Operating a business involves a long list of responsibilities. Everything from product development to accounts receivable needs to be covered by qualified people at the lowest possible cost. The headaches of managing these needs seem to never end.
The most frustrating of these chores are the ones that aren’t directly related to the goods and services you provide. They involve extra upkeep of equipment, additional items kept in stock, and more personnel diverted away from your primary mission. They can be a serious drain on your bottom line.
The good news is that many of these sideline functions can be contracted out or otherwise placed in the hands of specialists who don’t create an undue expense or drain on your staff. Think about some of these as good choices for being removed from your to-do list each day.
When you walk in each day, you expect some things to be ready to go. Lights should work, the facility should be clean, and the break room should be ready to go. And you should expect to find the building undisturbed after being fully protected from theft and fire during the overnight hours.
All of these functions can be set up in advance with contracts. There are companies that can take care of building upkeep, facility cleaning, and office coffee services. These tasks are handled by a simple agreement and monthly bill that keeps you from having to pull people away from other jobs to do these things, or from having to hire someone to do them.
Physical Plant Upkeep
When you own a building, you own more than just a place to do business. You own any leaks that start in the roof, any shorts that develop in the wiring, and any bugs that invade or devour the building. At the same time, you don’t own enough leaks, shorts, or bugs to justify maintaining a full staff of qualified people to keep things up.
This is another area where contracting comes in. There are companies that can contract with you to come in and perform routine inspections to monitor for malfunctions, pests, and needed maintenance. They are trained in areas like plumbing, electricity, and HVAC, and their personnel carries certifications in the field of facility management.
Some of the things that have to be done don’t necessarily require a lot of expertise but they do require equipment that is often bulky and expensive. If your office just has a quarter-acre patch of grass to mow, it’s not really worthwhile to own and maintain a mower, even though almost anyone can use it.
The same goes for things like snow removal, storm cleanup, and pressure washing. These are all chores that are needed on an unpredictable basis and require equipment that is not cost-effective for you to own.
Contracting for these functions is an ideal arrangement. You might be able to justify the cost of buying a cheap mower and paying one of your staff to do the grass, but you will get better equipment and the option for things like fertilization and weed control if you contract with a company. Snow removal done in-house will likely involve cheap plastic shovels and bags of rock salt, whereas an expert company will come in with snowplows that spread road salt on all hard surfaces.
Running a business has plenty of demands on your time and your budget. It just doesn’t make sense to add to those by having to take care of these ancillary functions in-house. Contracting will get better results with less effort at a price that’s likely better too, and you’ll get an easier workday to boot.