How to Start a Facility Management Services Business in Nigeria
Facility Management services is the rendering of professional services that incorporates numerous disciplines to ensure functionality, ease, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology. However, the role of facility manager is to make sure that buildings and their services meet the needs of the employee that work in them.
Therefore, in rendering facility management services, you will be accountable for monitoring the services in a building such as security, parking and cleaning, so as to ensure that the surrounding and the environment of the work place is in good condition.
For so many years, industries have accepted outsourcing as a viable option to non-core operations, which includes facilities management. However, facilities management is fully ripe for disruption and its interval is behind other functions like production equipment maintenance, building maintenance by both digital maturity and penetration of technology. That’s why facilities management outsourcing market is now very attractive for leading vendors that were already involved directly or indirectly with this function. However, several economic factors have made outsourcing more relevant for facilities management.
Facility management service encompass various range of multidisciplinary specialties and job functions. Basically, the service involves providing maintenance and/or management services for commercial and industrial buildings. And it is a profession that focuses on the efficient maintenance of an organization’s buildings and equipment in a way that offers the best value to the owner of the building and its users.
Lastly, for the purpose of introducing Facilities management service business; Facilities Management Company manages facilities such as office buildings, retail centres and parks, industrial buildings, manufacturing buildings, hotels, arena, hospitals and so on. Meanwhile, all these facilities can be a privately or publicly run organizations.
More so, Facility managers used to be in charge of organizing the security, repair and maintenance of their clients building. They are so essential in the smooth running of their client workplace.
You also need to know that facility management service business has two dimensions and they are:-
- Manpower Provider – You can be a manpower provider for facilities management like housekeeping services, security services, Park services etc.
- Software Service Implementor – software service implementor configure facilities management software like Fire Alarm and safety system, Building management systems, Electrical maintenance system etc.
Also, you need to also know that in practice, facilities management can also be categorized into three primary functional areas:-
- Integrating and Leveraging workplace technology
- Building Maintenance and Improvement
- Ensuring facilities meet the needs of inhabitants.
Registration of the Business
After conceiving the idea of starting a facility management service business, what you have to do first is to register the business. So, you have to take necessary steps to register your business with Corporate Affairs Commission and you may also collect some license which will make your business be duly recognized. If you need a professional hand to get your business register, then you need the service of a consulting firm. To register your firm contact us via www.bullscapitalltd.com
However, in standardizing the operations of facility managers, there are several bodies responsible for creating benchmarks for excellence, quality and consistency of facility management services business across industries and they are:-
- The Building Owners and Managers Association
- The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (UK)
- The International Facilities Management Association
- International Standards Organization (ISO)
- The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Process of Starting and Running a Facility Management Service Business
In starting facility management service business, you can start with rendering the service to local office buildings. You can start small, which is not a bad idea or you hire strategically someone who have good idea of managing multiple disciplines and can be deployed on multiple types of job sites.
However, it takes time and several effort to get to know your target clients in your market. You must make sure that every client you have value your portfolio. The way you manage one or two client’s facilities will be the one to determine how fast you will grow in the business.
Meanwhile, for you to thrive well in your facility management service business, you need to learn more about it from someone that has been in the business for long. For instance, someone that have so many offices for facility management services. Most times, because they have vast knowledge in the business, they are always ready to give advice to new entrepreneurs coming on board to the business.
We believed that, you may also need to contact many professional facility managers, so those who are willing to share their wisdom with you, will do. Likewise, you can also request for a services of a consultant who is well versed in the facility management services. www.bullscapitalltd.com
Furthermore, facility management service business can be started by acquiring existing facility management business. So many entrepreneurs into facility management services entered the industry via business acquisition. You can only do this, once you have duly convinced that the business goes well with your personal and professional goals.
You can as well enter the business through franchise; you can look around if there is a better franchise opportunities you can delve into which might likely increase your chances of success in the facility management service business.
Finally, each facility management service business has its own rules and plans in implementing and rendering their services to their clients.
Needs for a Business Plan
Every business needs an effective business plan from the onset. Business plan is a major business document which will guide and direct your facilities management business decisions and activities on a moving-forward source.
However, you need to know that, without plan the most perfect idea will end up amounting to nothing. A plan will serve as a guide upon which every other factors fails or succeeds.
Your business plan must be reliable and well-articulated so that it can lead you into a direct path in your business. You also need to know that, the more effort you invest in the details of your plan will determine the payoff you will get back from your efforts. For more directions in your business plan visit www.bullscapitalltd.com
Business plan will make it easier for you to know if the facility management system is accomplishing the purpose for its establishment. That’s why you need a professional consulting firm to help you set up and prepared your business plan.
