Determining warehouse space needs for your business can be extremely complicated, especially when you’re just getting started and don’t have a history of how much space you utilize to help you while determining warehouse space needs in the future. If you need help determining warehouse space needs, you came to the right place! We have a list of tips, below:
Four Tips for Determining Warehouse Space Needs
- Understand what your needs are.
The most obvious step in searching for distribution warehouse space is understanding the type of square footage you need. Until you get a hard and fast number in your head, all of the advertisements for commercial warehousing will look the same. If you’re on a tight budget you might assume you can just go with the least expensive option you can find, and then just make it work. This is generally ill-advised, as your operations will be severely hindered if you don’t have the space you need to work like a well-oiled machine. On the other hand, commercial leases for large square footage can cost of pretty penny; you don’t want to spend more than you need to for more space than you really need to utilize.
The most accurate way to land the right sized industrial warehouse space is to determine a range of square footage your business needs to operate efficiently, and let that narrow down your search.
- Understand how warehouse square footage is advertised.
You might assume that if you need a warehouse that is at least 50 feet wide and 50 wide, you can just search for warehouses that are at least 2,500 square feet. However, for some reason, warehouse square footage is listed by the exterior measurements. So a warehouse that is 50 feet wide and 50 feet long actually has far less than 2,500 usable space. The space that is consumed by utilities (walls, insulation, ventilation, HVAC) is eats into the functional square footage that you’ll actually be able to make use of.
What this means to you is that while you search for the right warehouse space, you need to either round up your space needs a little to account for this unusual way that warehouse square footage is calculated, or you need to make sure that the square footage you’re considering is the interior measurement.
- Understand the modification requirements the space has.
Unless your warehouse will be used solely for storing products that have no temperature requirements, security, pest control, monitoring, or machinery access, you’ll most likely have to make some modifications to the space in order to utilize for your intended purpose. Keeping in mind what requirements you have and finding a space that already meets some of them might make your life a lot easier.
One common requirement that many first-time warehouse renters overlook is the electricity usage. Many warehouses need more electricity than what runs through a typical residential or commercial building. If the nature of your business requires this, you’ll want to make sure that the building is either already set up for it, or can be converted without a lot of cost or work. You’ll also want to make sure that the landlord allows the modifications you have in mind, before you sign your lease.
- Understand the restrictions of your warehouse space.
While we’re on the subject of what your landlord allows you to do, you need to make sure the entire purpose of your warehouse renting needs is permitted in the space that you rent. For example, you might think a warehouse is the perfect venue for your band to through concerts on the regular, or to host your roller derby league. However, after you sign off on your contract, you realize their are noise ordinances or restrictions on having visitors that make it unusable for your purposes.
That might feel like an extreme example and you most likely aren’t renting your warehouse to host a roller derby league. However, common zoning complications that really stifle a business from making use of their warehouse include parking, having commercial vehicles driving through, and using the space for retail purposes. Make sure you understand your restrictions before you sign that dotted line.
Do you have questions about renting a commercial warehouse space? Please share below.