If you own a business, you have a lot on your plate. Budgets, customers, orders, and employees are all constantly in need of your attention.
With so much to consider, it can be easy to forget about the place where your business actually exists. The physical location of your business is important, however. It’s easy to overlook it when you go there every day and see it constantly, but it may be in need of repair and maintenance just like any other building.
When you have a business with a physical location, you need to consider how to maintain that building. Everything from the windows to the roofing to the plumbing will require your attention over time.
If this sounds overwhelming and you aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry! Here are seven maintenance tips for business owners.
Every building has a roof and every building’s roof eventually needs repair and replacement. It doesn’t matter if you own a home or a business or a shed – your roof will be damaged over time and need repairs.
Searching for a roofing company changes depends on your needs, however. The roofing needs of a business owner are different from those of a homeowner. You also may find you have a very different type of roof than a home does. Where a home tends to stand alone, your building could be connected to others, complicating what kind of roof you have and what it is made of.
You may even have a roof that is extremely unconventional. Some commercial buildings just have flat concrete roofs. This is a different challenge than a roof that has tiles or shingles like a home’s roof.
Perhaps you aren’t even sure what kind of roof you have over your head. Have you ever stopped to look at the roof? Do you know how to access it? These are important tips for business owners who think they might need to repair or replace a roof. You should try to know as much about your building as you can before you hire a commercial roofer to do the job.
It can also be tricky to figure out when you need roof repair or replacement or why. Some signs you might need this service include things like missing tiles or shingles, leaks, and the presence of pests. Damage in your roof can allow water and pests inside, even as it allows hot air to escape during the winter, driving up your heating costs.
Another factor is time. Roofs simply wear out over time, so if you know how old your roof is, that can be your best clue as to whether or not it needs repair.
Your electrical system is another vulnerable location in your physical business. One of the most important maintenance tips for business owners is to check on your electrical system. Do you know how old it is? Can it keep up with demand? Is it becoming outdated? These are important questions you should try to find the answers to.
Your electrical system may have been fine when you first started your business or moved it into this location, but an important consideration is whether it is keeping up with the times. As technology changes and demand grows, your original electrical system simply might not be up to the task anymore.
One way to know if this system needs maintenance is if you are lacking functions you need. For example, if you are constantly finding that you don’t have enough outlets, maybe now is the time for an upgrade. Your original set up might have been fine, but it hasn’t kept up with you.You could also talk with a commercial electrical contractor about potential upgrades. You don’t need to keep doing things the way you’ve always done them. Maintenance tips for business owners aren’t simply about keeping the building standing – you should also keep an eye out for ways to improve.
Perhaps, for example, you’d like a PA system of some sort. Or maybe you just want new lights to brighten up the space. You could also look for ways to be more energy efficient and save money. These simple improvements can add a lot to your business’s physical location.
Landscaping isn’t just for homes. The landscaping outside and around your business can have a large impact on potential customers. Landscaping helps make a welcoming first impression and create an environment that your customers want to return to.
While we tend to think of landscaping as a thing that home owners do, 23% of landscaping customers are actually commercial or industrial businesses. Things like lawn care and aesthetics are important for businesses as well as homes.
Speaking of the lawn, that is an easy place to start. You could invest in some commercial lawn care if you have a lot of grass to try to maintain. This isn’t going to be a flashy upgrade or anything, but it can make you look more professional. An overgrown lawn that isn’t maintained reflects negatively on your business and potentially deters customers, so one of the most important tips for business owners in terms of maintenance is just keeping the lawn neat and tidy.
You don’t need to stop there, however. If you have the drive and desire to do so, you can get more elaborate with your landscaping. Trees and plants can be very attractive outside your business and help to draw customers in. You might even add things like walking paths and fountains if you have any kind of outdoor space that you can touch up with landscaping.
These tips for business owners mostly focus on businesses that don’t yet have much landscaping, but perhaps you are the opposite. If you already have some landscaping then the key thing is to keep up on maintenance. Trees and plants and grass are alive. They need constant attention to keep them trimmed and neat otherwise they may just keep on growing.
Also be wary of potential hazards. Trees and branches can fall in storms and cause damage to your property. It’s worth it to take a look at the trees you have on your property and assess whether they are a hazard in any way.