Your business plan will have the following contents:-
- Executive Summary:- Your goal for setting up the facility management service business will be defined here. The foundation on which other phases of the business will rest on will be laid. It is the duty of the professional consultant you hire to know to make sure your executive summary appears well-articulated.
- Description of the Company:- Everything about your facility management service business will be describes here. Most investors always want to know all this prior to investing their money in your business. However, this is initial advertisement about your
- Market Share:- The professional consultant you will hire will play a lot of important role They will used their professional experience in projecting your business market share.
- Organizational Setup:- The organizational structure of every business is different; that’s why you need to hire a professional hand to help in setting up your business. So, it is the duty of professional consultant to help you effectively design your business structure in your business plan.
- Services:- Your business will be assessed to know the rate at which the services is been sort for in the market. In this phase, the professional consultant will help you to project how long the facility management services business will remain relevant to clients.
- Sales and Marketing:- Your business will definitely not sell itself, so there will be a well- packaged strategy to accomplish this. Therefore is so significant to put how to market and ensures sales into writing for proper execution.
- Funding:- How to fund your business will be highlighted and break down inside the business plan. The professional consulting you are going to hire, will make this possible for you.
- Financial Projection:- This is a very import phase of a business plan. And this may include how much sales are you expecting? What will be your operational cost? When are you going to break even? Etc.
- Appendix:– Every other information that you need but is not in the main business plan content will be seen inside this page.
Funding of the Business
In funding your facility management service business; you can make use of your own personal funds to start the business and acquire every necessary things you need for the business. Likewise, you can also make use of business plan to assess loan from bank.
Your well-packaged business plan will make banks to easily give out loan to you to use in running in your business and pay them back on an agreed specific time.
Investors can also invest their funds in your business after confirming that your business plan has shown that, you actually know the type of business you are going into.
Competition and Market size
Competitions has always been something you can’t overlook in your business. So you have to put in place all activities to be ahead of your competitor. You have to know how existing firms have run their facility management business and try as much as possible to make your own service distinct to theirs.
In Nigeria, facility management market is experiencing increased patronage from a wide variety of businesses. Moreover, the Transparency Market Research of 2017 has reported an estimated information that there will be a compound annual growth rate of 13.6 percent between 2017 and 2024, and truly there has been a steady increase in the market.
However, after staring your facility management services business, there are some tips you need to know, so as grow fast in your business and have competitive advantage over your competitors in the industry, and they are:-
- Focusing on Value creation: – As a facility manager, you need to focus on creating value for your services. Your business success relied heavily on costs and how to get more for less through cost cutting. However, as a strategic partner with your clients you must find a way to create value for the workplace occupants and other stakeholders. You have ensure you bring in ideas that will increase employee productivity, minimize overall stress levels and decrease absenteeism.
- Developing a Sustainable Solutions:- Recently, most facility managers are in charge of energy management, health and safety, water consumption management, waste management, carbon footprint management and recycling. Therefore, because sustainability is highly expected on the agenda, pressure is on facility managers to increase their level of sustainable solutions across all platforms and activities. They will be forced to ensure that all their client existing assets and system are put into a sustainable
- Leveraging on Technology:- This year 2020, as a facility manager, you have to leverage more on technology in your service offerings so as to stay competitive. Technology is important because it will have an impact on your clients work and where they work (workplace). You know that there are different types of workplaces like shared workplaces, assigned workplaces, home offices, virtual workplaces and flexible offices.
- Empowering Service deliveries with data:– Facility managers in their quest to support the performance of their clients employees find themselves with significantly more data on buildings and employees. As a facility manager, you will be in possession of data already, so for you to be ahead of competition, you have to see this data you have at hand as a core product and use the information proactively. You have to leverage on data to understand the use of facilities, employee interaction, information exchange and cross-organizational user behavior.
- Delivering of Personalized services:- For you to stay competitive in the facility management services business, you must focused on creating personalized services deliveries which will support the new ways of working and are more fit-for-purpose and unique from company to company. This personalized service will go beyond managing assets and systems. Your clients will require that the service provider understands their business and train the front-line service employers to deliver based on this understanding.
- Optimizing the use of Space:– As a facility manager, you must be keen on developing skills and expertise within workplace which is design in combination with technology utilization and on this basis, your services will highly demand for.
In facility management service business, there used to be high cost pressures. Most times clients will expect you to carry out legally perfect services for them and still want to pay low fee. Meanwhile, as your administrative cost grow, you might lightly need to increase your service fee, therefore, in making relevant revenue in your facility management services, you need to render a value-added services to your clients.
