Why Deferring Maintenance Can Hurt Your Business

dirty-office-deskSmall companies sometimes defer maintenance or repairs to their facilities because of budget crunches, with their owners intending to play catch up when funds become available. But this can backfire on them in a number of ways they don’t consider.

To begin with, if a business has foot traffic, any foot traffic, dirt and grime will cost them customers. First impressions are everything when it comes to making sales. A neglected customer area communicates the  message that the owners prioritize other things over customer comfort. Basic care of your facility, including vacuumed and mopped floors, an immaculate restroom, a spotless front entrance, clean glass, tidy furniture and a lack of dust or salt buildup are an absolute must if you want customers to feel welcome and come back – female customers in particular.

Over time, a lack of this type of maintenance will cost a business owner more, and not only in unrealized sales. Carpets that are not vacuumed well and daily wear out quicker, and the downtime it takes to replace them costs a business revenues. Businesses often perceive that an exterior facelift or interior redecorating project will give them more bang for their buck than addressing a dull list of needed repairs or cleaning projects. Regular cleaning, however, is significantly less expensive than big projects and conveys hospitality in a similar way.

It’s also important to ask what employers are saying to their own workers when they skimp on cleaning and repair. A dirty workplace results in more employee absences due to illness and lowered morale. Workers tend to mirror their employers’ attitudes. If they sense ambivalence, they will also be less motivated to do their best work.

Poor maintenance can also be a safety concern. Leaky toilets can lead to mold or floor damage. Trash build up or cluttered work areas are fire concerns. Bacteria on uncleaned surfaces can lead to the further spread of colds and flus. Good cleaning service also provides an extra targeted set of eyes to observe leaking pipes or ceiling tiles, broken toilet seats, empty toilet paper dispensers, and flickering lights in less used places – some of which can cause a great deal of damage in a short period of time.

Cleanliness is one of those prosaic qualities that no one misses until it’s not there, but then it really matters and can affect a business’s overall success and bottom line. Do not underestimate how important a clean and well kept physical plant is.

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