If you’re a business owner who’s looking to expand, that can only mean one thing – you are doing well! Congratulations, first, for being in a successful position in your business. Whether you are working for a small start-up or are running a multinational company, expansion can be a stressful but exciting experience. Now, down to the issue at hand – how does one expand their business? Buy more space, or simply streamline the space you currently own?
Well, both are an option, and luckily for you, we’ve dived into both and come up with some top tips for expanding your business. We have spoken to experienced business experts, and if you read on, you will learn how they have expanded successfully.
Buying More Space
The first thing to decide is whether you need to purchase or lease new space or stay where you are and utilize the space better. If you are expanding in a business-like production, manufacturing, or transportation, new space may be essential. If this is the case, you must carefully consider what you need and where to get it. There are plenty of commercial real estate agents who can help you understand your needs and find them for you.
Things to consider include space, where it is, how many people will work there, what machinery will move there, and space. Price is a factor, too, of course, and that is something only you can quantify. Your business expansion, in theory, will lead to more profit eventually, but you must make sure you factor in the costs of expansion and expect to take that initial financial hit.
Redesigning Current Space
Plenty of business owners don’t realize that they can simply modify the space they have with a professional office fit out. These professionals will come into your business, help you analyze the space, issues, and designs. Once you have met with these teams, they will suggest ways that you can streamline your current space to make it more ergonomic, productive, and professional. Here are some of the ways they do this.
1. Remove Unused Space And Declutter
Do you have meeting rooms or kitchen areas which are constantly underutilized within your office? Well, they’re the first things that need to go. Obviously, you can’t get rid of all rest and recreation areas – need to keep your staff happy! But, we do notice lots of wasted space in offices. You may not think it at first, but when you consider how often some of these spaces are used and how they could be improved upon, you may see differently.
For example, scrapping the giant boardroom for working lunch meetings or replacing a bulky old kitchen with a whole new department while placing a small modern kitchenette in the corner of another area. These things save space and make for a better environment.
We don’t mean making everything look sexy and streamlined, though that is certainly a nice touch and also achievable! By separating teams or processes into different areas of the building, you can streamline your office, maximize space, and boost productivity ten-fold. This is a great way of expanding without ever having to move. For example, if you are designing and manufacturing in the same area, separate them and create individual divided ‘hubs’ for each sector of your business.
3. Storage Solutions
One thing many people get wrong in their office is storage. Firstly, consider what really needs to be stored, printed, or saved. Are you wasting paper or other resources as well as taking up extra space? So much of the world is digital nowadays it can seem very wasteful printing on paper and keeping stacks of it around the office. But, of course, there are always times when paper and other materials are needed, and therefore need to be stored. If this is the case for you, consider vertical or under-desk storage to improve your overall floor space. This could give you room for many more desks or useful areas for expansion!
4. Ergonomic Furniture
Another consideration is your office furniture. Many older desks are bulky and unnecessary compared to the size of the modern computer. Consider hot desks, so people are able to work wherever suits them, or even standing desks. Standing is much better for your employees than sitting all day and can also improve available space for storage.
Determine the Function of the Space
Think on utility while planning your home. Your clients will use and love functional places. The following elements that affect how the space is used should be taken into account when establishing the purpose of your outdoor area:
- Safety – There are a variety of safety issues to consider when using outdoor settings. The usage of your area should be large during the day or at night be the primary safety concern. Think about how much seclusion you need and how much illumination you will require.
- Accessibility – Provide paths, sitting places, and other amenities that are wheelchair accessible to make your environment as welcoming as possible. Access points and ramps that are ADA-compliant provide inclusiveness for all.
- Seasons – There are particular seasonal weather concerns to take into account in various climates. Think about whether your area will be utilized all year round or only during busy times. In locations with rain or intense sunlight, you may think about including covered spaces, while in arid conditions, you might think about how to make your area drought-friendly.
- Demographics – Assess the demographics of the primary users of your place. While retail malls and other public venues would opt to emphasize seats to accommodate families with children and older citizens, schools and colleges could favor casual seating areas and open spaces.
Blend Aesthetics and Functionality
The form is said to follow function, so when you have established a clear plan for how you will utilize your space, aesthetics become a crucial consideration. A location should be deliberately created with elegance and beauty for guests to enjoy in order to make it as pleasurable as possible.
To successfully combine the space’s utility and aesthetics, take into account the following:
- Style – The first stage in aesthetic design is selecting a general style appropriate for the place’s purpose. The aesthetics of an outdoor dining area in a crowded retail mall and the courtyard of a museum of modern art are significantly different.
- Colors – In the same way, think about whether you want vivid hues with strong contrast or subdued tones that go well with any natural setting.
- Materials – Using the right materials will help you create the ideal look in your outdoor area. While wood and wood-like finishes look good in more traditionally designed areas or natural environments, a combination of concrete and metal works well in modern or contemporary settings.
- Décor – Think about the kinds of decorations you want to use. There are several methods to optimize the beauty of your area by utilizing different display items, from art installations and water features to beautiful pebbles and practical elements.
