The Perfect Business Plan Layout & Outline for a Great Plan
Written by Dave Lavinsky
The layout of a business plan is not an area where great imagination and creativity is needed or recommended. It should be a more or less straightforward task to layout or outline your plan, using industry standard practices which funders have become familiar with through thousands of business plans. Use the following steps to implement this standard layout and save creativity for your business idea within the plan.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >
Start by getting your hands on a good business plan template. This will speed your time to completing your plan. Business plans generally start with an executive summary and company overview, move through background research and market analysis, customers, and competition, describe the company’s intended methods in the marketing plan and operation plan, show who’s on the management team , and conclude with the financial plan and appendices featuring full financial statements.
Use the business plan template to guide your understanding of each section and to see how they relate to each other. Don’t assume that any one example should dominate your understanding unless it comes from an extremely trusted source with a reputation for business plan expertise and success.
Business Page Layout Tips
How to finish your business plan in 1 day.
Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your professional business plan?
With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!
Click here to finish your business plan today.
Sample Business Plan Outline
1. executive summary.
Your executive summary is the most important part of your plan. It comes at the beginning and is the first thing investors or lenders will read. If they aren’t excited by what they see, they’ll unfortunately stop reading. So make sure your executive summary gives a quick overview of what your company does and explains, in an exciting tone, why your company will be successful.
2. Company Description
In your Company Description, provide background on your company. When did you incorporate? What have you accomplished to date? Here you will let readers know the history of your business.
3. Market Analysis
In the Market Analysis section of your business plan provide background on the industry in which you operate. Conduct market research to make this section concrete and compelling. Answer questions such as: how big is your industry? what trends are affecting it?
4. Customer Analysis
Here you will document your target market. How are they? How many are there? What are their likes and dislikes? Ideally you can provide comprehensive demographic and psychographic profiles of your target customers and show how your company’s product or service are ideally suited to their needs.
5. Competitor Analysis
In this section of your business plan, document your key competitors. Explain their strengths and their weaknesses. Remember that investors and lenders expect you to have direct competitors. They just want to feel confident that despite them, you can still achieve lasting success.
Finish Your Business Plan in 1 Day!
Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?
6. Marketing Plan
Your marketing strategy should primarily focus on the promotional methods you will use to attract new customers. Will you use search engine marketing? Will you employ radio ads? Document each of the promotional methods you will use.
7. Operations Plan
This section of your plan should discuss the key roles that your company must expertly perform and your strategies for operational excellence. You must also outline the long-term milestones your company plans to accomplish and the key dates for each.
8. Management Team
In your Management Team section, detail the key members of your team. Document their backgrounds and how their past experiences make them well suited to succeed in your organization.
9. Financial Plan
Here you will layout the key assumptions used in creating your financial model and then provide topline results from your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow projections. If you are seeking funding, document the amount of funding you seek and the key uses for it.
In your Appendix, you will provide supporting information such as employee or customer agreements, store layouts, etc. You must also include your full, five-year financial model and projections.
By following the above business plan outline, you will ensure your plan is in the format investors and lenders expect. If you would like to quickly and easily finish your business plan, read and click on our suggested business resources below.
OR, Let Us Write a Business Plan For You
Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.
Click here to see how Growthink’s business plan consulting services can create your business plan for you.
Business Page Layout FAQs
How do i lay out a business plan.
Laying out a business plan is not, and should not, be complicated. You can lay out your business plan using our sample business plan outline discussed here .
What is a business plan outline?
A business plan outline allows you to organize your plan and present it in the format that’s most compelling to readers. Also, by starting with your outline, it’s easier to add the required information into the right sections of your business plan.
Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates
- Download App
- Get Started
RoomSketcher for Business
We help thousands of small, medium, and large businesses every day to power their floor plan and home design needs – and we would love to help you!
"RoomSketcher has changed the way I work. All the work I normally had to outsource, I can now do on my own thanks to RoomSketcher."
"I find Room Sketcher extremely helpful. I tried a few other similar programs, but RoomSketcher is much simpler! I highly recommend it."
"I have yet to find another solution that creates such high quality renders with the flexibility to modify to fit them to our specific needs."
Top Professional Features
Brand Your Floor Plans
Give your 2D and 3D Floor Plans a professional look by adding your branding. Add your logo, incorporate your company colors and create a professional floor plan letterhead.
Draw From a Blueprint
Do you have an existing floor plan drawing? Import it to use as a template. Upload a blueprint, sketch or image to trace over. Create your 2D and 3D Floor Plans faster!
Calculate Total Area
Let our Total Area feature do the hard work for you! Automatically calculate the area of your floor plan in multiple ways. Calculate total area, gross area, internal areas and more!
Stunning 3D Visuals
Plan and visual your projects - create the floor plan, furnish and decorate, then visualize in 3D. Easy to share and present ideas to clients.
Order Floor Plans
Order finished floor plans with a flexible order system. With RoomSketcher you can choose to order or draw floor plans yourself. You can even go for a combo to get you started - order a floor plan, open it in the app and keep designing yourself.
