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planning when/how to expand a business
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earthyvirgo



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 7972
Location: creating prints in the loft, Gerlan
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 14 11:48 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

That sounds hideously expensive per month for a unit in S Wales. As vegplot suggests, contact one of the Menter type agencies.

Welsh Veg Grower may have contacts she could point you towards - she's doing a lot of 'enterprise' work in S Wales at the moment, mainly with Women in Business but I wouldn't be surprised if she'd not be able to advise somehow.

I know exactly what you mean about the overload - more hands, a fairy to deliver work to galleries and pop things in the post and a few more hours a day would be very useful here too

EV

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 14 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have you done an efficiency audit on your existing setup? We're in the same position and this has really helped shave time off by identifying where extra equipment/routines could save time and/or money. It's frustrating knowing that x could improve things when you can't afford it, but it's better than spending on y without knowing what you should be aiming for.

We also looked carefully at fixed costs and where they could be reduced or made better use of.

We're still a long way off where we need to be, but at least we know where that is, even if we're not completely sure how to get there yet.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14821
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 14 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Could you start with time? Some sort of assistant for a few hours a week might free you up just a little to explore your options. And on a casual basis you could drop it if it became too much?

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7086
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 14 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Storage units are extremely useful, especially as you can expand the size step by step until you get to a point where a full time unit would make more sense.

I priced up one recently as we are going to have to move a vast amount of stuff out of the house so we can have the space to redecorate / minimise it whilst getting it ready to sell over the next year. Our local one is called Big Storage and the quote I got was as follows:

25 sq ft @ £15.00 p/wk + vat + insurance

35 sq ft @ £17.50 p/wk + vat + insurance

A 25 sq ft space is the equivalent of a large walk in wardrobe and 35 sq ft a small box room.

Depending on the company I think you are also allowed to rent them as studio or workspaces which could still work out cheaper than those units even if you just use them for getting all the stuff out of the house so you are only storing what you are currently working on in the house.

sueshells



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 690
Location: North Bucks
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 14 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I agree that the price for the industrial unit sounds really expensive. I live in Buckinghamshire and looked at basic brick built units with electricity - around 600 sq. ft - and those were under £300 per month. I can rent a decent storage unit on a local farm for £75 per month and that is 10' x 10'. It pays to shop around for this sort of accommodation, depending on distance and travel time, of course.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33033
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 14 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

what they say about prices for premises seems sensible

for storage nearish and secure are top priority
for a workspace to expand production near is vital

a combination of both nearby and very good value for money would be ideal

if you are thinking of employing staff a basic equation is their cost in wages etc should be no more than 50% of the extra work you get done ,ie charge them out at about(at least) twice what it costs you to hire them.

this covers overheads.downtime ,hols ,replacing them,treats to retain them ,insuring them etc etc as well giving extra turnover and some extra profits(try for 25% extra profit on a worse case scenario).
the numbers might need adjusting for"wats" or fancy stuff but the basic principal applies .

beware maternity leave ,potential employment law issues,hns,family or illness issues ,rogues etc etc

beware cash flow issues ,you can perhaps wait for wages but an employee must be paid as agreed by contract (yes law again , a written contract that will stand up in court if needs be is not a waste of up front money)

this might seem a ruthless way to consider taking on staff but it is daft to gain a lot of responsibilities and some potential risks for no (fairly) certain business gain.

i found directly employing one or two good uns fairly long term with a bit of churn not impossibly difficult to manage to everybody's benefit.if they are good they can become almost family in a small enterprise.
it can take a few rejects to get the right ones ,if you need quite a few at short notice sub contracting is a good option rather than a lot of hire /train/ reject hire again etc .

if a job is repetitive sub contracting it out can be a good option

i know much of what you do is very specialized and skilled but some of it is basic hands on skills ,would it make sense to separate these and subcontract jobs such as rat stitching ,tail inversion etc and concentrate on design,market development ,specialist historical stuff and the other things that you are good at ?

that was a free sample of my consultancy skills

earthyvirgo



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 7972
Location: creating prints in the loft, Gerlan
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 14 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
what they say about prices for premises seems sensible

for storage nearish and secure are top priority
for a workspace to expand production near is vital

a combination of both nearby and very good value for money would be ideal

if you are thinking of employing staff a basic equation is their cost in wages etc should be no more than 50% of the extra work you get done ,ie charge them out at about(at least) twice what it costs you to hire them.

this covers overheads.downtime ,hols ,replacing them,treats to retain them ,insuring them etc etc as well giving extra turnover and some extra profits(try for 25% extra profit on a worse case scenario).
the numbers might need adjusting for"wats" or fancy stuff but the basic principal applies .