Seek For Balance
Throughout the space, architectural characteristics aid in creating balance. Employ furniture or walls to divide the room into “zones,” improve the flow of the room, or add visual interest. Equally significant to spatial equilibrium is the visual appearance and feel. There must be light/bright aspects to balance out dark components, and there must be basic portions to give viewers’ eyes a break where there is intricacy.
Highlight your business entrance
By displaying the entryway to your business, you may make it feel welcoming to clients. A consumer’s initial impression of your office or storefront may make or break the rest of their interaction with you. It is crucial to take some time to consider how to establish a favorable impression right away.
The following components might be present at a welcome entrance:
- Good visibility and openness – Make sure the entrance is free of any obstructions or barriers that might make it difficult to see or enter.
- Professional signage – Professional signage should clearly and prominently reflect the name of your company on an appealing sign.
- Planters – Use planter boxes, lamp stands, seats, or other items to frame your front door.
- Focal Point – The major item, space, or feature that you want visitors to your business to notice when they enter should serve as the focal point.
- De-emphasize containers – Be sure that recycling, garbage, and cigarette containers blend into the backdrop and do not draw attention away from your design.
- Cleanliness – Maintain a spotless storefront by staying away from architectural or ornamental elements that tend to accumulate a lot of dirt or are challenging to maintain clean.
Add Seating Areas
It is important to have chairs when creating an outside commercial location for patron enjoyment. People may use your area and feel welcomed and invited into your business by having chairs available. Make sure you have enough seating for the volume of traffic you anticipate, taking into account the size of the area and whether it is for customers, staff, guests, or all of the above.
There are many different options to add seats to your outdoor area, including:
- Benches – Benches offer comfortable sitting for clients waiting outside for appointments or for staff members eating lunch outside. Place the seats carefully so that some are in the shade and others get direct sunlight. You can place many seats evenly spaced apart around the outside area’s edge.
- Picnic tables – Think about placing picnic tables for more formal seating, to promote extended stays and more gatherings. Picnic tables, which come in a wide range of materials, forms, and sizes, offer the ideal location for families and groups to chat and enjoy a meal.
- Stools – If there is not much room, think about placing a single stool as a practical outdoor seating alternative for clients or employees. Visitors may relax and take in your outside environment as they wait on stools.
- Conference tables – Use outdoor-friendly conference tables to hold staff or customer meetings outside. Put rectangular tables with detachable benches in a covered outdoor space so that you may hold business meetings there.
Match your brand
Integrate your company’s logo into the design of your outside landscaping. Use your logo, brand colors, and general style to create a consistent picture that extends to your business landscape. There are many more inventive methods to incorporate your brand into commercial landscapes.
Among the methods to add components of outdoor design that reflect your brand’s color palette and aesthetic are:
- Painted planters – Buy personalized planters or paint existing ones in the colors of your business. Paint cement and wood planters in your company colors to give your front entry a distinctive look. For further branding, you may have the pots painted with your logo.
- Branded benches and tables – Branded outdoor seats, tables, chairs, and umbrellas may all advertise your business. Seating may be brand-colored painted or monogrammed with the name or emblem of your business.
- Colored lighting – Switch out some lightbulbs for ones that reflect the colors of your business. To create a distinctive nighttime glow that serves as a reminder of your company to visitors, replace the pathway light bulbs with a blend of your brand colors.
Should you Buy or Lease?
Choose whether you want to buy the property or if you want to lease it based on the type of business setup you have and the amount of money you have available. If you are unable to decide for yourself, get counsel from a lawyer or an accountant. To find out how much the construction and interior design will cost you, you may also speak with an architect or a fit-out professional.
It is crucial to realize that purchasing or renting a business space differs significantly from doing so with a residential property. The agreement is organized differently as a whole. Also, you must consider the tax repercussions of your choice.
If you decide to rent the space, you may seek packages that include some of the necessary office supplies for your project. For instance, if you want to open a café, you may search for a location with a commercial kitchen.
Explore your options and then shortlist the best ones
Go outside, look at what is on the market, shortlist your top choices, and make a decision. Making a list of all the features and amenities you desire in your home is a good place to start this process. The most crucial ones should come first, followed by some less crucial ones that can be easily skipped if you cannot find them. Write them down on paper or in your phone’s notepad. You can refer to this list as your “list of priorities” each time you check a new property.
Do not hasten the procedure. Depending on the complexity of your needs and the availability (or lack thereof) of suitable commercial spaces in the locations of your choosing, finding an ideal commercial space may take weeks or even months. Waiting is preferable to finalizing a deal on a home that is not precisely ideal for your company
Your search should be limited to 4-5 properties. Consider these alternatives carefully, assessing the advantages and disadvantages of each. Even your staff members can participate in this process if you so want. They may help you see things from a new angle that you had previously overlooked.
Hire a Professional Design-Build Team
Overall, it is evident that maximizing the use of a business space requires a lot of effort. It is normal to get a sense of overwhelm while planning a company makeover or new construction due to the numerous elements that need to be taken into account. So, it makes sense to deal with a general contractor that performs this task on a daily basis.
If you haven’t ever considered any of these points before, we sure hope they have come in useful. Expanding your office space or making the most out of your current situation is a challenging job, but one that can bring many financial and emotional rewards to yourself and your business. Good luck with your office expansion.