ArtShine
CoSydney CoWorking + Enterprise Accelerator
3 Blackfriars Street,Chippendale Creative Precinct,Sydney NSW 2008

One of the issues with growing your business is the fact you’ll quickly run out of space. Whether it’s space for the latest server hardware to support the tech that runs your business, or more cubicles to support a growing team of staff, you have to be aware of the different types of growth and your limitations. The most obvious remedy to outgrowing your office is to simply move out. However, relocating your business comes with many advantages and disadvantages, and it might be a little too expensive for your needs.

The better option that comes with fewer disadvantages is refurbishment. Not only can it give your office an improved look and more space, it can also help identify structural problems that need to be repaired for the future. For instance, there could be wiring issues that are causing temporary power surges, or you could install a direct fibre optic line into your business for faster internet speeds. There are plenty of advantages to refurbishment, but the general rule of thumb is that you don’t go into it without a plan.

Much like any other drastic change in your business, you need to have a plan to outline what you need. To help you accomplish that, here’s a simple outline for your renovation plan.

Your Goal

The first thing you need to think about is your goal. What do you plan to accomplish with your renovation project, and how do you want to go about achieving it? The title of this article would imply that you need more space for your business. There could be various reasons for this. For instance, it could be because you need more space for your employees to work. It could also mean that you need more storage space, or it might imply that you need some extra space for machines that you plan to add to your production process. Whatever you wish to achieve, you need to write it down in your plan as the first point because it’s your objective.

Your goal can heavily depend on your business’s circumstances. The goal could also be a plan for the future and it doesn’t necessarily mean something that you have to deal with right now. For instance, if you’ve estimated that your company will grow exponentially in the next year, then it’s a good idea to start planning ahead for your business expansion before you encounter space issues during a busy period. It’s always a good idea to focus on the future, but that doesn’t mean you should completely avoid your present situation either.

The Alternatives

In order to save money and potentially time, you have to look at the different alternatives to business refurbishment. For example, if your issue is space, then you may not need an entire project to deal with your problem. Instead of refurbishing your office for the sake of getting more storage area, you could always look to third-party warehouses or storage services to remedy your problem. This is far cheaper than a full refurbishment, it’s quicker to implement into your business, and it means you can avoid all of the potential problems that come with a refurbishment project.

Another good example of finding an alternative is when you need more storage space to store server racks and other tech equipment. Instead of refurbishing the officer to fit these devices, you could always switch to cloud services instead. For instance, hard drives can take up a lot of space if you’re constantly installing new ones and they might require other appliances or devices to manage and monitor. You may also need network technicians to constantly monitor them for failures and other issues that may crop up. To remedy these costs, you can use cloud storage in your business. This allows you to use an off-site data backup solution, and it also opens up the possibility of working remotely with laptops and other smart devices.

In short, make sure you think outside of the box when it comes to dealing with your storage issues and other refurbishment needs, but you also have to remember that alternatives should not be temporary measures. If you plan to use cloud storage, then it has to be fully integrated into your business and not just something you do because you currently lack space to install new hardware. Sooner or later, even with cloud storage, you will likely have to install server hardware or make more space for a growing number of employees.

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Contacting Contractors

Once you’ve decided on your goal and outed any possible alternatives, you’ll need to start speaking to contractors next. Contractors can be useful for many different purposes. For instance, they can help you plan a refurbishment and they can also help you carry it out. In some cases, contacting various companies will help you with the costs and also give you more flexibility. If you want a turnkey solution, then it might be wise to speak with just a single company so they can do both the planning and construction work.

If you want to save money, then it might be worth the effort to speak with just a planning service at the beginning. They’ll tell you if you need to speak to crane hire businesses, if you’ll need to mess around with the wiring and thus call an electrician and so forth. Once you’ve learned about all the different businesses and services you’ll need to contact, you can then calculate the costs of your refurbishment project and decide if it’s worth the money, effort and time. If it’s not, then you might want to think about other alternatives or changing how your business operates. If it is worth the money, then it’s time to start negotiating with contractors to try and reduce the costs. Alternatively, you could pay the money and get started with scheduling the work.

Adjusting Your Workflow

The next thing to plan is how you want to adjust your workflow. First, determine how much access you will have to your office. In most cases, you probably won’t be able to access your office and thus, you’ll need to have a plan to work remotely. If your business already makes ample use of cloud software and storage for the sake of collaboration or continuity, then this step is simple and shouldn’t take much effort. Simply purchase some additional laptops if needed, or consider teaching your employees how to use smart devices to access your company’s cloud storage and work off a tablet or smartphone.

You will also need to contact your customers and clients to ensure they know you’re going through a refurbishment project, and will likely be late replying to customer service queries and operating your business. A simple notice on social media or on your website should be sufficient, but if in doubt, send out emails to your most important clients and anyone subscribed to your business’s newsletter. Once you’ve done that, you should be ready to continue working with minimal disruptions to your business workflow.

Depending on how much time and how much space the contractors will be working on, you may also want to keep your belongings safe and out of harm’s way of potential contracting issues. For instance, if you need your business’s servers to run 24/7 to help you work remotely, then consider telling the workers how to turn the system on and off, or ask your network technician to stay in the office to maintain it while the contracting work is going on. You may also want to tell your workers to take home their belongings so that they don’t get lost or damaged during the construction work.

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Dealing With the Aftermath

Lastly, we can’t forget about the aftermath of the refurbishment project. Some employees might find it strange or difficult to adjust with more space, and you might need to start recruiting new employees as soon as possible to make use of the extra space. Refer back to the first point once your refurbishment project is over and ask yourself if you achieved it. If you failed to reach your goals, whatever they were, then you may want to consider recuperating the costs somehow or contacting different construction companies to fix the issues that you are still worried about.

You may also find more effective methods of running your business since you’ve spent a little bit of time away from the office. There are many businesses out there that are switching to remote offices because of the availability, cost-effectiveness and accessibility of cloud services. If you found that some of your employees were perfectly capable of working at home, then you could make even more space in the future by not assigning staff desks or cubicles to work from. Instead, they could take home their personal laptops and simply work from the comfort of their house, a coffee shop or even abroad.

Refurbishing your office is a fantastic way to expand the amount of space you have, but it’s important to remind yourself of your goal and why you decided to take on the project in the first place.

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Vinh Van Lam & Stuart Horrex

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About The Author

I am a Business LifeStyle coach who specialises in working with artists, designers, crafters and all creative professionals. Myself and my partner Stuart Horrex are here to help you to achieve your Life & business goal and dreams. We have had over 20 years experience in finance, retail,furniture,food,wine fashion,crafts and hospitality.

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