How to assess the physical layout of your small business’ location

When scouting out the best locations for your small business, proximity to competition, accessibility to customers and the surrounding business environment are just the tip of the iceberg. The layout – both internal and external – of your small business’ location needs to work for you as well.

For example, you may have equipment or machinery that needs to fit into the space. If you’re running a retail business, you’ll need to think about the “flow” of the store once everything is set up, plus consider room for a till and things like changing rooms. For restaurants and cafés, you need to think about kitchen space and room for tables – not to mention customers and wait staff.

What to keep in mind when considering the layout of your small business’ location

  • How many employees will be in the space at one time? Is there room to swing a cat (so to speak) once everyone’s assembled and working?
  • Does the location give you the storage or warehouse space you need?
  • How can you divide the space between public and private?
  • If parking at your small business location is a concern, is there enough?
  • Do you need a loading dock or room for delivery vehicles?
  • If you run an industrial small business, is the ceiling height adequate for your needs?
  • For manufacturing small businesses or those with major pieces of equipment, is there room? (Don’t guesstimate. Measure – twice!)

Look at floor plans carefully and take a walk around, both inside and outside the space. Consider enlisting the help of an architect, commercial office designer or consultant to help you plan – for the future as well. You never know how your small business layout needs can change in the future!

For more reading on choosing the best location for your small business:

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