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By Dave Clifton
Growth is the objective of most small businesses. To grow takes foresight to the future and a forward-looking mindset as to what the next step up will be. For many, this mindful approach to growth starts with facilities. SMB space planning can help contextualize a small business’ plan for the future by establishing the physical space needed to grow. Whether it’s additional workspaces for a sales team or more room to package and ship product, how SMBs use space can dictate how they’ll grow.
While the approach to space planning will differ from company to company, SMBs often have the same objectives in mind: efficiency, cost-savings, productivity, and agility. These variables are essential for growth, and they hinge on the ability of facilities to support the everyday operations that allow the company to provide a product or service. Every company uses space differently, but the need for space planning is universal.
To plan space accordingly, SMBs need to look at current needs and future objectives. The goal is to bridge the two in a seamless capacity. How can you maximize facilities today, while setting yourself up for the next phase of growth? Targeted space planning is the answer.
What is small and midsize business (SMB) space planning?
Space planning is simply the act of identify need and allocating space. If your SMB was given 1,000 square feet of unused space tomorrow, how would you use it? Create more sales desks? Allocate breakout space? Designate meeting rooms? Blow up your entire office floor plan and start fresh with the new space included? Whatever decision you come to, space planning can help make sure it’s a fruitful solution.
Space planning encourages small businesses to understand their operational needs and the needs of staff, and forces them to create a workplace that meets those needs. Often, the result is a more productive workplace—one that’s also cost-efficient, organized, and accessible. All it takes is a little forethought to space and the demand for it.
The trouble with space planning for SMBs is that there’s often not enough space to go around. Real estate is expensive, and facilities are likely the largest overhead allocation on the balance sheet. Small and growing businesses rely on space planning to ensure they’re making the most of the limited space they have, and reaping maximum benefits from it.
Benefits of space planning for SMBs
Well-organized workplaces offer numerous benefits. They offer the potential for frictionless operation, increased employee productivity, and better ROI for facility spend. And that’s just the start. SMBs can realize a multitude of benefits through careful space planning, including:
- Small business facilities become more accessible
- Employees have the space they need to execute mission-critical tasks
- Reduction in the amount of space needed to conduct operations
- The cost to the company drops as facility efficiency lowers overhead expense
- Fewer overlaps and interruptions ensure smoother operations
- Enhanced safety, security, and privacy in well-orchestrated spaces
Above all else, space planning affords small businesses the ability to adapt their workspace to the ever-changing needs of employees. As operations change and grow, proper space planning allows the business to plan ahead, make adjustments, and be proactive. Planning is the precursor to adapting, which helps businesses stay agile when it comes to their workplaces.
How does SMB space planning software help?
Space planning takes foresight, which is only possible with good data to support decision-making. Companies need to understand the space available to them, demand for certain types of spaces, and trends governing the workplace to effectively coordinate and allocate space. To get this data, SMBs need to invest in space planning software.
Space planning software not only provides the data necessary to allocate and organize space in an optimal fashion, it also provides the tools to mock up new floor plans and changes to existing workplace layouts. By sandboxing floor plans, SMBs can make adjustments and better-understand space allocation in a way that allows them to be proactive in planning for current and future needs.
Space planning software for SMBs arms growing businesses with the technology they need to scale appropriately. As the business adds new employees, additional space, and new operational demands, space planning software becomes instrumental in coordinating them all into a workplace that drives growth and supports productivity.
Space planning lays the groundwork for SMB growth
The path to growth differs for every small business; however, the foundation for that growth often remains the same. For most SMBs, it starts with facilities. Facilities support people and operations, and allow the business to continue delivering a product or service as demand grows. With proper space planning, SMBs don’t need to worry about hitting roadblocks or setbacks in their ability to support growth. Instead, they’ll have a stable foundation that ensures scalability.
To plan space accordingly, SMBs need to look at the most important parts of their business and the role facilities play. Allocating space appropriately, recognizing current and future need for space, and examining facility costs against ROI are all vital. SMBs adept at space planning won’t be SMBs for long—they’ll grow into much larger companies.
Keep reading: How to Use a Space Planning App Effectively