Time to Move?


Recommended Posts

I have a small woodworking business. I currently work out of my basement but I have outgrown my space but I am continuing to operate out of my basement since I currently do not have another option. I am looking for a space to run my business, without moving where we live, and it's tough to find commercial space that is not humongous, like I don't need 40,000 sqft. 

Anyway when is it a good time to move? I have low overhead in my basement but I can't really hire anyone as my shop isn't big enough for 2 people. I currently make only custom orders as opposed to making items for stock. I am busy enough that I usually always have a list of projects and some of them are commercial projects for restaurants or bars or hotels. I have made things successfully in my basement that a sane person would have turned down but I find a way to make it work. 

 

Any suggestions on when to move to a bigger space?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say that is a purely finsncial decision for your business model. If you are satisfied with the income from your custom work, and willing to pass up larger orders that you can't fulfill in a timely manner, stay where you are. But if you want to grow the business, I'd say start looking for a bigger location when you start missing out on orders because of your current restrictions.

You might consider a non-traditional space, assuming your municipal zoning allows it. Lot's of small businesses operate out of spaces that would otherwise be storefronts, or share rent on a larger building with other small businesses. Older commercial properties can sometimes be had for cheap, if you don't mind the appearance and are willing to put in the effort to customize it to meet your needs. Any place that keeps out the rain and has sufficient utilities might do, but keep security and insurance in mind when you move out to a space that is accessible to the public.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't mention where you live (city/state).  A lot of cities have those "40,000 sq ft" commercial spaces that are walled off into smaller studios, there's one here in downtown Ogden that has coffee/pastry shops, musical rehearsal studios, ceramic shops, painters etc; maybe your location has something like that?  And if they don't, maybe you could start your own (although renters/tenants are a huge set of headaches and requires a personality/patience that I certainly don't have!).

There is a small building with lots of windows, used to be a dance studio, two blocks from my place that is now up for Rent/Sale.  I sooooo want to look into it, would be a fantastic shop where I could cut a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood in one pass and have a separate jointer and planer, but it makes more financial sense to buy a sheet of styrofoam and a track saw.  It's fun to dream, though....

EDIT:  I should've added that I'm retired, just putter mostly but would like to do one-offs (I've sold a couple things) to keep myself away from the TV/'net.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here where I live at Kennewick Wa we have a place like a storage place but you run your business out of it. Pay monthly or lease. Might be a great option and don’t have to move. Or just rent a storage unit and use it to make your product and have your home shop as your business area

power would be the concern at a storage unit though. Here some allow such activities some don’t just have to ask.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To grow your business moving is the right thing to do. First get an idea of cost for a new space. determine how long it will take to make the move and get the benches built and a lot more. Then consider your income will stop during that time. So know all costs. everything.Then double that so you have reserve for whatever. Including living expenses. Liscences,  permits,  insurance... Once you complete a project and finally get a pay check it only helps. It is not enough. Still in need of cash reserves. But after the first job it starts to improve. A location with visibility from traffic adds value as long as the price is fair. Add signage to the bill. Could be your best investment.

Biggest reason new businesses fail is undercapitalization. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark talked a little about zoning considerations for a shop in one of his videos.  I swear I remember another video he did where he talked about getting a separate location for his shop, and he discussed the pros and cons of different types (storefront, office, warehouse, etc).  But, I can't find it.  The "moving" playlist goes directly from "I guess I'll need to look for a separate location for my shop" to "We got the firehouse!"

Maybe the video was pulled for some reason?  I feel like I'm being gaslighted.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.