prayer waiting for Eskom to attempt a rescue act and get us back on track we cannot sit around, the show must go on. As South African’s, it takes a lot to break our stride, and we won’t let this dampen our spirits too much. 

In a bid to brighten up spirits we thought it would be a good idea to encourage businesses to see load shedding as an opportunity to gain customers and make sales and turn something painted in a negative light, into a positive.As we say in SA, “‘n boer maak ‘n plan” right?

So here are our suggestions for how South African businesses can earn loads of cash during load shedding.

Tip! Firstly you should always keep up to date with the load-shedding schedule so you can prepare your marketing messaging ahead of time or alternate them as we move through the various stages. This will be a key to when you start planning and firing off your marketing material especially if you’re a local business looking to target customers in your immediate vicinity.

How retail stores can take advantage of load-shedding

This one is a bit of a no brainer if you sell solar-powered lights, power banks, gas refilling, gas stoves and even camping essentials and gear now would be an opportune time to start flogging your merchandise.

If anything you should be looking to reduce your margins and try and move more volume as load-shedding is top of mind customers urgency to buy is high, an added 5 – 10% discount could be just what they need to get them into your store.

Grocery stores can encourage customers to use their load shedding time constructively by getting out of the house and office and spend the hour or two on their weekly grocery shopping and avoid the rush on the weekend or evenings trying to get last ingredients for supper, tomorrows lunch and more.

How restaurants, cooking and catering services can take advantage of load-shedding

Your service has typically had a constant amount of clients coming in as the lunchtime or evening time crowd, but what if you could have that type of foot traffic or orders throughout the day? It would surely make for some pretty profitable business. Restaurants and meal catering services should be marketing directly to consumers and businesses in areas close by informing them of your service during load shedding hours. 

This could be to let them know that you’re load-shedding proof and can operate regardless of load-shedding, so they drop by or order at any time for breakfast, lunch or supper.

Tip! For more on meal delivery options check out our post – Meal Delivery Services In South Africa

How hiring services can take advantage of load-shedding

If you hire out gas powered products or generators now is your time to take full advantage. You can approach consumers and businesses and offer them a daily service where you would bring out your products to their premises to use during load shedding and collect them once its over. 

That way people can experience no disruptions from load-shedding, and you can get more out of your inventory as you move them to various areas that are affected by load-shedding. 

These short-term hiring options could be a hit for your business, especially if you’re situated around some high-density areas or business parks.

How co-working spaces can take advantage of load-shedding

Co-working spaces can appeal to businesses or freelancers at home who may be close by but do not fall under the same schedule. Offer them a great deal for 2  – 4-hour stay which will allow them to complete their work uninterrupted and switch offices while having an excuse to get a cup of coffee in between. I’m sure many workers and freelancers would be grateful to have what feels like a regular workday as load-shedding can be somewhat frustrating. Who knows? Those freelancers may even like your place so much that they end up becoming regulars.

If you’re a co-working space with a generator you can offer businesses around your premises the opportunity to finish up work like urgent calls, emails, have meetings or charge their devices for a small fee. Getting some traffic into your space and perhaps selling them on additional services like your kitchen or coffee shop.

Tip! If you’re looking for co-working spaces check out our post – Find Co-Working Spaces In Cape Town

How safety and security businesses can take advantage of load-shedding

Local safety or security businesses can offer additional security or patrol in neighbourhoods having load shedding to show their presence as to ward of prospecting criminals who may want to take advantage of the situation. Our current plight could also be a great way to encourage consumers to sign up with your service as they see your business is protective in their neighbourhood. 

Physical security installation services should be looking to contact their clients who may have older alarm systems and barrier security and offer them upgrades such as solar lighting, batteries for automated gates and garage doors, as well as battery, operated alarm systems. If customers already have all these services already installed, you could also contact them about servicing the system like replacing batteries or upgrading the capacity.

How fitness and wellness related businesses can take advantage of load-shedding

Local fitness or wellness related companies should be taking full advantage of these set intervals and remind people that they need not sit around the office waiting for the lights to come back. Instead, they can use that time to be productive. They could spend those two-hour load-shedding intervals doing interval training, having a treatment or  hitting the gym for a bit. Fitness and health businesses should appeal to the frustration of load-shedding and encourage customers to express it more healthily by using their services.

Appeal directly to certain suburbs and state that during the time they are switched off, people working and living there could attend your gym class or maybe get a message. You would be helping plenty of people get more out of their days and not see load-shedding as a disruption in work, that way patrons can be sent back to the office revitalised and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Be a shining light in the dark

What did you think of our load shedding tips? Will you be trying them out? Which one is your favourite? Do you have any load shedding tips you would like to share? Leave it in the comments below; we would love to hear from you, unless you from Eskom, then we would love it if you did your job!

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Tags: load shedding , business ideas, marketing