Hi there,

It’s the first of our tips and tricks e-mails, so where better to start than the beginning?!

The role of the facilities manager is to oversee and manage the facilities within the built environment in order to support the core business of the organisation.

So it’s your job to manage the building maintenance, catering, cleaning and a myriad of other services in order to provide a safe, productive work environment for the rest of the staff, customers and visitors to your organisation.

It’s the concept of the core business that we’re going to focus on today, because it’s an idea that can get a little confusing. 🤯

So what is core business?

The core business of an organisation is it’s raison d’être, it’s reason to be. So for a firm of accountants, the core business is accountancy. For a retailer, it’s retail. For a football club, it’s football. Without a core business, there is no organisation.

To paraphrase Descartes, ‘I have a core business, therefore I am’. 🧐

Sometimes the word ‘business’ can be a little confusing. If you work for the public sector, or a charity, you may think that there is no core business because you are not ‘in business’ – at least not in a commercial sense.

However, the word ‘business’ is a little misleading in this case.

For instance, the core business for Cancer Research is to carry out and fund research for cancer treatments.

The core business of the NHS is to provide healthcare.

The core business of HMRC is to collect taxes on behalf of the government.

Perhaps a better phrase would be ‘core activity’ or ‘core purpose’, but for whatever reason, the generally accepted term is ‘core business’, so we just have to work around any confusion that this may cause.

The other area where this concept can be confusing is for those Facilities Managers who work for an FM service provider, such as CBRE, JLL, Mitie, Sodexo etc.

For these organisations, FM is the core business. They make money by providing FM services. 💷

However, rather than supporting themselves, account directors and managers support the core business of their clients.

So if you work for a service provider and your client is a university, your role is to support the core business of the university – to provide an education for its students. 🎓

It can get a little confusing, but it’s critical to understand because it can affect the way you go about your work and the priorities you must take into account.

For example, the priorities for a tech company will be very different to those of a chain of nurseries, which in turn will be different to those of a law firm.

OK, that’s enough of that for one week. It can be a tricky subject to get your head around, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got it for life and it can make a profound difference in how you approach your role as a facilities manager.

It may even affect the path of your own career – but that’s a topic for another day.

Have a great week!

Chris and the Xenon Team

P.S. If you haven’t already studied or started studying for an IWFM qualification, which will cover topics like this in depth and fully assess your understanding, you may want to have a look at our guide to the IWFM Qualifications which will give you a full breakdown of how they work and what’s involved in the different levels. You can download it here.

P.P.S. If you’re already considering taking a qualification but don’t know which level to go for, a good starting point is our One-Minute-Leveller tool, which will ask you a few questions and give you a recommendation based on the result. You can access it here.