I’m taking a little detour today into looking after the bricks and mortar of your business. A number of years ago I leased a commercial property and it was a salutory experience. I signed on for a nine year “care and repair” lease which meant I was responsible for the maintenance of fabric of the building.
It became a nightmare of repairs and a neighbour’s holiday-time leak which meant that the floors had to ripped up and treated. When I sold that business one of the highpoints was getting rid of the lease and I was happy that someone else now had that responsibility.
Here are a few tips I picked up from my own experience about dealing with your floors.
Floor upkeep can be a big deal for any business owner, specifically when it pertains to problems with slippage, cracking and dampness, and the potential safety implications. Finding the correct commercial flooring company is essential as you will be making a considerable investment.
Regularly inspect your own floors. Depending on the size and nature of your floor space it may be worth having a flooring company contract, or use one of your employees for this job, ensuring they know the tell-tale signs to look out for.
If you discover your floor deteriorating in any way then don’t delay in getting it seen to. Aside from the fact that it is only going to get worse, you leave yourself open to potential legal action if an employee or visitor to your premises is injured in any way as a result of the problem. It’s not going to get better by itself.
In the first instance you are best recommended to call in a company who specialises in commercial or industrial flooring solutions. They can advise you and effect repairs so things do not deteriorate, and offer a long-term solution to your flooring issues. Expert resin flooring contractors and the like can pinpoint problems before they appear to the non-expert eye and can save you substantially in the long run.
When looking for professional floorers ensure you get references from other companies. Are there testimonials on their website? If you belong to a business forum then ask who can be trusted and who is recommended.
When you get your list of companies whittled down to two or three the it’s time to make contact and get some quotes. Make sure that the quotes are for the complete job and there are no “hidden” extras. Occasionally a company may pull a rabbit out of the hat and hit you for an extra cost. If you’ve done your research well and went on personal recommendation then this should not be a problem, but be clear from the beginning.
What length of guarantee is on offer? Investigate the guarantee offered by the manufacturers of the materials that will be used, as well as the service guarantee from your flooring contractor.
Although it may seem a moot point always ask to see a record of up-to-date insurance cover. Make sure the employees are insured by the company whilst on your premises and that you are protected in case the company goes out of business or provides shoddy workmanship.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate hard on price. Most reputable companies recognise that the value of a customer is in the long-term and that each happy customers comes with a referal value. They want your business, but ensure that the agreed price is fair for both parties.