Introduction to Mezzanines
As demand for your product increases, your factory floor space becomes more and more valuable.
At some point you will need to increase your factory floor space to accommodate that higher level of demand.
When that happens most business owners are quick to spend a lot of money on building additions and expansions, or even to relocate to a bigger facility all together.
While some businesses might need this huge increase in space, for most it can be a waste of money and resources.
A much more cost effective way to increase your factory’s floor space without actually adding onto the factory is to use a mezzanine.
Business expansion is a problem, but it is a good problem to have because most of the time it means the business is doing better than it was.
It is still a problem though because there’s not just one way to expand your business.
If your factory floor has become a little less spacious due to a slight increase in demand, you probably don’t need an extra 40,000 square foot warehouse.
Choosing the wrong option of expanding your business can actually hurt your business.
To avoid this problem we must understand the causes of the problem and our long term business goals.
Space Grows as Our Business Grows
This is one of the good problems to have.
If you notice you’ve suddenly got dozens or hundreds more customers then you know business is going well.
This means an increase in profits and possibly an increase in pay! But it definitely also means an increase in floor space.
Even companies that do business entirely online will hit this point of needing to increase their work area, so it’s not surprising that a manufacturing company will see a desperate need for space when business starts booming.
This problem can manifest itself in many ways:
- You need more storage for an increase in supplies.
- You need extra space for workers to perform their duties safely.
- You need a place to store your merchandise before it’s picked up and delivered.
Each of these problems is one your business will face as it grows.
In solving this problem, we face our next challenge.
Balance Efficiency with Cost Effectiveness
Even if business is growing at a great pace, it doesn’t mean we should assume business will always maintain this pace, and start spending above our budget.
If you’re going through a boom and you need space as soon as possible, you would have to be pretty lucky to have another warehouse for sale right next to yours.
Chances are you don’t have that kind of luck, and would have to search for a nearby facility or plot of land to build upon.
If you choose to build, you can expect to wait several months before the new building is up and operational.
You could get a mezzanine installed in just a few short days.
If you need a lot of extra space, some of the largest mezzanines only take a couple weeks to install.
Perhaps this boom your business is going through isn’t guaranteed to last.
During the pandemic we’ve seen some businesses explode but most businesses slowed down a lot.
You can’t predict which side of that you’ll be on during the next uncertain time period.
So if you still need that extra space but don’t want to commit to all of the costs that building a new facility would incur, a mezzanine could be the solution.
By some estimates you can get the same amount of space through mezzanines for about 1/10th of the cost of building.
Rate At Which Our Business Is Growing
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes business booms for unexpected reasons. COVID-19 has made some businesses a lot of profit, but for most businesses it was very damaging.
Imagine being a business that is about to expand just before the pandemic hits. You’ve made a purchase on a new warehouse which is just on the edge of your budget but should be fine if things keep going well.
Then the pandemic hits and not only do you have a major loss in business, but you’re also left to deal with this recent major purchase that has put an extra strain on your business’ finances.
Now obviously no one predicted that the pandemic would happen and hurt so many businesses, but it reminded us all of how quickly things can go from great to awful.
There wasn’t a way businesses could readily prepare for something like COVID-19, so to worry about things like it is a little unrealistic, but it is good to lessen our risks as businesses by making sure the way we expand is the most cost effective.
Aside from unexpected down turns in business, we should also take into consideration unexpected increases in business.
If we need faster production and need to produce more now, then waiting to find the right place to buy or waiting even longer to build a new warehouse could cost us our opportunity.
The quickest way to get usable space as soon as possible is to get a mezzanine.
They are quick to set up and can accommodate a large range of space needs.
Not to mention that when your business grows enough to when it is time to expand to an additional building, a mezzanine will still be able to provide long term additional space.
Options to Increase Floor Space
I’ve mentioned the three main ways to increase your businesses storage space but let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of each.
Building a new building or adding on to your current building
Pros: When you build a new building or add on, the possibilities are wide open. The space you get is limited only by your budget, and location.
Cons: This is probably going to be the most expensive option. Even a small addition can cost a lot of money. More importantly is the price in time. Taking several months to build the right building can cost a business months of lost revenue that they would have made if they had a faster solution.
Buying an existing building
Pros: Faster than building or adding on. It’s also not as expensive as building a whole new building.
Cons: While it’s not the most expensive option, it can take a lot of time and effort to find the right building to buy. You will also be limited by location, and by size of the building you’re looking at. If you just need a couple thousand additional square feet, you might not be able to find a building that fits your needs and is close enough to make it a reasonable purchase.
Installing a Mezzanine
Pros: The most affordable option of the three. Also the quickest to set up. Most likely the least expensive depending on your needs. Also they’re removable so if your business grows large enough to require a new building, you won’t be out a mezzanine.
Cons: While they are fast and inexpensive, sometimes your space needs are too great for your current space. Mezzanines are a great option for adding more storage space, office spaces, or anything else that’s similar. If you need more of a specialized area, such as a new shipping and receiving dock, then a mezzanine will probably not be the best option for you.
As you can see, mezzanines are the best solution when you need more space very quickly and when you want to be smart about your company’s growth.
Sometimes it can be a little difficult to estimate your mezzanine needs. To get a proper estimate of your needs and cost you can contact PWI.
PWI excels at helping its customers get what they need, and the quotes are free.
If you want to expand your business in a way that will save you money and time, a mezzanine could be the best choice for your business.