Plan for moving to a new space
Changes we could make to grow
Some of these question the assumption that we even have to move. The overall question is which of these changes will help us grow the most in terms of what potiential members are looking for:
- We need a more central location, eg. all we have to change is our location nothing else.
- Since we see a steady stream of new people in the door I don't think this is it so much.
- We need tools they don't have in their garage.
- We need more space than they have in their garage
- We need more collaboration than they have with friends in their garage.
- I think we do quite well on this one.
- We need to have community projects they can join.
- When we do have these projects they seem very popular.
- We need to teach classes.
Minimum requirements for a new space
If we do move we should agree on what the minimum requirements are for a new space so we don't agonize over moving for less. Though we should be somewhat flexible.
The space shall be accessible, i.e, conveniently located so that it is a compelling hang out spot and readily used by members without a long commute. Read: no less centrally located than we already are.
It would be neat to see where all our current members lived, and try to find a location that is a mid-point for all of them. That only takes into account current members, so there is selection bias, but would be interesting nonetheless. I think our current area is good. West Eugene tends to be more industrial, so we could fit in better.
There is no "Central" space we can afford so we will have to be flexible. People drive all the way out to LCC for classes so I don't see a little drive as a down side.
Not in a sketchy area of Eugene. Being close to residential is problematic, so the fact that there is an apartment attached to the Wallis unit is a cause for concern for me, but depending on the tenant may be a non-issue.
I would rather there weren't homeless people around or street kids that don't know what to do with themselves. If they want to participate then they can get on a bus to see us.
No more than twice the cost.
It does make me a bit anxious to jump in feet first into something that is more than double our current rent. I know we have some people who have volunteered to help out by donating more to help with rent. I know that many people did that at the McKinley
space as well, so Iím totally fine with doing that again. It just makes me nervous, but thatís not a big deal in the long run if we have supporters. I do think that this committee and the board needs to make this a requirement and set hard numbers. A hard look at member runoff, utility fluctuation, income fluctuation, and committed members donating extra to make ends meet needs to happen before this number can be set.
Yes something like 2 to 3 X our current cost max.
The space shall be at least twice the size of our current space and no more than twice the cost. Read: that as less than or equal to 2X the current cost and greater than or equal to 2X the space...
...but the 2000 sq foot total that was proposed by Weston sounds good on paper. eg. Plenty of shop space.
Minimum of 2500 Sqft but we have to be flexible.
Proportion of Office space:
The space shall be partitioned roughly equally between shop and office space, with the office space not exceeding the size of the shop. Maybe 1/3 office and 2/3 shop would be the most unequal partition allowable.
It would depend on shape and how much was the office space vs shop space. eg. Plenty of office/clean space.
30 to 40 percent office space.
The shop space shall have at least one overhead door.
Agreed, and the door should be at ground level which is not always the case.
The space shall have utilities in place to make it immediately usable, i.e. electrical outlets 120/240V and preferable 3 phase available.
3 phase power, Plenty of power outlets.
There must be either plenty of power in offices and shop or there must be space / capacity in the panel. No space will have perfect power. Our current space is sub par on this point.
The space shall have a bathroom and a utility sink.
Bathroom, Utility sink.
The space shall be easily secured in order to protect member's tools.
It needs to be secure.
Agreed, and some parts of town have a much higher incidence of break ins. If you have homeless or street kids around then it's worse.
The space shall permit a flexible lease arrangement, ideally month to month, with 6 months, and a year lease being less optimal. That way we can recover from a failure to grow into a larger space without being scarred by legal troubles from an inability to meet the lease agreement.
Flexibility to make minor adjustments (tape off areas of the floor, run network jacks, paint?)
I think two years or less is doable. They should also allow us the flexibility to modify the space as we see fit.
When we move to a new space, we are going to really be stretching our wallets. We need to have an action plan to ensure we are doing everything we can to increase our income to afford the new space.
Here is a list of possible income sources. Check this budget page
to see how this might work.
- Membership dues
- Rent out time in a conference/presentation room
- Potentially rent out office space
- Rent storage space to large projects
We need to find ways to increase our income in those areas.
Up until December 2013, membership dues have been pretty much our only source of income. What do we need to do to increase our membership dues income? What are some ideas?
- Hold a re-grand opening event to draw in new members. Really show off the space and make it known that people should sign up.
- Word of mouth
- Free online calendars
- Incentives to members who sign up other members?
- Increase dues?
- Better incentives for membership
- Member-only events/times/days
- Regular outside presentations that are only available to members
Kassie built a contract for instructors to hold classes at EMS. With a dedicated classroom space, this becomes a very viable option. She Notes that we will need the ability to prepay and keep track of students.
- How do we find people who want to teach and are good at teaching?
- How do we schedule these things to ensure we always have something constantly scheduled for steady income?
- How do we find people/members who are interested in taking any given class?
Resources needed (or wanted) by Classes
- A suitable room or rooms
- Tables and Chairs
- Some tools
- Computer workstations would be nice.
- Permanently mounted Projector.
- Sound system
- Podium.and Gavel.
- Hot plate
- Toaster oven
Kassie Noted that we will need the ability to prepay and keep track of students. How do we take money, Set prices and have discounts? Having good accounting and inventory is central to all our revenue streams. Need shopping cart for classes and the ability to refund or partially refund payments. Need to see a list of registered students.
- Web based front end.
- Ability to prepay, and refund online.
- Keep track of registration.
- Can it tie in to our calendar?
- Set prices and have discounts.
There has been talk of building a class/conference/presentation room of sorts. We can use this to hold internal classes, or rent out time to outside groups to use EMS as their location for their meetups and events. Most of the same resources are needed for this as are needed for classes.
- Build the room and make it worth paying for
- How do we find groups that need space?
- Advertise on craigslist
- Call other well known meetup spaces and ask them to send people our way if groups can't afford the other rates or if the other space is booked
- Who is going to do this and how often?
Rent out Office Space
Maybe we can rent out an office to a single EMS member to work out of. Or maybe we can rent one office to several members with multiple desks as a co-working space.
- Does the new location have room for this?
- Can we afford desks and basic office necessities?
- How do we find people who want to pay for this level of access?
- Who is going to look for them and how often?
Rent storage space
Bob's recent storage proposal is a good start on this. We occasionally have larger projects that take up a lot of room at EMS. Even with a larger space we will need to ensure things don't get out of hand and the space stays tidy. Charging rent for larger projects could be a good way to make a little extra income.
How can we get more people to donate more money? Can we volunteer more time with other groups, kids, etc? We need something at the shop right at the entrance that says DONATE HERE! How do we make people feel like they really want to donate?
There is a lot of government money out there up for grabs.
- How do we find grants that we can apply for?
- How do we apply?
- Who's job is it to look for this stuff?
- Who's job is it to fill out the applications?
- How do we find someone who knows what they are doing to help us get started?
Our utilities are probably our most variable expense. If we rent just one office that may increase the utilities enough to nullify the income from that office if no one else is there during the week days. So we should try to be generating offsetting income while the "lights are on".
- 27 Nov 2013
- 20 Dec 2013