Small Business Property Management: Priority or Pushover?

Small Business Property Management: Priority or Pushover?

This article was updated on Oct. 16, 2018.

Small business owners are never bored. Between training staff, developing new product ideas and growing your brand, there is always something that needs to be done. Is it any wonder small business property management sometimes gets pushed to the side in favor of day-to-day business needs? Bumping property management higher on your priority list can yield significant benefits, however. Here's why.

1. Lower Liability

While property owners are ultimately responsible for any damages or injuries, much of this burden is often passed to business tenants renting or leasing the space. Small businesses need to take a vested interest in basic property management to minimize the possibility of worker or customer injury. By completing typical maintenance tasks, such as shoveling sidewalks, replacing light bulbs or repairing broken steps, companies can both lower risk and the cost of their liability insurance.

2. Curtail Crime

Crime reduction is another benefit of small business property management. By using a technique known as "target hardening," or making properties less appealing to criminals, small businesses can deter damage or theft. The simplest form of target hardening includes better lighting around entrances, keeping all windows clear of obstructions and using clear signs of theft deterrence such as alarm stickers or visible locks.

3. Better Branding

Want a more recognizable brand? Spend more time on property management. Companies with unique, identifiable features in their storefronts and on their premises offer consumers the benefit of continuity, in turn leading to better brand recognition. For example, some businesses choose specific wall colors, art genres or furniture types to engender a unified image across multiple locations. By making property management a priority in flagship stores and ensuring this focus is passed to any subsequent franchise owners, small businesses can make their physical premises part of their brand's appeal.

4. Nimble Negotiation

If you don't own the land and building you occupy, the time will come for renegotiated rates and lease extensions. Effective property management provides two benefits here: Property owners are more likely to approve long-term agreements at reasonable rates if you properly care for the space or make minor upgrades. By placing calls to other landlords or small business owners to gain a better sense of fair market value and what other, similar properties in the area are renting for, you will have additional leverage at the bargaining table.

Small business property management may not sound exciting, but you should consider moving it higher on your priority list. Taking good care comes with top-tier benefits.