- 28 Jul 2017
Growing Your Business: Should You Build, Expand, or Remodel?
Being the owner of a growing business can sometimes be a bittersweet thing, well mostly sweet. Business is strong and sales are coming in left and right, but you now need more room to operate. The same work processes that you were using before are not able to sustain the appropriate level of production, and you need to expand. There are a few options when it comes to this decision. Whether this area is a manufacturing facility, warehouse space, office building, etc., accommodations must be made in order to house additional employees, equipment, inventory, and such. Luckily, there are lots of different ways to do this.
The business has roughly three options (or any combination of them): they can remodel their current facility, expand their current facility, or build a new facility altogether. All of these are completely viable options. However, each has their own distinctive pros and cons as well.
Remodeling your facility can be seen as the most conservative of these options. In certain cases, a facility may not be designed to reach its full potential.
For instance, a small company with a decent size warehouse may need additional room for equipment or to store inventory. However, all of the current floor space in the building is taken up and trying to add anything else additional would create a hazard or simply would not fit. In this case, the warehouse will typically have a high, lofted roof providing a tremendous amount of unused space above the warehouse floor. By rearranging some of the equipment and adding a mezzanine system, the clustered warehouse has now practically double the amount of usable space in that area, completely opening up the room with more value-added space, ultimately increasing the amount of usable space in your warehouse.
The remodeling remedy offers a couple of main advantages in comparison to the other two options. First, remodeling your facility can be done in a much shorter amount of time. Expanding or building a new facility can take months, if not years to complete, and oftentimes, companies cannot take that long to fix their space needs. In the scenario above, the mezzanine system can be installed into a facility in a matter of days, allowing you to quickly ease those growing pains. Second, if budgeted properly, remodeling your facility can be drastically less expensive than the other two options.
This ultimately leads to the remodeling the least risky option of the three. For these reasons, remodeling and maximizing your facility’s usable space is a very popular option for companies solving their space issues. However, with the remodeling option, a company is, of course, limited to using just the space they already have so there are limits to the amount of new space you can provide. And the movement of equipment and inventory to accommodate remodeling process.
Expanding Your Facility
The second option for a growing company is the expansion of your current facility. This option will typically go hand-in-hand with remodeling your facility to ensure your new extension flows well with the pre-existing structure. Expansion can prove to be a great option for your facility, especially if you own the surrounding property that your facility is on. In many cases, facility expansion will allow for a moderately low level of work process disruption because the existing work area will not be in the way of the construction crew. Also, the company will be able to provide additional space without having to move the entire company to a new location.
However, there are a few downsides to expanding your facility. First of all, facility expansion is not even an option for many companies. A lot of facilities lie in urban and suburban areas where additional space is not available for an expansion, leaving them with limited options for creating new space. For these companies, moving locations and remodeling are the only two options.
Plus, in comparison to remodeling your facility, expansion can be a much more expensive solution to your space needs and the overall time to complete the project. For these reasons, adding on to your pre-existing facility lays at a medium risk for your company. It will require a sizeable investment in your company, meaning the owner is betting the increase in sales is a sign of things to come, rather than just a volatile market.
Building a New Facility
Finally, for a growing business, building a new facility is the ideal route to solving your company’s space needs; however, it is also by far the most expensive. When building a new facility, a company is able to control the exact design and layout of the new facility, making sure it fits their new space demands exactly as they see fit. The company can build on land that helps strengthen their supply chain and even leave the option of additional expansion open for the future.
Of course, the main issue with building a completely new facility can be extremely expensive for the company. Costs range from materials to land purchasing to construction costs to moving costs. Not to mention, the construction of a brand new facility can take an extremely long time and is susceptible to untimely delays.
Overall, there is no correct answer to “What’s the best way to solve a business’s growing pains?” The best method is the one that works best for a specific company’s situation. If the company has seen strong, sustainable growth, the risk associated with building a whole new facility could absolutely be worth it and could set the company up well for the future. However, in other circumstances, say if a company really likes their current location or needs a “quick fix” to their space needs, expansion or remodeling your current facility might be the correct move to make. Plus, these options are much easier on the company’s finances. It is crucial for a company to fully access their current situation and evaluate which one of these options fits best for them.