Last Friday, a fire at a PG&E substation caused a major blackout to roll through San Francisco. With up to 90,000 customers without power at the height of the chaos, everything from public transit to hospital operating rooms ground to a halt. Many businesses closed, turning away valuable revenue for lack of power.
What a mistake! Stay open – your customers deserve it!
Here are five things you can to do to help you stay open during the next power outage
1. Get a generator to run the essentials or, heck, show your customers how committed you are and rough it! No matter what industry you’re in, let your customers see how much they matter to you and make a point to serve them no matter what. (Hint: This will be easier if you immediately connect all cell phones to the USB ports on your laptops and/or charge them in your vehicles.)
2. Forward your phones to a virtual receptionist such as Accolades Support or to a cell phone.
3. Use a mobile payment POS technology and or a virtual terminal that is integrated with your main POS, shopping cart, or billing program so your inventory and processes will not miss a beat. (Hint: Think Clover, not Square. if you rush out and buy a Square, things could get messy when it comes time for bookkeeping.)
4. Get some old-school credit card slips, also known as “knucklebusters.” You can complete them by hand, get a voice authorization, and then run the cards once power has been restored.
5. Find a credit card payment company you can rely on. When times get tough, you’re going to need more than a national faceless website. You’re going to need a partner you can trust so you and your customers can prosper!
PS – What do you mean you don’t have a credit card company you can trust?! You should fix that.
PPS – While you’re at it, now’s a good time to update your business’s fraud protection as well. Here’s how to do it.