Experiencing a power outage has a long list of negative consequences for your small business. No matter what industry you’re in, you can be looking at a number of things going wrong, not to mention the fact that you will be out of business for the time being. You also need to worry about your kitchen if you run a restaurant, your animals’ safety if you own a pet store, and keeping your employees safe, no matter the type of business you run. Luckily, you have the choice of getting a backup generator, which brings power back into the building temporarily to deal with emergencies until the power comes back on.
Types of Backup Generators
You have two main choices when it comes to backup generators: portable and permanent, also known as standby generators. Here is some information on each type of generator:
Permanent Generators – The permanent standby generator is the more expensive type, but also one that has its share of benefits. Standby generators are placed outdoors in a safe place and will always be in that one location. They can generate power faster than a portable, usually in a matter of seconds. There is a transfer switch that goes on automatically. Be sure you have a reputable electrician connect a permanent generator, as it is using your building’s wiring and could be potentially hazardous if not done right.
Portable Generators – Portable generators tend to be more the popular choice among small business owners because they are significantly less expensive. These are smaller in size and basically stores in any safe place. If your building has a garage, storage or basement, that is usually a good place. However, get an expert’s opinion on a safe location for this generator. The portable generator has an extension cord that sends power into your building. There are different models, usually ranging from over 2,000 watts to just under 5,000 watts; so it depends how much power you expect to need for your business.
Tips for Buying a Backup Generator
Now that you know a little more about the generators, it’s time to start looking around. It helps to first consider what will need to have electricity in an emergency. This can be phones, computers, refrigerators or freezers if you need them for your business, anything else that you need to be functioning with power. Use this information to determine how many watts will be required; this lets you know what kind of generator to get. Aside from cost, the biggest deciding factor about portable versus standby generators, is that standby ones go on automatically. So if according to your business, you need it to turn on, on its own, get a standby one.
Backup Generator Programs
There are also backup generator programs that allow you to skip buying a generator and instead have a cost-effective solution. The programs work in a number of ways. One is by having a large standby generator you are willing to share with your fellow business owners. The program will pay you monthly for having a generator that is 500 KW or larger, and agree to have it turned on during peak energy needs. They can also provide you with a backup generator only when it is needed, which saves you a lot of money by not purchasing one you don’t yet need.
After deciding what type of backup generator you need, you should still have proper business insurance protection. Business property liability and business interruption insurance are vital to protect you after damage to your property following an unexpected event.