Kurt Vonnegut, my favorite author, wrote, “Another flaw in the human character is that
everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”
Such a true statement - Maintenance is just so important.
You go out and buy yourself a nice new car. The years pass by, and you drop it off at the
mechanic for state inspection. She calls to tell you that the shocks are gone, the brakes
all need to be replaced, the CV joints are shot and the clutch is about to give out. You
stop and think, how could I have not noticed all that? The answer to that question is
simple: It is because those things wear out over time, they do not just “give up.” When
things wear at a slow rate, we tend not to notice it.
The daily wear on your office or practice is the same as it was for that car. Except you
don’t have to take your office in for a yearly inspection. Maybe you should.
Read through this article, grab the article checklist and, either on your own, or with a coworker,
take a walk around your entire office. Use the checklist. You might be surprised.
Owning and operating a business is no different than owning a home; something is
always in need of repair. Even if your office has a cleaning service things do happen
between visits. Every office should have a toolbox with some basic tools to do general
repairs. Every office should have a vacuum, broom, dustpan, sponge, cloths and glass
In case of an emergency like a burst hot water heater be sure to have the phone
numbers clearly posted for your rental property maintenance people (if applicable), a
plumber and a handyperson. You may want to mark and review with staff where things
like the water cut off valve and main electrical panel switches are.
Your business is a direct reflection of you and the old saying still holds true: “You never
get a second try at a first impression!”
Be sure that all staff understands that it is their job to fix what they can. When they
cannot fix then they notify you. If it is your job to assure that the office looks good, then
avoid a negative response when something is brought to your attention. You may be
tempted to look disappointed when being told that yet another thing needs to be repaired
or replaced but be sure to say, “Thank you I’ll get that done.” do not sigh, roll your eyes
Also make it clear that no one in the office is below putting away a magazine, picking up
a piece of trash, wiping down a counter or cleaning the front window. This includes you
whether you are the doctor, office manager, optician or desk clerk - lead by example.
Director of Education