In South Africa the practice of ‘Load shedding’ is when Eskom (South Africa’s largest utilities supplier) interrupts the electricity supply to certain areas as a last resort action to balance electricity supply and demand. This occurs due to a lack of electricity available to meet the demand.
Load shedding is now part of our daily lives and it’s affecting us whether we’re at home or work. It therefore makes sense to be prepared so that the situation causes us the least amount of frustration and loss of production.
Load shedding quick tips:
- Work in the cloud so that all your work is backed up automatically and not lost if you suddenly lose power.
- Unplug devices when the power is out to avoid damage from potential surges when power is restored.
- If you work from home check if the neighboring suburbs will have power so you can go work at one of the cafes. Most cafes have free wifi
- Charge electronic devices (cell phones, laptops and tablets) this may look like a no-brainer but very few people actually plan for load shedding. So, make sure you have charged all your devices before the scheduled load shedding.
- If you rely on a cordless phone, which would obviously be rendered inoperable during a power outage, keep your cell phone handy.
- Save your work regularly either manually or by setting up auto-save options in your software. If the power goes out unexpectedly, you won’t lose your work.
3 things that can minimise the impact of load shedding
Get a generator
You ideally need a generator to cope with load shedding and minimise the impact it has on your business. Having a generator on standby means that even if the power goes off for a few hours, your business can keep running. Decide which appliances you want to run when the electricity goes out. To determine the size of the generator you need you’ll have to calculate the total wattage required.
Know the schedule, don’t get caught in the dark
The first step is to know when your area is scheduled for load shedding. Having the latest load shedding schedules for your area gives you a better idea of when load shedding is likely to affect your business. I’ve found this app to be very useful and reliable. (Timetable)
There are various devices available to protect your electrical equipment from surges when the supply voltage fluctuates.
Unfortunately, it looks like load shedding is here to stay, at least for the next few years. This means that you will be affected to some degree. Whether it causes your business to succumb or not is up to you. Losing power doesn’t necessarily mean losing productivity.
What it’s like running a highly successful Virtual Assistant Agency
Running Africa’s largest (and most successful) Virtual Assistant Managed Agency is truly a vision come true for me! I wake up grateful every morning for the opportunity to connect people all across the globe. See where our name comes from? 🙂
Introduction to VA Connect’s CEO
Ola! I’m Karen Wessels, and I’m the very fortunate Founder, Owner and CEO of VA Connect, the only Virtual Assistant managed agency on the African continent. We’ll chat about why a managed agency is so important in a minute.
Let’s start at the beginning. I quit my job, completely out of character, early 2013 and embarked on a truly fulfilling and amazing entrepreneurial journey ever since. I started my business as a sideline project back in 2008, hence being the VA Godmother in South Africa, and was able to work full time as an entrepreneur from 2013. Believe me when I say that the market was very green back then with regards to outsourcing work and I’ve witnessed a remarkable spike in VA demand in the last 2 or 3 years.
Back in the day it was me, and I alone that did all the tasks, working from early morning, well to early morning. Fortunately very quickly I was enable to enlist the help of another highly organised person, who also happens to be my mom (bless!) and we’ve grown in size and reach every year, year on year.
Virtual Assistant Managed Agency
As the only Virtual Assistant Managed Agency on the African continent we take the managed services side completely out of your hands. What this means is, we are responsible for the hiring, firing, up-skilling and taking care of our Virtual Assistants. You get to hire wonderful outsourced help and we are there to ensure that we match the right Virtual Assistant to your account.
Remember, your VA becomes an integral part of your team, so it’s very important for us that you get on with your Virtual Assistant and that she continuously adds value to your business life. After all, that’s why we’re there.
We are so blessed to have highly experienced and truly lovely ladies on our team. We are surrounded by great people with a winning mind-set and a can-do attitude, which spills over onto our client’s side, making them super happy and not wanting to leave our services. In fact, some of our clients insist on paying their Virtual Assistants a bonus as a way of thanking them for all their hard work. See what I mean when I say we’re surrounded by greatness?
Where to from here for our Virtual Assistant Agency?
Outsourcing of work and remote workers are on the up and up. Because we are based in South Africa we are perfectly positioned for overseas clients.
Our Virtual Assistants are native English speaking, come from executive backgrounds and are renowned to be hard working and willing to go the extra mile. We are blessed to service clients across the globe, spanning from San Francisco to New York, from Dublin to London, from Oslo to Singapore, Australia and everything in between. How fortunate are we?
We see ourselves gaining loads more traction in the next 2 years with a view to becoming the world’s leading Virtual Assistant agency that connects people with people.
As the remote workforce increases in size and well, in force, the demand for Virtual Assistants and to be come Virtual Assistants will be on the rise.
Already so many corporate team members are working a few days a week from their home office, so it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a reality for more people out there.
With this increase in demand for outsourced help, we know that our team will double in size within the next 2 years. This is a very exciting phase of our business and we look forward to the growth potential.
Bringing it together
Starting out as a one man show and already heading towards the 20 strong team member mark, we know that our managed VA agency will grow from strength to strength. As we become recognised globally for our superb service, the ability to outsource work to South Africans becomes easier and more accessible.
We love what we do and we do what we love! Thanks to such an amazing team for making our agency such a success and a force to be reckoned with!
About the Author : As the co-founder of a globally recognized managed Virtual Assistant agency, Karen has been asked to speak about her experiences at many remote working events.
Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual.
Karen is also a sought after speaker at Sales Conferences & Seminars, Secretarial Conferences & Symposiums and Entrepreneur Conferences & Workshops, where she engages her audience with story-like presentations of sales, outsourcing and business.
To learn more or to book Karen, visit her website.