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Getting Ahead of Our Setbacks

A small chalk board with Plan A and Plan B written on it, and Plan B checked

When my husband and I purchased our home, we tried our best to budget accordingly so we could afford the monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowner association fees, and neighborhood parking expenses—all the regular payments that go into owning a condominium in the city of Chicago. We were careful not to spend more than we could afford, and in the end, made some concessions to ensure we weren’t depleting all our resources before we even moved into the home.

Even so, after closing on the condo, the unexpected financial emergencies started to roll in. The day we moved in, our garbage disposal broke. Repairing it was not an option; it needed to be replaced. A few months later, our roof sprung a leak that dripped a bucket’s worth of water into my living room on Christmas Eve. (Fortunately, this expense was covered by the home owner association fees.) Since then, we’ve also been hit with multiple property tax hikes, bounced back from a job loss, and welcomed a new dependent into our home.

It’s impossible to predict every setback, broken appliance, or life change that is going to challenge our bank accounts; however, it is possible to put contingencies in place to make sure we have certain bases covered and the necessary resources available to prevent us from going in the red. Having the right insurance plans in place is one way to do this; putting money aside into an emergency fund is another. Some people may prefer to secure a line of credit for emergencies as part of their mortgage agreement.

Facility service providers must plan for the unpredictable with these same intentions in mind. As our feature, “Planning for Budget Contingencies” (page 30) points out, you don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t pay your staff, contractors, or utilities because an emergency totally wiped out your cash flow. You also don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t fulfill a job because your most expensive—and necessary—piece of equipment broke. A back-up plan is key.

Having a grasp on a facility’s total cost of ownership will help building owners and managers plan for the long term and everything in between, as John Bernhards, associate vice president for APPA, points out in this month’s cover story. The article, which features a series of speakers who will present at the ISSA Show North America 2018, covers all aspects of emergency planning, from security and safety to infection control. Turn to page 16 for takeaway tips that you can start applying to your operations right now, and if you want to learn more, visit www.issa.com/show to register for this year’s ISSA Show in Dallas, TX.

 

Kelly Zimmerman

Kelly Zimmerman

Managing Editor, CMM

Kelly Zimmerman is the managing editor of Cleaning & Maintenance Management. She has experience managing industry-specific content for print and digital formats. She holds a master of science in journalism from Northwestern University. Kelly can be reached at kelly@issa.com.

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