beware maternity leave ,potential employment law issues,hns,family or illness issues ,rogues etc etc

beware cash flow issues ,you can perhaps wait for wages but an employee must be paid as agreed by contract (yes law again , a written contract that will stand up in court if needs be is not a waste of up front money)

this might seem a ruthless way to consider taking on staff but it is daft to gain a lot of responsibilities and some potential risks for no (fairly) certain business gain.

i found directly employing one or two good uns fairly long term with a bit of churn not impossibly difficult to manage to everybody's benefit.if they are good they can become almost family in a small enterprise.
it can take a few rejects to get the right ones ,if you need quite a few at short notice sub contracting is a good option rather than a lot of hire /train/ reject hire again etc .

if a job is repetitive sub contracting it out can be a good option

i know much of what you do is very specialized and skilled but some of it is basic hands on skills ,would it make sense to separate these and subcontract jobs such as rat stitching ,tail inversion etc and concentrate on design,market development ,specialist historical stuff and the other things that you are good at ?

that was a free sample of my consultancy skills


Very wise advice re becoming an employer.
Law has made it overly cumbersome for a small business, so it's best kept as simple as possible by using as many .gov documents and basic templates as you can to save writing your own, when it comes to contracts.
Know and keep to the statutory requirements re pay/hols/maternity etc.

EV

kGarden



Joined: 01 Dec 2014
Posts: 178
Location: Suffolk, UK
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 14 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
what they say about prices for premises beware maternity leave ,potential employment law issues,hns,family or illness issues ,rogues etc etc


... and time spent on HR until you get some good'uns. If you get bigger then the time-drain on HR will return

boisdevie1



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 3896
Location: Lancaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 14 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Can't you increase your prices and see what the market will bear? Perhaps you'll have less work but more profitably?

MornieG



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 933
Location: Bromham, Wiltshire
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 14 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Taking the smaller picture as opposed to the bigger one ! Initially the production of plague rats could be done by an outworker maybe on a pay per rat contract ? Doesn't solve the space problem but will give you additional production and income to hopefully pay towards the space you need. There might be people on here or local to you who would be glad of some additional income which could work around family life. Obviously you specify what you require as minimum production per week and the quality of work you find acceptable.

Mo.XX

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 14 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You may need to increase prices, not a bad thing - quite the opposite, to improve your operating margins.

Unless you have the margins be wary of outsourcing or employing someone as they may take months before they start paying their way. You'll also need to be adept at managing people, production, and quality control.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6473
Location: Cornwall
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 14 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have a similar dilemma.

Both John and I are very busy which is great, but were also getting older and slower which isnt.
I have to look at taking on someone part time, possibly seasonally from April till Nov.
I dont want to do all the wages etc stuff. Im loathe to advertise locally, although Id like to employ someone local. One issue is that as part of a small community here, if I take someone, even on recommendation and they turn out to be unsuitable (either unreliable or lazy or whatever) and I have to 'let them go' then I will be gossiped about - not as someone who offered someone an opportunity, but as someone who fired a local.
Casual would work I think and allow us all to see if we get on etc....

(and yes, I already have employers liability)

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 14 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lorrainelovesplants wrote:
I have to 'let them go' then I will be gossiped about - not as someone who offered someone an opportunity, but as someone who fired a local.


If you're going to employ someone you have to get a thicker skin and ignore stuff like this. If you can't don't do it.

As soon as you start thinking what others may think your business is less likely to be successful.

kGarden



Joined: 01 Dec 2014
Posts: 178
Location: Suffolk, UK
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 14 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lorrainelovesplants wrote:

I dont want to do all the wages etc stuff


I employ a couple of people (i.e. working in my house). My Accountant provides a service to do PAYE payroll for small -payrolls, like mine.

Quote:
One issue is that as part of a small community here, if I take someone, even on recommendation and they turn out to be unsuitable (either unreliable or lazy or whatever) and I have to 'let them go' then I will be gossiped about


I take a different view. I don't employ locally, otherwise my "business" would become the whole village's "business" in double-quick-time!

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 1473
Location: NCA90
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 14 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sally - I hear what you said about extending or shed, but if it was me I'd be thinking (leaving aside tax and legal issues) ....£600 per month that's £7200 for a year - that's a lot of shed, a lot of quality shed and you'll be rent free after that.
Similarly £7200 a year for 3 years, that's an extension/garage conversion.
A loft conversion (for storage only) could be done for less than a years rent.
If/when you move to external premises you've got a nice shed or extension.


Maybe I shouldn't compare a shed or loft conversion with a fully serviced unit, but the above would still apply when comparing storage unit rent with the cost to create that same space at home.

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