Congratulations! You have grown your little business from an idea, to home operations, and now you are ready to dive into the deep end and move to a real facility. This jump is a scary one for many producers as it takes a significant investment to outfit an industrial space to accommodate for the needs of your business.
Before you get started, it would be wise to create a cost estimate of what you will spend in your expansion. You can use this to approach potential investors, or even lenders, who could help you finance your growth. It can also reaffirm to you whether or not this step is a good one for your company or whether you should wait a while for the right opportunity to come up.
If you are a maker, in addition to specialized equipment, you will most likely be looking at these light industry staples:
- An Office
Unless you are looking to maintain a separate office space for you and your office employees, and use the new location to strictly “make”, you are going to be sectioning a part of your space for the office. It will likely need to be soundproofed for important conversations (meaning walls will have to be erected), and outfitted for a comfortable working environment. That means that you’ll have to purchase filing cabinets, computers, desks, chairs, cubicle dividers and more. Though this might seem like peanuts at this point in the game, it really does add up.
- A Lunch Room/ Kitchen
Due to the industrial nature of the main work floor, it’s unlikely that it would be safe for you or your employees to eat their meals there. Part of your office space might have to go for an official lunch room or employee kitchen in which everyone can safely eat their meals during their designated breaks. This include the purchase of a microwave, installation of cabinets, at least one table, some chairs, etc.
- A Conveyor System
If you want to show your potential investors that you really mean business, you need to prove that you are going to be using their money to sponsor an efficient operation. Nothing says time-saving and ease of use like a conveyor belt. Use this as the central flow of materials and products throughout your workspace and organize your workflow and stations around it. Get a quote for several configurations and options from a leading provider and manufacturer of conveyor handling systems.
- Health & Safety
Now that you will be using industrial scale tools and equipment, you will need to invest in measures that will keep you and your employees safe. They are also a way to maintain a high standard of quality of your product. The best way to go around this is to hire a health and safety consulting company that will be able to tell you exactly what you will need in order to comply with existing regulations and best practices.
Obviously, every line of business has specialized tools and processes that differ from others. These can be very expensive, however, often can be purchased second hand to keep the initial investment costs low. Don’t forget that the installation costs, insurance, and utilities on a place like this can be much higher than what you encountered when setting up your home-based operations. The more specific and thorough you are in your cost estimate, the better of an idea you will have about the steps you will need to take to make your business dream come true.
These growth spurts are a sign of a successful business, however, done improperly can lead to serious growing pains, even potentially resulting in imploding the company altogether. Creating a cost estimate is your first step to ramping up your production, and could be the tool you needed to convince others, and yourself, that it takes money to make money.