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By Leah Hazel • October 31, 2019

How to Budget for Maintenance Issues: A Guide For Startups

Part of running a business is keeping in mind maintenance costs. From operational maintenance to general office upkeep, this can get expensive pretty quickly — and many startups may not be prepared for such costs.

Thankfully, the solution is simple: budget.

Budgeting for maintenance costs can ensure quality maintenance without exorbitant fees. Not to mention, if the budget is followed, it will be easier to keep track of maintenance expenses come tax season. Overall, effective planning ensures a company remains operational and protects against losses caused by property disrepair or inconvenient closure. That being said, let’s dive into how startups can budget for their maintenance costs.


Be Aware of the Lease Parameters

While landlords are in charge of property maintenance in a typical lease contract, a triple net lease could change that. While rent is lower in a triple net lease, Money Alert point out that it also means tenants pay for everything else — not just rent, but taxes, insurance, and upkeep as well. If it turns out you have a triple net (otherwise called NNN) lease, this could be a big blow to your finances. So, it’s important to ensure you know what kind of lease you’ve signed or will sign, as it can determine whether or not you are responsible for maintenance costs.


Identify Essential Assets and Schedule Maintenance
In order to continuously run your business and avoid losing productivity, it’s crucial to make sure that everything is running smoothly and to its full capacity. For this reason, owners should determine what assets are most important for the day-to-day operations of their business, such as computers and certain equipment, and make sure that there are scheduled maintenance activities that occur after work hours. It’s also important to keep a close eye on equipment that might need to be replaced soon. This way, you can plan ahead and avoid sudden disruptions to workplace productivity.


Manage Your Overall Budget
With a small margin of error for new businesses, reacting quickly to situations is a must to meet customers' needs, which increases the need for planning any maintenance work. That said, make regular maintenance a strict part of your overall monthly budget, as fixing damaged equipment can be more costly as opposed to scheduling regular servicing. Additionally, don’t forget to make adjustments to your budget as your business grows — 'How to Make an Effective Budget' published by Marcus notes that you should check and revise your budget regularly, as budgets shouldn’t be set in stone. Whether you're budgeting for yourself or for your business, there's no shame in adjusting the numbers to suit your needs. But do watch out for certain trends when it comes to which categories you have problems limiting expenses for, and be mindful of how these changes play into expansions in your business. Aside from this, try to stick to a reliable contractor and negotiate long-term scheduling, as it can help reduce the costs if you intend to acquire their services for the long-term.



DIY Some Simple Solutions
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to ensure as little maintenance as possible is to instill a sense of care for office equipment, set some guidelines, and encourage office clean ups. For instance, ‘5 Office Spring Cleaning and Maintenance Tips’ by Business Blog Hub outlines plenty of cleaning activities that the whole office can do, such as spring cleaning the break room or decluttering desks. Not only can this save you money, but decluttering can also set the tone for a new fresh and productive season. If you’re having bug problems, our writer Elsie Weiskoff listed many ways you can naturally get rid of bugs in the office, such as spraying dish soap or sprinkling bay leaves. While DIY solutions may not be ideal in the long run as your business grows, it may also be beneficial to grow a culture of cleaning up after yourselves and being careful with equipment.

Preventive maintenance is something all businesses want and have to do. After all, as the saying goes: “prevention is better than cure,” and with the small capital that startups have to work with, this is an important mantra to take note of. Remember that a little can definitely go a long way when it comes to budgeting adjustments, and you'll be able to master maintenance budgeting in no time.

Exclusively written for ActionCleanUp.Com

By: Leah Hazel