The design of your business space will significantly impact its overall well-being, so you want to pay attention to every detail. However, there are so many ideas to consider, and they can quickly overwhelm you. To help you navigate them, here’s a small business owner list to help you create the optimal design for your space.
1. Find the Right Rental Property
Finding the right space is key to your business’s success, so it should be at the top of your small business owner list. The challenge here is there are so many variables that you must consider before settling on a rental property, and it can be confusing to know where to start. However, a few tips can help.
Before you can go out looking for a space for your business, list your priorities, including your budget. You’ll not come across any two spaces that are exactly alike. Making a list of the things that are absolute necessities for the well-being of your business will allow you to compare locations on a more even scale and guide your efforts. Keep track of the number of features each space comes with to better compare the relative appeal of each.
At this point, you can start scouting for a location. Think like your target customers. Consider the visual appeal of a property, the nearby establishments, and the town it’s in. What will each of them say about your company?
Another important thing to consider is access. You want your customers and employees to have ample parking space that’s easily accessible. An inconvenient parking situation can ruin even the most visually appealing store location.
Security is also an important factor. Not just for you and your business but also for your employees, customers, and belongings. Besides being in a safe area, the property should have safety features like an alarm system, commercial locks, and outdoor lights, at the very least.
Once you find a spot that satisfies your criteria, start visualizing how to make the space work for your business operations. Take measurements of the offices and furnishings and map out a basic layout of the retail floor to ensure you have adequate space to accommodate all the essential components of your business. The process of finding the ideal space can be quite tasking.
You don’t have to go through it alone. You can work with a professional real estate broker who’ll help you find potential spaces, negotiate the lease, and help you navigate your renters insurance policy, among other things. If you’re a foreigner, let’s say Chinese, you can find a Chinese real estate attorney if they’ll make you comfortable.
2. Remodel Your Interior
If the interior of your current property or the one you settle for doesn’t tick all your boxes, which is likely the case, consider adding a remodeling project to your small business owner list. As you brainstorm renovation ideas, making the most of the available space should be on your list. This entails creating an efficient and functional layout that maximizes the square footage. Consider the overall flow and how employees and customers navigate the space.
Designate sections for the different activities that will take place in your business, which means having clear meeting areas, break rooms, and workstations, among other things. Besides that, pay attention to the placement of equipment and furniture to ensure people can move freely through the space. For any business, storage is essential. If the shelving is poor quality, you won’t have anywhere to keep inventory, documents, or your staff’s belongings.
An increasing number of people opt for built-in, custom shelving. Such semi-permanent additions allow commercial spaces to flow organically and look natural. Open and well-organized storage will always look better.
Lobby fireplaces are quickly regaining popularity. Including one in your space will allow guests to enjoy the crackling of a lovely fire while waiting to be served, adding a touch of unmatched luxury and beauty. You can display the awards that your business has received or old group photos of the staff on the mantel above it. Even though the ideal fireplace for a business is an electric one that needs minimum upkeep, the character that a conventional fireplace will lend to the space is worth it.
If renting a new space, ensure you get an estimate from a reputable commercial construction service before signing any lease so you can budget accordingly or, better yet, include improvements in the negotiation process. Some landlords will help cover a portion or all the costs of the renovation work to convince you to sign with them. A real estate agent can help you with this and other things on your small business owner list.
3. Upgrade Your Utilities
As you already know, utilities will make up a significant portion of your business’s expenses. Older and inefficient systems will translate to unnecessarily high monthly utility bills. So, in your small business owner list, consider upgrading the utilities.
The HVAC system is a great place to start. Commercial HVAC systems work to keep the interior temperatures of large buildings at a comfortable level. With routine maintenance, they can keep functioning optimally for a long time. As a result, the heating and cooling systems in many commercial buildings are 20 years old or more.
This proves that commercial HVAC systems typically have a long lifespan, but it’s not necessarily good. The last 20 years have seen significant advancements in HVAC technology, so if your business HVAC system is older, it’s time to contact a commercial HVAC company for an overhaul. Compared to traditional HVAC systems, modern ones are far more efficient.
They provide the same heating and cooling capacity as earlier systems but with less effort and air leakage. Your heating and cooling bill will drop immediately. Because this expense makes up a sizable portion of your building’s operating budget, the savings will accumulate fast. This way, besides improving your business’s bottom line, you’ll have extra cash to reinvest in other areas of your establishment that need it, like expanding your service or product offerings.
