Thinking about saving some money on your next business remodeling project by doing the work yourself?
Before you start ripping down walls and installing new fixtures, you might want to re-think whether or not doing your own renovation work is really worth it. Unless you're a professional contractor, chances are good this is one project you might want to leave to the experts.
Here's some key questions to consider before tackling your business remodeling project by yourself:
Do You Have The Right To Remodel?
If you rent or lease the property where your business is located, chances are good that any decisions about renovations need to be made by the property manager or building owner. Performing any work on the structure could void your lease - even if you've clearly improved the space.
Do You Have The Time To Take On A Renovation Project?
Running a business is already a full-time job - how will you find the time to take on a renovation project? And remember, most building improvement jobs tend to cost more, and take longer, than you expect - are you prepared to step away from your day-to-day duties while you moonlight as a renovator?
The only exception here is if you happen to operate a seasonal business, and you're able to do your own remodeling work during the weeks or months when your business is normally closed anyhow. In that case, you may be able to forgo your off-season vacation plans and complete some of the work yourself.
What About Liability?
Even if you've managed to complete some home improvement projects, doing work at your place of business involves an entirely different set of standards, regulations and risks. Workplaces need to conform to a host of local, state, and federal laws, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Doing your own remodeling work could fall outside the terms of your business insurance coverage, leaving you liable for any claims that arise as a result of work you've done - even if the work isn't structural.
Will Doing Your Own Remodeling Really Deliver A Decent ROI?
The most common reason why business owners and managers consider doing their own remodeling work is to save money, but once the liability risks, lost productivity, and sweat equity involved are considered, you may come to the conclusion that doing your own remodeling work simply doesn't make good business sense.
They say hindsight is 20-20. If you only would have known. As a business owner, you may already have a few things you wish you knew. Would you have hired that one person? Perhaps you would have started your company sooner. While it is important to look back, reflect and learn from these decisions, it is also important to realize that, when you are at the end of your business ownership, your wishes may be much different.
What Do Owners Reflect On?
There are many things business owners wish they would have done differently. Here are some common themes that seem to come to light.
Getting Help Sooner
Many business owners start out with a desire to build a company from the ground up on their own. It may be admirable, but it may not be exactly what helped your business to thrive. Instead, many business owners realize that if they could do it again that they would have hired on more help sooner. Some would have turned to a mentor sooner. They would have networked with other business owners more readily to pull them into their company.
They Would Have Done More Locally
It goes without saying that every business relies on its community to grow and thrive. Even online companies still need to hire from a local talent pool and build their business with the support of local suppliers. But, not all companies give back. Giving back to the community does not have to be a challenge – doing simple things on a routine basis can help to make a big difference in the community. You don't want to be on your deathbed and wishing you would have done more.
Getting Rid of the Problems
It's quite common for businesses, especially those starting out and looking for solid footing, to actually make the move to get rid of employees that do not fit the mold. However, we know today from our workplace culture that it's important to create a sense of culture, respect, and dependability. Some business wonders wish they would have taken a problem employee into the office and let them go long before they did damage.
The Risk Question
Many business owners wonder about risk. For some, taking on too much risk is just too much of a worry. For others, it is all about not taking enough. When you are there, at the end of your life, you'll want to have taken that risk and experienced perhaps not only the thrill of the ride but also the struggles.
As you work to build your business, reach out. Embrace the community. Support each other. Provide mentorship opportunities. By taking these steps, you can solidify your business model now and learn from the mistakes and wishes of those business owners that came before you. It may be exactly what you need to push your business forward that extra level.
The Durango Chamber of Commerce
The Durango Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organization that promotes and supports the local business community through communication, advocacy, education, leadership and financial viability.