Q Although I have no experience in the industry, I am very interested in establishing my own FM company. Could you please recommend any books, literature, or training courses that would be helpful for someone like me who wants to start this type of business?
A Establishing an FM services company will require you to have the ability to provide the services required by your potential clients. It will also test your credibility in terms of performing these services as expected. Honestly, this is a very difficult task to do for someone with very little experience or knowledge of the industry.
Obtaining this expertise is not impossible, but it will take some time and effort. Here are my recommendations:
- Alliances. Try to position your company with other service-related companies to expand on the range of services offered. This might include things such as coffee vending, interior plant sales/rentals, carpet and blinds cleaning, and other maintenance tasks. As you slowly build your capabilities, you can advance to other more sophisticated services.
- Networking. Aside from memberships in professional organizations, such as the Buildings Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), you can also attend local shows for maintenance service providers and promote your company’s services.
- Conferences. Attend annual conferences, such as The TFM Show, BOMA’s Building Show or World Workplace. The first time you go it should be as an attendee; go to the educational tracks to find out what the current trends, concerns, and issues are.
- BOMI International. Sign up for an FMA, RPA, or SMA designation program course through BOMI International. These courses can definitely help improve your knowledge of FM practices.
- Trade Publications. Magazines, such as TFM, are another key tool in staying current with trends and industry news. Use the TFM Web site as well. It’s a great place for connections and research!
Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s Web site. To pose a question, visit this link.