Discover the Proper Products for Facility Budgeting for Smaller Businesses
Use the proper products to track facility budgets for smaller businesses and control costs.
Facility Budgeting Tips for Smaller Businesses
As owners of small- and medium-size businesses look for cost-effective techniques that will keep them competitive in today's market, facilities maintenance becomes a crucial area for budget examination. The cost of labor, equipment and tools, and supplies to meet regulatory standards and customer expectations can be high-ticket line items, but are controllable to some extent. However, owners of smaller businesses need solutions that do not require more employees or large cash outlays.
Meeting Standards and Expectations
All business must comply with a long list of federal, state, and local regulations that include facilities maintenance standards for cleanliness, environmental concerns, and safety. In addition, customers want your business place to adhere to these rules, and many will judge your facility as to its state of repair. After-the-fact compliance to governmental rules can involve fines, and a loss of clients reduces income. Depending on your type of business and other factors such as the facility's age, geographic location, and power and fuel consumption, the percentage cost of maintenance against your bottom line can range from modest to excessive.
Managing Facilities Maintenance
Despite the push to develop e-commerce sites, many businesses must still retain brick-and-mortar facilities even if they are only warehouses or computer centers. Managing these facilities can be an expensive proposition when profit margins are thin. Before you can determine if and where cost savings in facilities maintenance are possible, you must first assess how much money you are spending in different areas. Proper tracking mechanisms are essential.
As a business owner, you should know how much is being spent on the items that comprise facilities maintenance: employee labor, equipment and tools, and supplies. In fact, the categorization of these costs can be especially useful during tax preparation if special deductions apply (e.g., environmental tax credits are given for equipment that is energy efficient). By purchasing budgeting software, you can simplify the scrutiny of facilities maintenance and other financial tasks. Financial or accounting software often costs less than $200, and represents a small investment with a high return in comparison to manual bookkeeping. After initial setup, this type of computer tool offers rapid workflow through many features. Entries can be automatically entered on a predetermined schedule, memorized transaction inputs limit information keying, and budget alerts flag overspending in specific categories. In addition, other maintenance management duties, such as tracking employee time on clean-or-repair assignments, can be tracked through electronic timecards or scheduling software. Use of this software, when coupled with Internet resources, can ensure that the lowest priced equipment, tools, and supplies are always being purchased.
The key to facility budgeting is identifying, quantifying, and monitoring the line items associated with facilities maintenance-labor, equipment and tools, and supplies. The use of computer software designed to perform those functions is probably the best approach for the owner of a smaller business, who must often operate with limited resources.