Unlike large corporations, small businesses don’t have the resources to own their offices, factories, or warehouses. Instead, they have to rent real estate from landlords. A huge chunk of a company’s operating expenses goes to rent. In fact, some businesses spend as much as 20 percent of their gross income to lease retail and office spaces. That’s money that could’ve gone to research and development or capital expenditure.
Maintaining a rental space is tough work. Many businesses have no emergency fund or safety net if something happens to their space, such as a natural disaster or a break-in. Renting in itself is already pretty pricey, and damage to a space that you don’t own will truly affect the flow of business.
This is why small business owners would do well to put focus and resources into prioritizing regular maintenance. Owners have to ensure that their rented area is safe enough to sustain operations and secure enough to give customers and employees some peace of mind. Here are some ways to keep your space in great condition without breaking the bank.
1. Water is your enemy
Water damage in the warehouse or manufacturing area can cost thousands of dollars to fix and is nearly impossible to reverse. Tiny leaks are easy to miss, but you never know when a small problem could turn into a full-blown crisis and flood the entire place.
A waterlogged rental means you may have to gut your walls and floors (and in some cases, even the ceiling) to see the extent of the problem. As a small business owner, I’m sure you would rather spend that money on Trimble PDA repair or paying your bills and vendors.
One thing you could do is to check your basement if the building has one. Basement spaces have pipes you can easily check and a backup power source if the worst happens and the lights go out because of the water damage.
Have your gutters, and all other pipework inspected every quarter to prevent blockages. Blocked pipes will eventually burst, and the water pressure alone would ruin so much of the property. Make sure to clean regularly, as well.
2. Check for wet areas
Flooding and water damage are considered external forms of moisture problems. Now let’s take a look inside and check the internal moisture levels. Moist spots on walls can become a breeding ground for many kinds of mold, which is not a good look for any business or shop.
Mold can also be dangerous to our health, specifically the respiratory system. As the mold colony expands, the spores get in the air and can cause serious lung damage if inhaled, so in essence, you might be liable for medical bills if you’re not careful.
The moment you spot any growth in your space, contact a professional team to fix it immediately. It’s better to nip this thing in the bud and to spend money now than to pay for bigger repairs later on because you thought you could solve the problem yourself.
If your space has many wooden fixtures, internal moisture can damage the wood and attract bugs. A good way to check if your place is too humid? Watch if condensation forms on your windows. If it’s there, crack open the windows, turn on the fans, and let the air flow.
3. Keep the air flowing
Many rental spaces aren’t known for having good airflow, and accumulated dust can become a serious problem. Your employees may get sick, especially if the space is small and enclosed. To clean your internal air, make sure to vacuum regularly. Dust buildup on furniture can pose a health risk if left alone for too long. You can choose to hire professional cleaners for a more thorough job.
As a general rule, clean your internal areas at the end of each workday. After work, a quick vacuum sweep can prevent dust from accumulating on your floors, around product inventory, or worse: near machinery.
It may be tedious, but regular sweeps around the office will keep bigger headaches from cropping up. Check your HVAC filters regularly, as well. Make sure to have spares on hand in case of an emergency replacement. Using an old filter causes poor indoor air quality and can trigger allergies or respiratory problems for you and your workers.
A final word
Being in charge of a rented space may seem easy, but so many things can go wrong if we’re not careful. The three tips target the most common problems that any space, rental or not, can face. Investing in routine checks, professional cleaning, and simply being mindful can help you keep your small space in tip-top shape.