The septic is another utility you want to consider, but you don’t necessarily have to upgrade it. There are many similarities between residential and commercial septic systems. However, your commercial septic system must process much more waste than a residential one. Hence, it needs more attention and specialized maintenance.
As part of your small business owner list, schedule an inspection with a reputable commercial septic system repair service. Doing this will give you a clearer picture of your system’s overall condition. You’ll know what needs fixing, what you should tune up to make it more efficient, and if it’s compliant with local commercial building codes. The last thing you want is to experience an issue like septic tank overflow when you open up your doors for business.
4. Renovate Your Storage Area
Simply because you run a small business doesn’t necessarily mean you have less stuff. While you can store most documents digitally, you’ll still need to maintain physical copies of some of them, and you’ll likely also need to keep some inventory on hand. The more your operations grow, the more things you’ll need to store. So, as you put together your small business owner list, plan to invest in commercial storage solutions.
For your products and supplies, think static shelving or cabinets. You can opt for custom-built heavy-duty steel shelving with a long-lasting powder-coat paint finish to match the interior design of your building or rotary or lateral file cabinets. However, you may also want to consider hybrid shelving equipped with drawers.
You can also partner with local crating services to create custom crates for your business’s needs. These heavy-duty wooden boxes offer great protection and can hold many goods. If you’re interested in making your operations more environmentally friendly, which you should be, consider investing in reusable crates.
If your business has people with varying skill sets working part-time at rotating intervals, they likely share workspaces onsite. These employees will want a place to store and lock up their belongings to keep them safe from ill-intended individuals. In this case, laminate lockers may offer an ideal solution. Besides offering much-needed storage space, they can give your space a decorative touch as they come in various finishes and color options. These business lockers, which combine form and function, may be installed along a corridor wall or even built into a table so that people can collaborate or have standing meetings conveniently.
5. Transform Your Storefront
The storefront is the first thing people see when they visit your business. As a result, it often forms their initial impression. So, by including storefront renovation in your small business owner list, you’ll do yourself a favor. You can start with something as simple as an awning installation.
Whether your business is a freestanding structure or part of a larger complex, installing a storefront awning can serve as a statement piece so customers can easily pick it out. If you have many locations or plan to expand, you’ll find branded awnings beneficial as they make your business easy to identify. Opt for a design that complements your current signs to help your branding and marketing efforts. Such an awning will create a lasting impression on prospective customers, and the familiar sight will remind them of their positive experience and entice them to return. Awnings, in short, are a fantastic way to showcase your products, colors, logos, and promotions while making yourself stand out from the competition.
A commercial door installation is another great project to consider adding to your small business owner list. Commercial doors can significantly boost the aesthetic appeal of your business’s facade, helping to create a great first impression. Besides that, these additions come with advanced locking mechanisms and feature a robust construction that will reduce the likelihood of break-ins and otherwise unauthorized access. You’ll enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your business and its assets are well-protected.
You can also invest in a commercial sign. Signage influences how people view your company and does more than inform them of your name and message. The quality and aesthetics of your signs influence people’s perceptions of your company, including the caliber of your services and products. Visit a local sign shop and ask one of the staff there to help you navigate your options, weighing the pros and cons for each.
6. Add Cozy Touches
Your business space shouldn’t just be functional. It should also be cozy and comfortable for both your staff and clients. Such a space will encourage a more successful corporate culture. So, in creating your small business owner list, add some cozy touches.
You can start by investing in comfortable seating. The last thing you want is for your customers and staff to complain of body aches because the seats in your business are uncomfortable. Consult a professional for help choosing the best seats for your space.
Adding soothing and inviting decorations is also a great idea. Pay attention to the textures, patterns, and hues in the space. Pick decor pieces, such as artwork and rugs, that create a sense of calm. If you choose to add rugs, consider partnering with a rug cleaner.
You can never go wrong by incorporating natural materials. They’ll introduce a feeling of home away from home. Think of wool, wood, stone, cotton, and leather. The good thing with such materials is they’re durable and long-lasting.
Consider using sound to your advantage. While some people like working in silence, others find that calming music in the background aids with concentration and productivity. You only need a Bluetooth speaker and a computer or phone to stream the music. It also doesn’t have to be music. You can play natural sounds instead.
If you don’t know where to start with this project, you can always enlist the services of a reputable commercial remodeler. These professionals have experience renovating business spaces and will know what touches to add to your space to elevate its coziness as soon as they walk in. They’ll remove the hassle from the process and ensure you make all the right choices.
Designing your business space is an undertaking you should take seriously. It can either make or break it. Use this small business owner list to create the optimal space.