As a business owner, you know the importance of maintaining an attractive office or shop. When it comes time to repaint the exterior or interior, however, the project can easily become a logistical nightmare. For most businesses, closing during the week is impractical. Because we assume that you’re going to hire a professional painting company for the job, we at The Paint Manager offer the following tips and advice.
Here’s why we assume you’re not going to attempt to DIY. First, you’re smart! If you own the building – no matter how small – tackling an exterior paint job by yourself is asking for disaster. For an interior paint job, there’s much to consider from the standpoints of safety – such as ensuring adequate ventilation, having the right protective clothing and equipment, making sure the work and staging areas are safe for employees and customers, etc. Professional painting contractors experienced in commercial projects know how to create a safe working environment while minimizing inconvenience.
Why should you hire a professional service?
“While there’s nothing wrong with a do-it-yourself spirit, you should know that it’s often more cost-effective in the long run to hire professional local painters to coat your surfaces, even if your space is limited. If you go it alone you might have to touch-up your surfaces often, if not repaint everything again shortly after.
“Experienced painters have the resources and knowledge to get the job done properly and efficiently. They will bring the right number of contractors to tackle the project, use high-quality paint products, apply the paint with proper technique, and clean up after themselves when it’s over. Unless you’re completely confident in your ability to paint your business, hiring professionals will give you better, longer-lasting results. Plus, you can focus on your business’s operations while they handle the painting.”
Most painting companies provide advice on color, and can help you choose a base color and trim that will reinforce your brand identity if you have a retail shop or restaurant – thereby helping attract and keep more customers – or establish a professional, pleasant workspace for an office. Our blog post – Transform Your Workspace and Increase Productivity – covers the top 10 colors for making office workers happier and more productive.
One more important factor to keep in mind: Professional painting contractors are licensed and insured. Should you take the DIY route and a customer is injured in the process, you’ll most likely face a lawsuit. Also consider the consequences if an employee is injured – or you are! The prospect of saving a few bucks ultimately isn’t worth the risk.
Keeping your office open during the process
Now for the big question. Should you keep your business open while painting is underway, or close during the project? Of course, you’d prefer not to lose money – especially since you’re making an investment in this improvement. However, depending upon your business, you may not legally be allowed to remain open. A restaurant may be required to close due to health and safety codes. Be sure to check your local and state laws before scheduling work to begin. This way, if you do need to close, you can do so during a period that will minimize the financial impact instead of being unpleasantly surprised the day before.
Once you have the answer to that question, ask yourself the following:
- Is there enough space for the painters to work in and for your employees to conduct their tasks – and for customers to easily and safely access products/services?
- Are there enough windows for proper ventilation of paint fumes? If so, can they be open during business hours while still permitting a safe and sanitary indoor environment?
- Have you conducted a cost-benefit analysis to help you decide whether you should stay open, or close during the project?
- Inform your employees and/or customers in advance of painting; conduct any necessary training to ensure that daily operations are uninterrupted.
- Retail shops and restaurants should have signs in conspicuous areas to inform customers about the work, and to be careful around work areas.
- Set up zones or designated areas where the painting process will begin, then move to the next zone after one has been completed. Says The Painting Company, “Without a set up like this, you could create chaos and an unorganized renovation that will ultimately create stress and unhappy customers.”
- If the space is large enough, you can create a buffer zone to separate the construction area from everything else. This will help lower noise levels and contamination, promote good air quality, and minimize disruption to employees and customers.
- Keep employees and customers updated on progress during the project – including any extra precautions to take in certain work areas. Use social media to keep customers informed. You can even use this as an opportunity to better engage your customers, as the improvement is ultimately for their benefit!
Communication is key for painting effectively
Depending upon the size and nature of your business, you may only need to communicate with a few employees. However, a large, multi-department office requires a coordinated effort to ensure everyone, in effect, “gets the memo” at the same time. This may involve regular emails or a weekly staff meeting. Include clients and vendors who regularly visit your office on your email list, as well.
If you keep your employees and customers in the loop, they are sure to cooperate with you during the repainting project, and you can get your office painted during business hours conveniently.