Thanksgiving is just around the corner which means businesses – including small businesses – are busy prepping for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year. While there’s no shortage of tasks to be done, hopefully one of them includes making a battery backup plan for critical systems.
While it’s true that Black Friday isn’t as crucial for small businesses as it is for the big-box stores, many nonetheless seek to get a share of the pie and there’s no shortage of pundits offering ideas for how to do just that.
Small Business Saturday, on the other hand, is targeted squarely at the mom and pop shops. The brainchild of American Express, Small Business Saturday launched in 2010 and has since gained significant traction. In 2011 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day and officials in all 50 states participated. Since its launch, U.S. customers have spent an estimated $85 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, according to an American Express survey. On average, that’s $10 billion per day for each of the eight Small Business Saturdays we’ve seen.
Power outages present many risks to small businesses
To ensure a successful Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, small businesses would do well to consider the risks that could thwart sales. While competing sales from competitors is certainly one, so is the risk of a power outage.
Consider what would happen if the power went out in your retail establishment on one of those critical days. With no power, your cash registers and other point-of-sale (POS) systems won’t work. Neither will the devices that provide Internet connectivity, meaning you won’t be able to take credit card sales.
All of these outcomes would result in a major loss in revenue on a critical sales day along with unhappy customers who will look to other competitors for their shopping needs.
Battery backups or UPSs offer power protection for critical systems
Now think about what it’d mean if such an outage happened to hit on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday. Your share of that $10 billion in daily sales could be out the window, never to be recouped. Not only that, you’d have unhappy customers, a potentially tarnished reputation, and perhaps lost data.
On the other hand, if you had an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) protecting your critical systems, you’d be able to conduct business as usual. You may even stand out from the crowd if the outage affected multiple surrounding stores – but not yours.
A UPS is essentially a battery backup system that automatically supplies power to critical systems when utility power is unavailable. It also “conditions” utility power, ensuring your systems always get a steady stream of “clean” power, free from spikes, surges and jitter that over time can damage the sensitive electronics behind POS systems and networking equipment.
Find the right UPS power protection solution
Small businesses can buy UPSs in various sizes that offer different levels of protection in electrical capacity, which determines how much run time you’ll get for various attached devices and systems. Some also come with remote management features that will send an alert should the power go out – a handy feature if, say, a refrigeration unit goes on the blink in the middle of the night.
To find the UPSs that are the best fit for your business, check out our online UPS buying guide. There you’ll find products that can provide Certainty in a Connected World – to help ensure an untimely power outage doesn’t foil your Black Friday or Small Business Saturday.