Efficient Business Operation

No matter what kind of business you have and how you conduct it, if you own or rent a business facility apart from a home office, you do so in order to perform vital business functions there. This is true regardless of whether the facility houses your business headquarters and office, a retail store or a wholesale outlet, an inventory or equipment storage area, or a combination of several of these functions.

Your search for the ideal facility will go much more smoothly and will more likely be successful if you are armed with a firm, fairly detailed idea about your facility requirements when you actually start the search.

If you are now in business. This may be a rather straightforward process if you are currently in business, and, for whatever reason, will be relocating. In this case, envisioning your replacement facility may be no more difficult than thinking about what aspects of your present facility you are satisfied with, and how you would improve upon those aspects that didn't measure up. It's likely this will be easier said than done, but at least you have had the valuable experience of seeing how your business ran out of the present facility. Your proposed solutions to any facility problems may be theoretical, but they are grounded in what you have learned from running the business.

If you are starting out. But what if you are just starting out in business? How do you go about making a wise choice for your business's first home? We suggest that you begin by evaluating the operating steps of your business (that is, the key things that you must do in running your business). You may feel, however, that since you are just entering the business, you don't have a firm idea about what the operating steps of your business will be. If this describes your situation, we suggest that you do whatever you can to learn as much as possible about the business before you find a facility, swing open the doors for business, and learn as you go.

Although every small business is different, most small business owners will have to consider a number of issues in selecting a business facility. Not all of the listed items will be important to every small business, and the relative importance of each issue will also vary. Thus, we made no attempt to discuss these items by order of priority. This priority will be for you, the small business owner, to determine. However, you may wish to examine factors that affect a business's facility requirements, which discusses how these facility needs are influenced by the general type of business (such as retail or wholesale) and other factors.

Here is the list of common small business requirements that closely relate to the choice of an efficiently functioning business facility:

The bottom line is that your facility should do all that you want it to. If this is not the case, such as when business operations suffer because the facility is too cramped or inconveniently located, you may need to look for another facility, or investigate whether you can operate the business in such a way that minimizes the deficiency of the facility.

 
Example

Joe Baqueswing owns a retail golf equipment business. He currently keeps his inventory in the back room of his store, which is in a well-located strip mall. However, because he recently expanded his sales floor area to accommodate more equipment displays, his storage area has been reduced to the point where he cannot keep a sufficient inventory at the store.

Ways to deal with Joe's facility problem would include:

  • relocating the store to a larger facility that would accommodate both adequate sales display and adequate inventory space
  • renting off-site space in which to store the "overflow" inventory
  • reducing inventory needs by changing how he does business, such as by utilizing quicker delivery of special order items from suppliers