Excellent Customer Service
Our friendly Customer Service Team is there to help you succeed. Just reach out to get help with getting started, creating style templates for your floor plans, finding the best subscription for your business, and much more.
See All Pro Features
Our RoomSketcher Pro subscription is packed with the professional features you need to create high-quality floor plans and 3D home visualization. Perfect for home design, home improvement, and real estate professionals.
What are you waiting for?
How to Layout a Business Floor Plan
by Jill Harness
Published on 29 Apr 2019
In offices, where you seat your employees matters . Open floor plans can allow for increased teamwork and more sharing of ideas, while cubicles are important when your employees need more privacy due to confidentiality concerns. Which employees get seated at windows and who is nearest the door is something that requires a lot of consideration. That's why laying out the floor plan of a new company or department (or even one you just want to rearrange) is so important to do before you actually move a single piece of furniture.
What is a Floor Plan?
A floor plan is a drawing, designed to scale, that shows the relationship between rooms, spaces, furniture and other physical features as they would be viewed from up above. This helps you get a better idea of how things like desks and cubicles can best be arranged in the office, where to sit certain employees or whole departments, and how people will move throughout the space. You never want to start putting out cubicles only to realize you have to pack them all back out again in order to make sure there are enough for everyone in your company.
Small business floor plans can even be useful to consider before signing a lease on a building to ensure the space will actually suit your needs. If you need to make sure you have space for all of your employees, two offices for upper management, an office for the HR department, a conference room, a breakroom and a smaller room for client consultations, a floor plan can help ensure all of this will fit in your potential property. If you're having a property constructed for your business, a floor plan can help ensure you have it built in a way that will be most beneficial for your needs.
Decide Which Type of Office Layout is Appropriate
You need to consider what kind of office layout to use for your company before arranging the furniture. While you could do a different floor plan for each possible layout, it is usually more beneficial to learn about the benefits of each type of office floor plan and have an idea of what you want first . You can find business floor plans examples online that show just about every possible option for office layouts based on different room dimensions. This can help you choose the right business layout for your floor plan.
Different Business Floor Plans Examples
A few of the most common office layouts these days are cellular, open, co-working and combination . Cellular office layouts are those that use cubicles. Many enjoy these layouts because they allow for more privacy, but they also can reduce communication and leave people feeling shut off and isolated from their co-workers. Open layouts require everyone to share a workspace together with low or no partitions, which results in less privacy and more noise but increased communication.
Co-working layouts are relatively new options that are similar to open layouts only workers generally do not have an assigned workspace, allowing them to choose a space that suits their needs for the moment as needed. Most co-working layouts offer a few private rooms that can be used for privacy purposes when necessary. Combination offices are also a new idea, consisting of small offices or cubicle clusters laid out in smaller spaces than they would be in a cellular layout. These also offer ample communal spaces, offering employees the benefits of a cellular office and an open office at the same time.
Consider Your Office's Needs
When making a business floor plan, it's easy to focus solely on making sure you find a way to organize all of your employees using the office layout you have chosen, but don't forget your other needs as well . Do you expect to have a lot of business meetings? Then you'll need plenty of conference rooms. If you expect people to be on their feet a lot in the office, you need to make sure workspaces aren't too closely cramped together.
Don't forget to leave space for printers, copiers, file cabinets, plants, artwork, office supply cabinets, water coolers, coffee stations, etc. because it can be easy to forget about these things when laying out your floor plan.
Even recreational activities and amenities you plan on offering might need consideration. If you want a TV in the breakroom, you need to include it in your plan. If you want to be able to do potluck lunches for the whole team periodically, then you need to make sure you plan on having enough table and counter space for everyone to be able to bring their own dishes. Finally, be sure your walkways and other spaces are wide enough to be navigated by a wheelchair in order to ensure your office is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act .
Preparing to Create Floor Plans
While you're considering what you need to include in your floor plan, be sure to write down all of your requirements including both features, like wide walkways, and furniture and other large objects. Next, make measurements of your space, including:
- The walls from side to side and floor to ceiling
- Where each door, window and entryway sits on the walls
- The location of electrical outlets, switches and other necessary controls
- Any built-in architectural features including shelves, benches, counters, fireplaces, etc.
- All objects that will be located inside your space
Floor Plan Creation
You can make a floor plan with a pen or pencil and a piece of paper (graph paper will make drawing to scale easier), or with a free online floor plan designer, which many people find to be easier. If you draw your floor plan manually, you'll have to do more math and pay more attention to ensure everything is drafted to scale (most people prefer a scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot), whereas online tools can handle all the scaling for you so you just have to enter your measurements. It can also be easier to make changes with an online tool than when working manually.
While you can move furniture and building features easily when working with an online tool, it can be hard to move these if you draw them in. This is why people working manually should draw these features on a second piece of paper and then cut them out so they can be moved around on the building page until you're totally happy with your layout. Be sure to work somewhere where there's no wind or fan and where your floor plan won't be disturbed. It can also help to take a picture of your floor plan when you're done working on it for a time just in case something does get knocked off the building drawing.
