Reimagining your workplace
When rapidly changing economic or consumer trends hit a business’s bottom line, they might need to reimagine their business plan as well as their workplace. Businesses may find themselves wrestling with questions like: What is the role of the physical space my business occupies – to make things, sell things, provide a place for individual work? Are space requirements different today than they were in the past?
Owners also may discover that unprecedented events also often bring with them a chance to reimagine how they operate and can even bring opportunity. The key is creativity and flexibility. Owners who are just starting or who are transforming their business plans have a chance to re-imagine their place of business to adapt with the times.
Consider if the role of your location is changing
Do you need to make more of a product and need more factory and warehouse space? Are more people working remotely, reducing office needs? Is delivery a bigger part of your restaurant’s business? If these changes are permanent, or even long-term, investing in relocation or renovation may make sense.
Get creative about how your business uses space
Some offices can operate well remotely and may reduce office space while maintaining headcount and output. Others are experimenting with sharing space between people with staggered work schedules. Perhaps a restaurant will reduce seating space, but add a dedicated pick-up area. Experimentation may lead to advantageous evolution.
Look for opportunity in the midst of change
Big shifts in how businesses operate open gaps that savvy businesses can fill. More online shopping means more real estate devoted to distribution; changing health codes could drive a surge in certain services or renovations; needing less office space could actually reduce overhead and increase margins. Look for ways to capitalize on these changes.
Have a solid plan in place as you seek financing
Reinvention isn’t just trying new things. Like any new business decision, it requires research, intuition, and a plan that makes sense. If you are seeking a new location or capital to upgrade your business, be ready to show how your future cash flow can be improved with this investment to give lenders the confidence to offer the best terms possible.
Be patient and deliberate with investments
In some cases innovation needs to be tempered by patience. Some changes to business and consumer behavior will be permanent, others temporary. Talk with advisors about how to balance temporary, reversible adaptations with long-term investment. Lines of credit and short-term loans may help you weather a month of uncertainty, while a new mortgage may be the right tool for a major transformation.
Transformative times call for partners who can help a business navigate uncertainty. Alerus has the tools and expertise to help businesses not only think through possible courses of action, but can provide the financing necessary to make that next phase of the business a reality. Talk to an Alerus advisor today.