Like your electrical system, your plumbing system may once have done everything you needed it to but could now be out of date. Increased demand, combined with constant use and general wear and tear, can make your plumbing system fall behind.
One of the most important maintenance tips for business owners is to invest regularly in commercial plumbing services. An issue with your plumbing can be disastrous, especially if pipes get stuck or burst, leading to flooding. It’s far better to constantly maintain your plumbing rather than discover an issue too late to prevent damage.
This too can be an opportunity for upgrades. Maintenance tips for business owners aren’t simply about keeping systems in good repair. You also need to constantly upgrade and innovate. This helps you keep up with your customers and attract new ones.
We mentioned landscaping above. Perhaps you want to add a decorative fountain or waterfall. This might be a thing that you have to consider in combination with your plumbing. The same is true for other things like the electrical system or your heating and cooling system. All of these systems can interact and overlap, resulting in a situation where a change to one impacts all the other systems.
This might sound overwhelming. If you aren’t sure where to start, try talking to a commercial plumber in your area who might be able to assess whether you have maintenance needs and where you have opportunities for upgrades.
Your windows are so important when you own a small business. Of course, one of our maintenance tips for business owners is simply to clean those windows and use them to the fullest. If you have large, street-facing windows, that is some of your best advertising spaces, as long as you use it wisely.
Windows are also practical, of course. Poorly maintained windows can impact things like your heating and cooling system. If air is escaping, it could drive up your electrical bills by forcing that system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.
There are also things like cracks and wear and tear that will naturally occur over time. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh coat of paint to fix these things up. You don’t always need a contractor or professional to follow through on these maintenance tips for business owners. There are certain tasks like painting that you can take on yourself.
You might decide to paint purely as an upgrade and not for maintenance purposes. A new color that is eye catching could make customers more likely to look at your storefront as they pass by. You could also get new curtains and drapes that dramatically change the look of your business and make it more appealing.
A further option is commercial glass tinting. For some businesses, like a dance studio, tinted glass may be a smart option. There are certainly some businesses that don’t want to be advertising via their front windows. If your business falls in this category, tinted glass can offer needed privacy.
6. Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling needs tie into many of the systems we already discussed above. These systems often connect to your electrical and plumbing. As we’ve noted above, the state of your windows can also determine how much stress is on your heating and cooling system.
This makes heating and cooling a crucial maintenance area for business owners. If you only consider one of the tips for business owners we list here, make it this one. Your heating and cooling system can easily impact your other systems, as well as your overall costs.
Many businesses use commercial HVAC systems for their heating and cooling. These systems can be great, especially for commercial use, but they do require maintenance and repair. There are things like filters that need to be cleaned and replaced in order to keep the system running efficiently.
HVAC maintenance can be a dangerous thing to try to do on your own. HVACs connect to the electrical systems in the building, so you really want to be sure you have the right expertise before trying to maintain them yourself. You can also pay for commercial HVAC maintenance to take the stress out of this aspect of your business.
7. Updates and Repairs
Most of these maintenance tips for business owners have focused on keeping things up to date and running well. However, there are two more situations to consider: sudden repairs and upgrades.
Unfortunately, sometimes things just break. It isn’t pleasant and it isn’t something you can plan around, but it does happen. One of the best tips for business owners is just to be prepared for the unexpected. You need to be able to adapt when something happens that you simply didn’t expect.
For example, you could suffer water damage from a storm or from your plumbing. This is a repair that needs to be addressed quickly. You should contact commercial water damage repair experts as soon as you know about this damage. It can lead to all kind of other problems, including the growth of dangerous mold in places you can’t see.
There are other situations that may require a quick response. Things like fire and storm damage are just a part of life. Know what you would do in emergency situations and make sure your insurance is up to date.
However, you can also plan ahead. You can invest in upgrades to your business now that will pay you back over time. For example, you could get those tinted windows mentioned above if you know that will be a worthwhile privacy investment. Or you could get some commercial printing done to improve your signage outside your store. Your signage can certainly have a large impact on customers coming in and remembering your business.
Whatever your maintenance needs happen to be, keep in mind these tips for business owners. The best thing you can do is be prepared and proactive when it comes to maintenance and repairs. That way, your business won’t get sidelined by routine fixes.