Whether you work online or on paper, take time to be sure you've met all the requirements you set before you began the floor plan. When you think you're done, be sure to review your requirements list and make sure you like the spatial arrangement, the flow of traffic, the ease of communication, the amount of privacy and the general accessibility of the space. After you're totally content with your floor plan layout, show it to someone else (preferably someone familiar with your company) and ask them to give you feedback on your design – they may notice something important you never would have considered before.
Covid-19 Special NRS Pay Point of Sale Pricing: $699 (REG. $1299 )
- (888) 990-9913
- Contact Sales
Guide to Designing the Perfect Floor Plan for Your Small Business
When it comes to creating the ideal floor plan for your small business, you must consider layout, design, and implementation. For an effective shopping experience, a floor plan is essential since it dictates where merchandise, equipment, and the checkout process should be placed. You must put out the necessary effort to ensure that your design will be efficient for your staff and your customers. In order to achieve this, you must learn why a floor plan is important, how to plan the layout of your store, and where the checkout line will be. Check out below for why these factors are necessary to designing the best floor plan:
Why is a Floor Plan Important?
The set up of your store has a huge influence on customer experience and satisfaction. Having a floor plan that represents your company’s vision and leaves your customer with a positive association with your company is key. If your floor layout restricts their movement and doesn’t provide enough space, it might make them feel anxious, and they may decide to leave your business. Make sure to have enough space between merchandise. This is referred to as “an open layout,” which will put customers at ease and shop longer. As a small business owner, you may group products together to make it easier for clients to find different items in one place.
Plan your Layout by Products
Now it is time to strategize how you will layout your store. As previously mentioned, organizing your layout around your items is a great approach for building a successful floor plan for your store. You may need to research what products are the most popular and what else is trending each season. Product placement is helpful in this regard. You should be placing popular products in areas of the store where they will grab the most attention. If you do have popular products, the best place to put the items are in the middle or front of the store. Customers will notice your items immediately if they are displayed in a place where everyone passing by your store would recognize them. Customers will also appreciate that your store is up to date on the latest trends and will view your store as “trendy.” Being trendy may attract a large number of customers, yet failing to keep up with the latest trends will cause people to perceive your shop as “outdated.”
It is also important to have product organization for shoppers to easily find what they’re looking for. If you sell band-aids, for example, you may put a first-aid kit or any other injury-related product on the shelf. Customers will have an easier time finding what they’re looking for since they were able to find a product that will help them recover an ailment. As a result, if your related products are close together, your customers will have a pleasant shopping experience and you will receive positive feedback.
You can also have some fun with the checkout area by showcasing products that shoppers would find appealing as impulsive purchases. Any small item such as snacks or tiny gifts that are easy to grab are ideal for an impulsive buy. Customers will gravitate towards an item that captures their eye and purchase more than they anticipated. By having these products in the checkout line, customers will have an engaging checkout experience and your overall revenue will increase. It is definitely a win-win situation for all!
Where to put Your POS and Checkout System
Another crucial component of your floor layout is the positioning of your POS (Point of Sale) and checkout system. You may need to think about how you want to position your checkout to leave enough room for a line without being too overcrowded. To allow enough space for your items, the checkout line should be in the back of your store. Once you have done this, now you must think about what POS system will help make your customers’ shopping experience more enjoyable. Luckily, National Retail Solutions (NRS) offers a great POS system to make your check out experience more efficient. The NRS Pay Credit Card Processing system is a great option for quick and easy payment. The customer can swipe, dip, tap, or key payment all in one place!
For more information, check out NRSplus.com .
By Hanna Nahorskaya
- August 2022
- February 2022
- January 2022
- December 2021
- October 2021
- September 2021
- February 2021
- September 2020
- Guide to Community Management for your Ecommerce Business
- Chart of Accounts: Info & Examples for your Ecommerce Business
- Ultimate Guide to Dynamic Pricing for Your Small Business
- 5 Best Retail Markdown Strategies For 2022
- What are the 3 Steps in Credit Card Processing?
What is a Floor Plan
What do you want to do with floor plans, floor plans vs building plans, space planning and circulation in new and existing environments, circulation and traffic flow, flow and feng shui, seven steps to a creating a floor plan to scale for any space, floor plan layout examples, make floor planning easier with online templates, designing your own floor plans with lucidchart.
Lucidchart specializes in diagrams and mockups, but it also serves designers looking for a professional floor plan software . Use this guide for everything about designing floor plans from start to finish quickly and easily, plus a step-by-step floorplan layout design guide.
10 minute read
Do you want to create your own floor plan? Try Lucidchart. It's fast, easy, and totally free.
What are floor plans?
Floor plans are scale drawings that show the relationship between rooms, spaces and physical features viewed from above. They provide a way to visualize how people will move through the space. Floor plans makes it easier to check if the space is suitable for its intended purpose, work through any potential challenges and redesign before moving forward into more elaborate planning or building stages. It can be fun, too, to experiment with different design alternatives and circulation flows, which show how people move through the space.
Noted architect Jean Nouvel said, “Space, space: architects always talk about space! But creating a space is not automatically doing architecture. With the same space, you can make a masterpiece or cause a disaster.” That’s why from Tiny Houses to making a convention flow smoothly for attendees, a floor plan is the place to begin creating and diagramming a logical space based on end user requirements.
