In order to keep cash flowing during construction, many existing practices stay open throughout a construction project. But that task is easier said than done.
While renovating and adding on to their 50-year-old building, Dr. John Agostini and his wife, Jennifer Casper-Agostini, employed a few tricks to keep their business afloat—and their team happy:
1. Inform staff of progress. “Each week, I updated a chart outlining what had been accomplished so far, and what was coming soon,” says Jennifer Agostini. “We also took staff members on tours every few days to show off progress and to keep them enthusiastic about the process. We pointed out the designs that came about from their input. How could staff members argue about the inconveniences when they saw their ideas coming to fruition?”
2. Stay available.“We made ourselves available to the construction team 24/7 throughout the project,” she says. “While not always convenient, it helped to keep things flowing smoothly, and let us always know what was coming next.”
3. Prevent surprises. When working in the same building you’re renovating, times get tough. The water might need to be shut off for a day or two at a time. Loud noises will interrupt your conversations. And the parking lot might look more like a construction site (which it is). “We checked in with our construction manager daily to prevent surprises,” says Jennifer. “We made sure we knew of disruptions in advance and scheduled our appointments accordingly, letting staff members know as early as possible. This cut down on frustration for both the staff and the clients.”
4. Connect with clients. To keep client frustration at bay, the team at San Clemente Veterinary Hospital gave clients regular tours. “We pointed out progress and explained what part of the construction process we were in,” says Jennifer. “Doing so helped clients focus on what was to come, and not on all the inconveniences they were facing in the meantime.”