How Big a Space Does a Small Business Need?

How Big a Space Does a Small Business Need?

Every business needs a space, either it’s a big business or a small business. So, when you’re setting up your small business, you must carefully consider and plan on how much space your small business would need.

If you don’t choose the right space, your business may either be interrupted or difficult to operate. However, there are useful tips you can apply to really know what amount of space you need. Please, do also consider the environment when planning your space, and see if you can implement renewable energy sources in your plans.

Firstly, you need to consider your present business status to decide what your expectations for your business are, i.e. considering your current situation, what is your prospect for your business growth over the next few years?  You can as well ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want to hire more workers in the next few years or not?
  • Do any of my workers need a personal desk or is desk sharing possible?
  • How many staff members do I have presently?
  • What is my timeframe to add new staff?
  • What kind of worker will I be hiring soon – sales, administrative, or executive staff?

Considering the number of staff you have presently will help you to estimate how much space you would need for your business operation, comfortably, today. Considering the number and kind of staff you would employ in the next few years in relation to your projected growth will help you to expand your business space accordingly without any costly interruption.

Generally, how much space your small business would need is estimated by the number of headcounts and the type of industry under which your business falls.  Typically, the expected range of space for small business is 150 to 350 sq. ft. per staff member. However, the total space available for your business will play a large part in lessening that range.

This range will also be affected by the type of office system you want. If you choose an open-office system, then there would not be any private offices. Have a look for  For example, sales offices normally use this type of office system and have a workstation or office desks grouped together. In this case, you would be at the lower end of the range. You can consult renewable energy companies to make sure you implement an environmental strategy.

However, if your business uses the closed-office system, such as the conventional hard-wall or private office structure, you would be at the high end of the range. Hence, you need to consider the kind of office system that best suits your small business operation – closed/private office system, open-office system, or a combination of the two. This will help to accurately calculate how much space you would eventually need for your small business.


Here’s a useful example:

Let’s say you want to start a small business and presently have a  staff of 10, it can be estimated that you would need about 2,500 sq. ft. of space today (250 sq. ft. per staff member).  However, considering your business prospects, you have plans to hire two new staff members yearly. You want to rent a space for three years and want to know if an additional space of 1,500 sq. ft. today would be enough to allow for your future plans.


An additional space of 1,500 sq. ft. may be either too large or not enough depending on the type of employees you would be hiring. For instance, if you would be hiring senior executives who require closed/private offices, then you would need an additional 1,800 sq. ft. (300 sq. ft. x 6 executives), which is more than 1,500 sq. ft. However, if you would be hiring clerical support staff who require open/bull-pen offices, then you would need an additional 900 sq. ft. (150 sq. ft. x 6 executives), which is less than 1,500 sq. ft.

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