Floor plans show the big picture of living, work, and outdoor spaces. Although they should be scale drawings, floor plans don’t hold enough information for builders to actually construct a home or other structure. Instead, a floor plan is essentially a simple diagram showing room layout and offering a conceptual starting point. A builder needs complete blueprints, or construction-ready drawings, with technical information that you will not find on most floor plans.
Space planning is important in new structures, but it’s also important in rethinking existing spaces to determine how to use them more efficiently. Space planning has come into demand as a discrete service by architectural firms for many reasons: high-rise office space with unfinished interiors, the fast pace of organizational growth thanks to technological shifts, downsizing and reorganizing. You can learn more about it in Space Planning, published by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
In any space where people live, work, shop, or gather, the arrangement within rooms and the flow from one space to another make a difference in the feel and utility of the environment. Good circulation and traffic flow depend on what space is being planned—for example, in a retail space, you may want to direct the way visitors move through a space, and in an art gallery, you may want traffic to be less restrictive to prevent bottle necks. Depending on the way square footage is divided, interiors of the same size can feel very different depending on sightlines (a sightline is the theoretical line-of-sight of an observer to an object or area being viewed). As a rule of thumb, the fewer visual obstructions there are in a space, the larger it will appear to be.
Diagramming is quick and easy with Lucidchart. Start a free trial today to start creating and collaborating.
The idea of flow doesn’t simply apply to the physical movement of people through space. Feng Shui, or the art and science of creating a harmonious environment, has been in use for over 5,000 years to arrange private and public spaces. Today, Feng Shui practitioners all over the world use scaled floor plans to design new structures or rearrange existing environments to correspond to the strict rules of the ancient practice. For examples, the world’s newest Disney theme park in Shanghai, has been built after consultation with Feng Shui masters. You can learn more by reading Feng Shui Principles for Building and Remodeling in this best practices article published by the AIA.
Whether you are using paper, pencil, and graph paper to help you scale, or an online program to draw up your floor plan, there are some essential steps and items that go into the creation of a solid diagram:
List requirements. Make a thorough list of the needs and wants of those who will occupy the space.
Measure. Make sure you have the correct measurements, so you may want to measure twice. What to measure:
Outside walls or footprint of your space, any doorways or entries, and windows.
The walls from side to side and from the floor to the ceiling.
Where the electrical outlets, switches, and other controls are located.
Permanent fixtures: any and all architectural features, including fireplaces, brackets, shelves, benches, and any other built-in features.
Surrounding space and outside or overall dimensions of these items, and then locate each on your plan.
Objects that will be inside the space.
Scale. Floor plans should be drafted to scale, which means reducing the size of your drawing so the entire space can reasonable fit on a piece of paper or screen. A common scale is 1/4 inch = 1 foot. This same scale should be applied to objects like furniture or exhibit booths that will be included in the floor plan.
Think about sightlines. Standing, sitting, or working what do you want to see? Think about windows, doorways, walls and what makes the most sense for the purposes you intend for the space.
Render it. With all the components in mind, organize your floor plan.
Evaluate. Review the wants and needs list. Evaluate the spatial arrangement including analyzing circulation. Other factors include usable space, privacy, and accessibility. Learn more here about evaluating space planning and design in residential spaces .
Share. Collaborate and have someone else look over your floor plan to get helpful feedback to double-check your thinking and design.
Floor plans are usually thought of as a first step in home or office environments design, but these fundamental diagrams are used for many of other purposes, including garden plans, strategizing emergency exit plans , parking lot planning, and exhibit plans.
Here are some examples of floor plan layouts and their uses:
Homes and real estate
In 2013, homes were 1,000 square feet larger than in 1973, and according to the American Enterprise Institute, the living space per person has doubled over last 40 years .
As homes have become larger, open-plan interiors and attention to sightlines have become increasingly popular. Google Trends shows a major rise in interest in the last 10 years:
Open sightline floor plans that have the kitchen visible from adjacent living spaces in larger homes are influencing home design at every size. This is particularly true in the design of trendy ‘tiny homes’ to provide a feeling of more space and light within a smaller footprint. Whether they are renting, buying, or building, consumers understand that a good floor plan can make life more pleasurable and help raise property values, Consequently, floor plans have become primary online and print sales tools for realtors and builders.
Exterior spaces need a plan as much as interior environments. A good plan begins with a detailed inventory and analysis of the site, and a base map with accurate measurements to plan both the hardscaping—patios, driveway, sidewalks—and future plantings. Need some help planning your garden? Check out Lucidchart’s landscape design cloud-based software.
In general, the trend in office spaces has gone from separate offices, to cubicles, to open space planning. While there are pros and cons to open plans, they are likely here to stay simply because they cost less to build and can handle personnel changes more easily. No matter what kind of space organizations choose for their staff, floor plans for new or reorganized spaces are a money-and-time saving step that no business can afford to overlook.
Museums, schools, government buildings, and hospitals that must provide for both staff and large numbers of people moving through the space call for special consideration for safety, security, ingress and egress, work and gathering spaces. Floor plan layout is an important initial step to creating the right kind of space. Having a clear floor plan is also essential in such large spaces to guide the public either with interactive or printed floorplans. They are used as a way to establish wayfinding signage.
