Fortunately, backup has never been easier, but unfortunately, you are waiting to become a statistic you don’t want to become if you don’t have backup equipment and procedures in place at this very moment.
Plan A - Fast Action Backup Protection Plan
It doesn’t take long, but it does take time to backup your systems. The most important backup is the one you don’t need. An all-in-one first step solution is to install a UPS Backup unit that will protect your computer from power surges and also kick in with short term battery power so you can continue to operate until Plan B is in place.
Plan B - Backup Generator
Even a homeowner grade gasoline or propane powered electric supply unit connected to your computer with an extension cord will buy you time while your customers continue to buy your products. When you have more time you can bring in a qualified electrician to install direct wiring and get a generator that will allow you to do more than just ring the registers and process credit cards.
The second most threatening cause of needing a backup is theft. It can take far longer to bypass the absence of, or vandalism of your equipment, than to give it alternate power. When the most important thing you need to do is to process payments quickly, get a Square credit card reader which works from any smart phone that supports the Square App. For a flat 3% fee you’ll be back in business flat out fast! You’ll need to order the card reader before you can use the service so go to www.squareup.com and do that now so you’ll be ready when you need to be.
A “Crash Kit” should be located under every cash register ready to go in case it is needed. Here’s a short list of ten items to put in there to get you started. Add to it as you see fit.
- Flashlight – safety first and finding things second. Get a light with a positional neck so you can sit it down and aim it where you need the light.
- Procedures – in a checklist format so your employees know the plan and are all on the same page.
- Sales Receipt Pad – you’ll have to tell the younger ones in your crew what carbonless paper is and how it works.
- Knucklebuster Credit Card Swiper and Forms – Taking credit cards this way is not preferred because you have to pay non-swipe added fees to your processor and you have to key in all that information when you’re back online, or from a touch tone phone.
- Square – the revolutionary credit card reader that plugs into a smart phone with a Square app.
- Solar powered calculator – you won’t need to worry about fresh batteries as long as you’ve got the light of day, and without that you have other problems.
- Ink Pens – for writing on the sales receipt.
- Carpenter Apron – in case the cash drawer won’t open or if you want to check customers out outdoors or near a window you’ll need a place to keep cash, checks, and credit card forms.
- Peppermints – mint has a calming effect. Take one and pass them along to the customers while they’re waiting in line.
- Aspirin – or whatever medicine you choose to soothe your headache.
Now you’ve been reminded of what can happen in the best of times to make them the worst of times. Be ready for a temporary power outage, vandalism, or loss of your ability to take money. It won’t take long to put these processes in place and it will save you time and headaches in the long run. And if you do already have a system in place, check to make sure it is relevant and that your employees are aware of what is expected of them if the Internet company van is in the parking lot when they get to work tomorrow.