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Are You Maximizing Your Space?

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | November 15, 2022
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An internal space inventory can help your business save on some static costs and drive more income streams!

Successful businesses today are focused on the numbers. Costs of materials and shipping are fluctuating; labor is difficult; and interest rates are rising. Sometimes we get so focused on a few line items that we forget about maximizing the assets right in front of us. Yes, I’m talking about your building.

Heading into Thanksgiving and Christmas, businesses need to look at ways to increase inflows while holding down costs to maximize the seasonal impact. Below are a few things to consider that may save or make your business money over the coming months:

  1. Caulking is one of the cheapest energy efficiency upgrades you can make.- Air seeping in around glass can cause your energy bills to soar. You generally don’t need a window replacement, but a little caulking can save you a ton of money over the next few months. CLICK HERE for tips.
  2. Can someone pop up in your floor plan?– Some businesses use every square inch of floor space. Others spread out and have room to add a pop up if they compressed their store layout. Can you rent out a segment of your floor plan over the next few months (if your lease agreement allows)? There are businesses looking for spots to pop up for the holidays (you probably know a few). Can you make extra cash simply by making better utilization of your space?
  3. Is your storage optimized for the holiday rush?– Saving time through solid organization of back room areas allows you to spend more time on the sales floor, which translates into more transactions. When is the last time you looked at your storage organization strategy? Prioritizing high traffic restocking with highly accessible space is important in a rush. Taking some time to walk staff through storage can expedite restocking and improve sales.
  4. What is your plan for your extra building space?– Upper stories are being developed for a reason. Housing is at a premium and winter months are ideal for interior developments. Climate controlled storage in basement areas can also fetch a decent price if your basement can safely store items. Unused building space is a liability; couldn’t you use the extra cash generated by fully utilizing your building?
  5. How can you improve your customer flow?– When customer traffic picks up, it is important to know how customers move around your space and where lines form. Rearranging your space to optimize the customer experience can expose your clientele to more merchandise AND decrease frustrating wait times. As it gets colder, consumers will want access inside in different types of restaurants, retailers, and service providers that make sense (out of the elements). What can a floor plan revamp do to improve the flow of customers?
  6. Are you effectively using your wall space? When people think of optimizing space, they often don’t think about walls and ceilings. Walls can be a great way to display merchandise, add messaging, or reinforce holiday ambiance. Ceilings can house drop signage and messaging to pull people through your space or simply add some fun to the customer experience. The holiday season is about a total immersive environment for the customer; look beyond your floor to add to the ambiance. 
  7. Your exterior space is part of your space maximization efforts.- Your storefront windows are the obvious focal point, but if you have a multistory building, don’t forget the upstairs windows as a source of lighted holiday display. Making people change their perspective of your property by looking up may enhance your business awareness.

Take advantage of the opportunities your space provides you! Emporia Main Street has resources that can help you emphasize certain areas, Fab Lab equipment that can help you develop solutions to space utilization issues, monetary resources to help you redevelop portions of your building, and we may even have display resources to help you light up or emphasize elements of your building. Contact Emporia Main Street for help!

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.

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