When it comes to planning retail space, interior layout can be a make-or-break element in profits for stores of any size. Traffic flow to maximize sales has been studied for decades. There are three major factors to consider: first, most people turn right when entering a store, second, depending on sales goals and the type of store, aisle size needs to be evaluated, and the amount of light and space needs to be taken into account. If customers move through too quickly they may bypass merchandise, and if they move too slowly they may become irritated and leave the store. Balance and thoughtful design (and location) are keys to effective retail floor plans that yield profits.
The right type of parking space can make a huge difference to the success of any retail or service environment. Access for the handicapped, barriers, and landscaping have to be kept in mind. While there are specific things to design for depending on the type of structure, environment, and local laws, in general the objective is to maximize the number of stalls while accommodating present and future vehicle dimensions.
Events and exhibits
The real costs of a badly planned meeting event can run high, so it simply makes sense to be as meticulous as possible in advance, including a well-executed floor plan. Weddings, corporate events, and conventions need to accommodate hundreds or even thousands of people. That means that they must be well thought out to ensure that space is being used effectively and efficiently. Understanding seating, booth, traffic patterns and thinking about crowd dynamics are important to attendees, exhibitors and vendors. It’s also crucial for caterers, sound and lighting teams, security and other professionals to be familiar with the physical space they will be working with to create a successful event in the venue. Understanding crowd dynamics is fundamental to creating a successful event, as is planning the physical space.
You can use paper and pencil and take time to draw by hand, or you can take the easier, faster, simpler route and use an online program that makes use of templates. You can complete the floor plan more quickly, more accurately, and have more fun exploring design possibilities in much less time using software.
Why struggle with paper and pencil, or another program that makes floor planning more complicated than it needs to be? You can design clear floor plans for any space or place, and customize it any way you like. Look at all the ways Lucidchart makes floor planning quick and easy:
- Templates simplify your design tasks. Even if you’re new to floor plans, handy, customizable templates get you started in minutes.
- Drag-and-drop shape library with every element you need . Objects are scaled to size, and every one of them has been honed for maximum ease-of-use. Simply drag the shape you need from the large library and drop in place to get started, and save objects in your custom library for future use.
- Create collaboratively in the cloud. Integrations with Google Drive, Confluence, and JIRA make teamwork trouble-free. Lucidchart collaboration capabilities means users can view, edit, comment, or chat in real time.
- Share and publish. Print out PDF, JPEG, and PNG images at the size you need, or share your floor plan by social media or email to keep collaborators in the loop.
- Cross-platform capabilities. Highly compatible, Lucidchart can be used on PC, Linux or OS X operating systems.
- Visio and Gliffy floor plan import/export. Migrating your old work to one secure location is quick and easy, so editing legacy diagrams in the browser is painless.
- Floor plan app for anytime, anywhere design. Design beyond the desktop with an iOS app so you can design on the go via your mobile device or tablet.
- Emergency Floor Plan Templates
Lucidchart helps you design custom floor plans of any type with its intuitive drag and drop interface and extensive shape library.
- Site License
- Agile Workflow
- AWS Diagram
- Cause and Effect
- Charts and Gauges
- Decision Tree
- Emergency Planning
- Event Planning
- Family Trees
- Bathroom Plan
- Bedroom Plan
- Cubicle Plan
- Deck Design
- Elevation Plan
- Garden Plan
- Healthcare Facility Plan
- Hotel Floor Plan
- Irrigation Plan
- Kitchen Plan
- Landscape Design
- Living & Dining Rooms
- Nursing Home Floor Plan
- Office Floor Plan
- Public Restroom Plan
- Restaurant Floor Plan
- Storage Design
- Store Layout
- Warehouse Plan
- Flyers and Certificates
- Network Design
- Organizational Chart
- Project Management
- Software Design
- Strategic Planning
- Venn Diagram
Floor Plan Templates
©1994-2023 SmartDraw, LLC
- Explore SmartDraw
- Privacy [UPDATED]
- Flowchart Maker
- Floor Plan Designer
- Organizational Chart Templates
Create a floor plan
Use the Floor Plan template in Visio to draw floor plans for individual rooms or for entire floors of your building―including the wall structure, building core, and electrical symbols.
Here is an example of a completed floor plan.
Start a new floor plan
In the Categories list, click the Maps and Floor Plans category.
Click Floor Plan , and then click Create .
Turn on gridlines to help with scale and precision
You may want to have gridlines visible on your drawing canvas to help you lay out and scale objects carefully:
On the toolbar ribbon, select View > Grid .
A fixed grid can be useful in floor plans and maps, where you always want grid lines to show the same measurement. To make the grid fixed:
On the toolbar ribbon, select View .
In the dialog box, enter the minimum spacing required between lines for each axis, and the grid will retain a fixed perspective throughout your design process, regardless of zoom level.
Create the exterior wall structure
Using room shapes.
From the Walls, Shell and Structure stencil, drag one of the room shapes onto the drawing page.
Resize the room shape by dragging the control and selection handles on individual walls.