Therefore, to make a good revenue in your business, you need a clear cut execution path. Moreover, if you can have a small team size and run a tightly controlled operations, your profit margin will be good.
However, if you are lucky to have a high value clients that are ready to invest in automation and implement long term solutions with your business, the probability of having higher revenue is certain. As your business grows, you will have a bunch of assets that need to be taken care of on an ongoing basis.
Marketing Strategy and Online Presence
In marketing your facility management service business, you have to make use of available marketing media. For instance, you can make use of your business website and social media platforms.
However, every facility management staff is in the right position to market their facility services in their contact and conduct with clients. Marketing involves first researching who your clients are and then selling and promoting your facility services to them. As a facility manager, you should understand the following basic concepts of Marketing:-
- Understand the Market
- Understand your facility management department’s strengths and weaknesses
- Develop a marketing plan that will function as a road map
- Spot the significant of quality customer service.
As a facility manager, you must know the skills of your staff, because your employees makes an impression on a customer in every transaction, either on one-on-one, in a report or by telephone. Therefore, for marketing purposes, it is expected that all your workers should understand the customer. Meanwhile, your facility staff who have a great sense of belonging to the department’s mission will spot value in their contribution.
Having a strong online presence will help you in making your business known to your prospective clients. Your business will be advertised on your social media platforms in professional manner on daily basis.
However, you can as well create awareness within few organization that you may visit and enlightened them about the long –term benefits and value that rendering facility management services will bring to their business. You may need to communicate the value of outsourcing facility management activities. Letting them know that, facility management services are critical to their business by using more sophisticated communication skills to sell your facility management achievements to them.
Your business can also be marketed through referrals; for instance, a satisfied clients will always refer your services to his friends and colleagues. That is why it is so important to make sure you render your facility management services professionally and adequately.
Basically, there is a need for you to develop a marketing plan for your facility management service business and this plan can be systematized around the following basic steps:-
- Conducting Market Research so as to know the characteristics and needs of your customers, as well as knowing the service of your competitors
- Promoting your services in such a way that, it will matches your services with the right
- Keeping your customers informed
- Evaluating your service delivery, this can be done by asking your customers for feedback on service delivery
- Creating a Website. This is so important for your business. It will help you in having a strong online presence and allows your web users to download post construction schedules, standards form etc.
However to be able to carry out the above mentioned steps, you will need a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Location of the Business
In commencing your business, you need to also plan well on where to choose as your business location. Tactically selecting your business location will make your business to be open to different clients.
For instance, in the situation of facility management service business, your office is expected to be located in a place where so many Company buildings are located. For example, taking Lagos as an example, you can locate your office to Ikeja; Ikeja will be a suitable place because there are so many company facilities there, that their owner might likely need a facility manager to help them monitor the environment and keep it clean.
There are some leadership practices you will need to have or build to be able to run the facility management services business adequately:-
- You must know how to plan and budget
- You must have a feel for developing a great team
- Be willing to listen
- Know how to be in the same page as the higher-ups in regards to the future.
- Most importantly, know how to balance smart technology investments that will boost efficiency while minimizing risks for a positive influence on the bottom line.
Some of the Facility Management Technologies you will make use of are:-
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- Sustainability and Energy Management
- Building Information Modelling (BIM)
- Building Automation Systems (BAS)
- Digital Signage
- Access and Security Management Systems (ASMS)
- Smart Grids
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
- Application of Sensor Networking Around the Workplace.
More so, as an intending facility Manager, you need to the traits/skills that is expected of you to have. These traits are:-
- Project Management and Leadership Skills
- Leadership and Liaison abilities
- Risk identification and management
- Good organization and structured management
- Quality control and attention to detail.
- Project Management and Leadership skills
You also need to know the six emerging trend that offer cost savings or productivity enhancement opportunities and would likely transform facilities management and they are:-
- Outsourcing Facilities Management
- Integrated value and related services
- Workplace Strategy
- Internet of Things (IoT) Evolution
- Advent of Robots
- Augmented Reality.
You might likely need to know more about this emerging trend for you to know that is more than expected in facility management service business.
Finally, facility management services business might be overwhelming business to be on one person or one small team, but the most important thing to know is the fact that is just one aspect of what makes a healthy business. This implies, that all necessary departments in the organization you are working with must work with you as their facility manager to build a business’s overall success. And you should also know that, facilities management services aims at ensuring that the facilities been managed remain the same despite years of usage.
About the Writer
Olusipe Abiodun Yinka is an Audit Associate in Bulls Capital Limited. He has a National Diploma in Accounting from Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State; as well as a Degree in Accounting from Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State. He is a creative writer and a Trendsetter. Apart from writing, Olusipe is also an entertainer
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