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FCAE_-_Smartlifts_2There’s no question that choosing a lift that takes up less space can be a smart business move. Our narrow inground SmartLifts keep your shop uncluttered and take up just 11 feet x 24 feet for each bay. (Learn about a variety of other benefits here.) There are lots of advantages to choosing a lift that isn’t a space hog, but if you’re starting a new shop or in a position to make some changes, which way should you go? Is it better to opt for a smaller shop space or go with a larger area and install more lifts? The answer truly depends on your business and situation, but we’ll break down the pros and cons of each scenario to help you make a smart decision.

 Go Small

There are many pros to having a smaller shop. The biggest is that you’ll save on utility and maintenance costs with lower heating, cooling and electricity bills. Those benefits will even extend to things like cleaning and maintenance costs. And of course, running a smaller-scale shop in general means you’ll have a smaller staff and lower payroll. All of this adds up to savings for you, but there are larger advantages, as well.SL210SW_Mercedes_1

Having a smaller physical footprint is good from a green standpoint, too. You’ll use fewer resources with a smaller shop, reducing your overall environmental impact. So if your capacity to expand is limited by practical space constraints or it’s just not in the business plan for now, rest easy knowing that you’re taking advantage of some serious benefits. And if you’re making the most of your limited space by using narrow lifts, you’re truly getting the most bang for your buck. Depending on the size of your shop, you might be able to fit in a whole extra bay with a smaller lift, and that means you’ll be able to process more jobs without increasing those heating, cooling or electricity bills.

 Go Big

Let’s look at the other side of the coin. Typically, adding more bays will mean more revenue, and you can squeeze in more with a narrow lift. Does that mean you should start planning an expansion to multiply those gains? If you’re exploring the possibility of going bigger, consider these factors: 

  • Demand. This is one you’ve probably thought of, but it’s so important, we can’t leave it out. If you’re     turning customers away because you don’t have capacity to take on the work, or if appointments are    running so far out that patrons look elsewhere, that’s a good indication you could support an                  expansion. Similarly, if your techs are scrambling to keep up, it might be time to add on. Of course,        if you have a little space, you might just be able to add one or two bays to handle the extra work.           If you see a need for more, you may want to build on or open another shop.
  • Your larger goals. If things are going well, profits are going up, etc., you might automatically think       expansion is the next step, but it doesn’t have to be. Of course, adding is a great business plan,             but so is specializing or focusing on higher-dollar sales. Take some time to think about what’s                   really the best decision for your shop.
  • Management needs. Especially at smaller shops, it’s not uncommon for owners to wear many hats,      handling a variety of tasks as they come. Expanding or opening a second location will only add to the    number of tasks that come your way. It’s important to take some time to think about what changes       you’ll need to make to manage a larger business. Do you need to hire not just techs, but managers too?  Don’t overlook the added complexities that will come with more business. (They’re manageable!  But you need to plan for them.)

So which option do you think is more attractive? Have you made the decision to expand or intentionally kept your shop smaller? Share what you’ve learned in the comments below.

If you’re interested in making the most of your space, big or small, get more information about our SmartLifts today