Using wall shapes
From the Walls, Shell and Structure stencil, drag Exterior wall shapes onto the drawing page.
Continue to draw the exterior by using these options:
Resize walls by dragging an endpoint.
Right-click wall shapes to set options.
Drag an endpoint of one wall to another wall.
The endpoints are highlighted when the walls are glued. Intersections between two walls are cleaned up automatically.
Create the interior wall structure
From the Walls, Shell and Structure stencil, drag wall shapes onto the drawing page, positioning them inside the exterior structure.
Continue to draw the interior by using these options:
Right-click a wall to set options.
Add doors and windows
From the Walls, Shell and Structure stencil, drag door and window shapes on top of walls.
Doors and windows automatically rotate to align with and glue to the wall. They also acquire the wall's thickness and move with walls when you reposition them.
Add other structural elements
From the Walls, Shell and Structure stencil, drag structural shapes, such as columns, onto the drawing page.
From the Building Core stencil, drag building core shapes, such as stairs, onto the drawing page.
Add electrical symbols and dimension lines
From the Electrical and Telecom stencil, drag wall switches, outlets, and other wall fixtures onto wall shapes. Release the mouse button when a bold square appears, which indicates that the symbol is glued to the wall. Wall fixtures automatically rotate to align with and glue to the wall
Dimension lines for walls
Right-click a wall, and then click Add a Dimension .
Reposition the dimension lines and text by dragging a control handle.
If you want to resize a wall after you add a dimension to it, select the dimension shape, type the dimension you want, and then click away from the dimension shape.
Insert a CAD floor plan
On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click CAD Drawing .
In the Insert AutoCAD Drawing dialog box, select the CAD file you want and click Open .
To accept the size and location of the CAD drawing, click OK .
After you have inserted the drawing, you can resize it, change its scale, or move it. You can also lock the layer that contains the CAD drawing so that you do not accidentally change it if you create a new plan on top.
Save as a DWG file
DWG files are the standard file type for floor plans that can be read by computer-aided design (CAD) programs. They contain extra metadata, like room numbers, that can be used by other programs like Microsoft Search to design seating charts.
On the File tab, select Save As > Browse .
Change the Save as type to AutoCad drawing (.dwg) .
Find sample floor plan Visio templates and diagrams
Important: Office 2010 is no longer supported . Upgrade to Microsoft 365 to work anywhere from any device and continue to receive support. Upgrade now
Click the File tab.
Click New , click Maps and Floor Plans , and then under Available Templates , click the template that you want to use.
Click Create .
The endpoints turn red when the walls are glued. Intersections between two walls are cleaned up automatically.
The endpoints turn red when the walls are glued. Intersections between two walls get cleaned up automatically.
You can also drag ceiling fixture shapes, such as the Ceiling fan , onto the drawing page.
Copy an existing Visio floor plan into a new drawing
Open an existing Visio drawing.
On the Design tab, click Page Setup Dialog Box Launcher. In the Page Setup dialog box, on the Drawing Scale tab, make note of the scale setting in the existing drawing, and then set the scale of your new drawing to match.
In the existing drawing, select the shapes you want to use in the new drawing and then, on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Copy .
Switch to the new drawing, and then, in the Clipboard group, click Paste .
Tip: You can lock the existing layers of a drawing so that you do not accidentally change them when you create a new plan on top.
Important: Office 2007 is no longer supported . Upgrade to Microsoft 365 to work anywhere from any device and continue to receive support. Upgrade now
On the File menu, point to New , point to Maps and Floor Plans , and then click Floor Plan .
Create the basic exterior wall structure in one of the following ways.
To make walls join properly, make sure Glue to Shape geometry is selected in the Snap & Glue dialog box.
Right-click a wall, and then click Add a Dimension
To see a tip about a control handle for a selected shape, pause the pointer over the handle.
From the Insert menu, click CAD Drawing .
Under Files of type , select AutoCAD Drawing (*.dwg, *.dxf) . Locate the CAD file and click Open .
On the File menu, click Page Setup , and then click the Scale tab. Make note of the scale setting in the existing drawing, and then set the scale of your new drawing to match.
In the existing drawing, select the shapes you want to use in the new drawing and then, on the Edit menu, click Copy .
Switch to the new drawing, and then, on the Edit menu, click Paste .
We're sorry. Visio for the web doesn't have the ability to draw floor plans at this time.
If you'd like to have this feature in Visio for the web, please send us your feedback to help us prioritize new features in future updates. See How do I give feedback on Microsoft Office? for more information.
Need more help?
Want more options.
Explore subscription benefits, browse training courses, learn how to secure your device, and more.
Microsoft 365 subscription benefits
Microsoft 365 training
Communities help you ask and answer questions, give feedback, and hear from experts with rich knowledge.
Ask the Microsoft Community
Microsoft Tech Community
Microsoft 365 Insiders
Was this information helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
They Create a Positive Shopping Experience
As a small business, it’s important to make customers feel at ease. Larger retailers have the space to avoid crowding certain areas but that can be a little more challenging on a smaller scale. That’s unless you have an effective floor plan.
