How do you know whether moving your business is the only answer?
Three years ago our managing director announced: ‘We need to move’. For a company with an existing 23,000 sq ft warehouse, manufacturing and office facility it’s a brave and slightly terrifying decision. It’s been a long road from there to where we are now – just a few weeks away from moving into our new 47,000 sq ft home.
Most people feel anxious about change and the temptation not to rock the boat when things are going well is palpable. But for many companies there comes a stage when you have outgrown your existing situation, and staying put could start to damage the business.
Here are some of the key trigger points:
Your premises don’t support your business plan
While businesses often set ambitious growth targets, they don’t always consider whether this growth is feasible within their existing surroundings. If you understand the model of your business then you will know how and when it needs to grow physically as well as financially.
Warehousing efficiency might become compromised
The efficiency of our warehouse was a turning point for us. As we began to Manufacture more products in the Far East, it was easy to see that storage was going to be an issue. Wonderful as it is to feel busy and bursting at the seams, once a warehouse is running over capacity you are potentially putting a stranglehold on your business that can be hard to escape.
You can’t invest in new machinery
It is important for us as a business to stay ahead of technology and advance our manufacturing capabilities with new machinery. In order to do this however, businesses need the right space in which to operate it. Your manufacturing floor might begin life as a blank canvas but before long you may be squeezing new machinery into spare corners. This can compromise quality, productivity flow and the working environment.
You can’t bring in the right skills for growth
If you want to build export, further your ecommerce efforts with in house photography and developers, or launch a new product division you will need to bring expertise into the business to help you get there. In order to attract the best talent and retain the people you’ve already got, you need to provide a productive and quality working environment. A cramped office isn’t conducive to this.
Crucially, all of these elements need to be recognised in advance. It was three years ago that we made our decision, before we lost control. It’s impossible to move your business overnight which is why understanding your business and where it’s heading is vital. Premises should be a regular item on the boardroom agenda. Taking three years to plan a move is daunting enough, leaving it too late would be even worse.
On page two: Managing the move
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