How SMEs are being affected by recent power outages
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How SMEs are being affected by recent power outages

One of the most severe concerns that continue to afflict Ghana's SMEs is the frequency of power outages, which have become widespread in recent years. 

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These disruptions, also referred to as "dumsor," have had a substantial impact on the operations and growth of many businesses across the nation. Power outages have a significant impact on Ghana's SMEs.

Many small businesses rely heavily on electricity to power their operations, whether it's for machinery, retail lighting, or digital systems.

When the power goes out abruptly, businesses must halt operations, resulting in a loss of productivity, revenue, and customer satisfaction. 

In addition to the immediate impact on everyday operations, power disruptions have a rippling effect on overall growth.  

Many businesses are obliged to invest in alternate energy sources such as generators, solar panels, or inverters, which can be expensive and increase operational costs.

I have explored how the recent power outages are hurting businesses in areas such as yoghurt manufacturing, juice production, barbershops, restaurants, IT companies, delivery services, and cold stores.

Yoghurt manufacturing

Yoghurt manufacturers rely extensively on refrigeration to keep and maintain product quality. With regular power interruptions, these enterprises risk spoilage and inventory loss.

Furthermore, the production process requires a steady power source to run machinery and equipment, which causes disturbances in the manufacturing process. 

This causes manufacturing and delivery delays to clients, which has an influence on the company's total profitability.

Juice Making businesses 

Juice producing firms, like yoghurt manufacture, require refrigeration and processing equipment that runs on electricity.

Power outages can cause spoiling of fruits and ingredients, reducing the quality and freshness of products. 

In addition, the inability to operate machinery and equipment during outages disrupts production and delivery schedules, resulting in delays and customer discontent. This might lead to lost sales and negative publicity for the company. 

Barber shops 

Barbershops are another business significantly influenced by Dumsor. These firms use electric clippers, trimmers, and other equipment to deliver services to customers.

Barbers cannot operate their instruments properly without a steady power supply, resulting in service delays and poor customer satisfaction. 

This might lead to lost revenue and loyal clients seeking services elsewhere.

Restaurants 

Restaurants are especially heavily impacted by power outages since they rely on energy to run kitchen equipment, refrigeration, lighting, and air conditioning. 

Without a continuous power source, restaurants may struggle to adequately prepare and store food, resulting in deterioration and waste.

Furthermore, the inability to use kitchen equipment might impede the cooking and serving process, resulting in delays and unsatisfied consumers. This can affect the restaurant's revenue and reputation. 

IT businesses 

Businesses, such as software development businesses, data centers, and technology startups, rely largely on a consistent power supply to run servers, computers, and other equipment.

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Frequent power outages can cause data loss, system malfunctions, and downtime, reducing the production and efficiency of these businesses. 

Furthermore, the inability to access internet resources and contact with clients might disrupt operations and result in missed opportunities. This can lead to financial losses and reputational damage for the company. 

Delivery businesses 

Courier firms and e-commerce platforms rely on a stable power supply to run tracking systems, communication devices, and transportation vehicles.

Power outages can cause delivery delays, missed deadlines, and package loss, all of which have an influence on customer satisfaction and retention. 

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In addition, the inability to track shipments and communicate with customers might cause confusion and dissatisfaction. This can lead to lost business and reputational damage for the delivery provider.

Cold stores 

Cold storage and refrigeration facilities are vital for storing perishable items such as food, drinks, and medications.

These enterprises require a continuous power source to keep temperatures stable and prevent spoilage. 

Power outages can cause temperature changes, resulting in inventory damage and product quality issues.

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In addition, being unable to run refrigeration equipment might result in financial losses and regulatory compliance concerns.

This could have an impact on the cold store's profits and reputation.

Mitigating the impact of dumsor 

To lessen Dumsor's impact on businesses, the Ghanaian government and utility firms must invest in power infrastructure upgrades, better maintenance procedures, and the implementation of alternate energy sources.

Businesses can also take proactive steps to lessen their reliance on the grid, such as installing backup generators, solar panels, and energy-efficient equipment.

Businesses can mitigate the impact of power outages and guarantee operational continuity by diversifying their energy sources and employing energy-saving measures. 

Dr. Andrews Ayiku is a Lecturer/SME Industry Coach at the University of Professional Studies Accra
[email protected]
IG: andy_ayiku
@AndrewsAyiku
F: Andyayiku

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