Your store’s layout can determine the emotions that are evoked in their shopping experience. Think about where you’ve placed the merchandise, the colours and even how much room you have between sections. All of these factors can affect how your customers feel, whether they like spending time in the store, if they’ll make a purchase or whether they’d return.
If your floor plan restricts their movement and doesn’t give them enough room, then it can cause a feeling of anxiety and they might want to leave your store. Try to make sure that sections aren’t congested to reduce any tension as this can make shoppers feel like they need to rush through the store.
With open layouts, customers can feel at ease and shop longer. This is how you can build a positive experience and encourage repeat custom.
Floor Plans Prevent Possible Thefts
Small businesses can also be susceptible to theft, but a floor plan can prevent risks of shoplifting. For example, having high-priced items locked in showcases at the back of your store rather than towards the entrance reduces that risk. Or if you have smaller items, you can keep them in displays where there’s more security or more traffic for extra support.
If your floor plan requires extra manoeuvres from shoppers or passes through security, then it’s more difficult for someone to steal something from your store.
You Can Predict Customer Behaviour
You also shouldn’t overlook the importance of your store floor plan because the flow can determine how your customers shop. In a large business, it’s easier because they have so much room. However, with less space, you need to be more strategic and utilise the area you do have.
The longer a customer is in your store, the more likely they are to make a purchase. Your floor plan’s goal should be to keep customers moving around and shopping for longer. As you’re likely to have less space compared to a larger counterpart, it’s important to make the most of it. The progression through your store needs to be natural.
So look at the larger counterparts for some inspiration. Look at what supermarkets do – they place necessities such as milk and bread towards the back so shoppers have to navigate through other aisles to get there. Even department stores are strategic with their placement, as children’s clothing is usually placed on the top floor so parents have to walk through other sections.
Try to do something similar in your store, even if you don’t have as much space to enjoy.
A Strategic Layout Can Provoke More Sales
As a small business, you can organise product types and brands together so that customers can find different items in one location. This can make customers feel more inclined to buy products connected to what they’re shopping for.
You should do this carefully in your store, especially since you won’t have a lot of room to play with. If you group together designers or the same type of merchandise, then you’re likely to increase cross-category and cross-brand sales.
You Can Maximise Your Square Footage
As a small business, it’s even more important that you create a space that makes more money by maximising your sales per square foot. A floor plan can be really helpful here. For example, you might find that there’s an area in your store that’s lacking sales. Rather than letting that valuable space go to waste, you can rearrange areas to increase sales.
Another example to show how you can take advantage of the small space you have is by deciding where high and low-priced items will go. You can allow expensive items more space so they’re noticeable by customers while cheaper items can be stacked or grouped together to create more space.
A layout is more than just placing products in certain areas, though. Customer satisfaction goes a long way and it’s more challenging for small business because of the lack of space to worth with. To help you improve that, we’ve created a bunch of templates that will help your small businesses enjoy repeat custom and compete with the big businesses.
Get Your Free Floor Plan Templates
Our floor plan templates are perfect if you need some ideas or extra inspiration. Think of them as the initial blueprint that will shape your floor plan. Whether it’s a clothing store, coffee shop, an exhibition or even a hotel, you’ll get plenty of amazing ideas.
To get your free copy of the template pack, click on the link below.
- Category Specialist Retailers
- Convenience Retailers
- Clothing Retailers
- Discount Retailers
- General Merchandise Retailers
- Hardline Retailers
- Independently Owned Retailers
- Pharmacy Retailers
- Wholesale Retailers
- General Suppliers
- Retail Service Providers
- For Professional Service Firms
- Planogram Development
- Assortment Optimization
- Cluster Optimization
- Floor Space Optimization
- Category Management Data Analysis
- Retail Advisory Consulting
- Database Management
- Data Collection And Processing
- Space Planning
- Floor Planning
- Assortment Planning
- Data Platform
- Data Integration FAQs
- Field Marketing
- Planogram Compliance
- Task Management
- Time and Attendance
- Project Management
- Key Performance Indicators
- Expense Management
- Career Opportunities
- Become a Partner
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- COVID-19 Response
- Category Management Blog
- Download Premium Ebooks
- Get Video Demo & Presentations
- Try DotActiv Lite, Pro or Enterprise
- Search Our Knowledgebase
- PartnerBase Login
- Contact Support
Floor planning describes the entire layout of your store at a category or macro level. It's a visual representation or retail blueprint of where and how to position your categories in your store.
Along with a mac ro view, a floor plan also allows you to determine how much shelf space each of your categories should receive.
BOOK YOUR CUSTOM EXPLORATORY CONSULTATION
Looking for a floor planning software solution that enables you to optimise your store space? Or a floor space optimization service that is underpinned by our leading software and proven methodology?
After booking your free online exploratory consultation, you can expect us to research and evaluate your unique context. We’ll create a personalised agenda to match your business’ interests, goals and context.
We’ll reach out to you before your consultation to share your personalised agenda . You’re welcome to request any changes or additional points.
We’ll consult with our internal experts to curate and customise conversation points, content, and the presentation so that it’s in line with your personalised agenda. Depending on the outcome of our consultation, we’ll schedule a separate custom advisory consultation to share our proposed recommendations with you.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is floor planning.
