For a shop owner, nothing is more embarrassing than having to bring a potential customer or inspector back into the rear of a shop if the equipment is old, rusty, and worn down. This gives the impression of a business owner who does not care about quality in his or her own equipment, and makes the customer believe that his/her finished product will not be finished with a level of care that it deserves. For instance, imagine being the owner of a woodworking shop that has just been commissioned to build an elaborate piece. Then, out of the blue, your pricy customer shows up unexpected to take a look at your progress when he wants to buy a best miter saw on the market, but only to see an old one sitting in plain view with a rusty blade. This would be an absolute disaster for the business owner, and the consumer would undoubtedly pull the commission and move on to your competition. Now, it is not always necessary to buy the next greatest tool or piece of equipment, but there are things that you can do to make sure that this impression is conveyed upon any and all individuals that visit your shop.
First, maintenance of your equipment is the most important thing that can be the difference between your machine looking like it did when you first bought it or looking like a rusty piece of metal. Always keep good blades on your miter saws, and always clean the outsides of these machines appropriately. Many small business owners do not have the financial wherewithal to purchase the “latest and greatest,” but their equipment can continue to look new by following simple cleaning guidelines, and can look even better if the outside of the machinery is kept looking neat and clean. A shop owner should dedicate at least a half hour per business day to making sure that the internal components of their equipment is free from sawdust buildup, and at least the same amount of time making sure that the outside of the equipment is also kept nice and wiped down. Several floor sweeps per day should be done by your maintenance employee around highly-used areas. This will give the impression that your equipment is newer than it actually is, even if it is many, many years old. The saying, “A little elbow grease goes a long way” was meant for these sorts of situations.
To close, small business owners may want to be able to purchase the latest and greatest in technology when it comes to their equipment, but in many cases this will be impossible. In order to keep your competition away from your clientele, you should dedicate some time each day to making sure your equipment is in proper repair and in proper aesthetic shape. You never know when that heavy money-spending customer of yours just may stop in to inspect the job that you have been hired to do. When this occurs, this small amount of time per day keeping your current technology in shape will give the appearance that you have the latest and greatest around, and it will also keep your customer from walking across the street to your competition!