Floor planning describes the entire layout of your store at a category level. In other words, it’s a visual representation or retail blueprint of where and how to position your categories in your store. By taking this big picture view of your stores, you’ll also often hear it described as “macro space planning”.
But that is not its only function.
Along with this macro view of your store, your floor plan also allows you to determine how much shelf space each of your categories should receive. You can divide this space according to the overall sales contribution for each of your product groupings.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF FLOOR PLANNING?
When it comes to any discussion around floor planning, one of the first questions to ask is about its purpose. And it’s a valid question.The answer, however, isn’t as simple. That’s because any discussion will result in a conversation about multiple goals. A floor plan shouldn’t only attempt to fulfil one aim. Instead, it should satisfy three. And simultaneously so.
These objectives are:
- To please your customers with a logical product flow ;
- To reduce floor congestion during peak shopping hours; and
- To maximise the selling potential of your retail space.
Want to build the perfect floor plan?
In this ebook, you can learn everything you need to know to build and implement
floor plans that work for your stores.
THE FINANCIAL AND PRACTICAL BENEFITS OF FLOOR PLANNING
When it comes to answering the question about whether a floor plan is worth implementing, let alone worth building, you only need to look at the financial and practical benefits.
As a side note, the benefits below also speak to the objectives of pleasing your customers and making you more money.
First up, let’s look at the financial benefits. After that, we dig into the practical benefits.
Maximise the selling potential of your retail space.
By apportioning the correct amount of space to each of your categories, you can ensure that you don’t waste any of your floor space. By re-evaluating your retail data every six months - our recommendation - you can ensure that your store floor plan performs optimally.
GROW YOUR CATEGORIES
As we noted in the previous section, a well-built floor plan shouldn’t only strive to meet one specific objective. In that sense, your floor plan should allow for your different product groupings to grow. That happens when you give each category the proper space allocation relative to their overall sales contribution to your store.
INCREASE BASKET SIZES
One reason for designing a floor plan is to create a pathway for your customers to walk. If you’ve done it right, you’ll pull your customers through your store. As a result, you encourage them to shop more of your store, and in so doing, increase the size of their baskets.
Reduce floor congestion during peak shopping hours.
When a store is busy, it becomes unpleasant to shop. Since one of your goals is to please your customers, you need to find a way to ensure that.
By analysing the sales and unit movement of each category, you can design a floor plan that spreads out your high-traffic categories.
As a result, you reduce the possibility of congestion in your store during peak shopping hours.
CREATE LOGICAL FLOOR PLANS
With the help of a data-driven floor plan, you can position your categories in a way that meets (and exceeds) the expectations of your customers. More importantly, a logical floor plan both maximises customer experience and minimises any irritations.
DEBUNKING FLOOR PLANNING MYTHS (AND FINDING OUT THE TRUTH)
Just as there are myths about any other retail topic, there are also those surrounding floor planning. That said, the first thing you should do after hearing a rumour is to confirm it for yourself.
That includes researching the topic on your own and cross-referencing what you’ve found with different sources. Because as soon as you do, you’ll find out the truth.
Below are three such floor planning myths debunked.
MYTH: YOU ONLY NEED A HIGH-LEVEL STORE FLOOR PLAN
There is a perception that when building a floor plan, you don’t need anything more than a high-level version. That is, of course, not true. Not that it’s difficult to understand where this rumour originates.
Many view a floor plan as a sketch of how a store should appear. Looking at the definition of what a floor plan is could make you believe the same. What muddies the waters more is that from one angle, it’s true.
It is a high-level view of your floor space.
However, there is so much more to a floor plan than that. As much as it’s high-level, it’s when you get into the details of your floor plan that you understand its real power.
It determines how your customers shop your store and can mean the difference between a pleasant or unhappy shopping experience. For example, by spreading your high-trafficked products throughout your store, you expose your customers to more of your merchandise.
Thus, the truth is this: A performance-enhancing floor plan is the culmination of detail and data. More importantly, there are no shortcuts when it comes to building your floor plan. At least not an effective one. It takes time.
MYTH: YOU DON’T NEED DATA TO BUILD YOUR FLOOR PLAN
In this day and age where artificial intelligence and machine learning filters into just about everything, it’s difficult to understand why there is still a belief that you don’t need to consult data when building a floor plan.
It’s reckless to believe that.
That’s because of the simple fact of what you can do with data at your disposal. For one, you’ll know which of your categories are popular and thus highly trafficked. As mentioned above, with this information at hand, you can spread out your most popular product grouping, thus avoiding floor congestion.
On top of that, by spreading your categories out strategically, you can increase foot traffic around your entire store and expose your customers to more of your merchandise. That means more money in your pocket.
Of course, it’s not just for your benefit. It is as much about pleasing your customers as it is about increasing your sales and profit. Then again, if you focus on your customer first and provide for their needs and wants, the direct result is a boost in your bottom line.
Not using data to build your floor plan should thus be obvious: you’ll be working blind, hoping that what you’re doing is right.
The truth is you need to base sound business decisions on both logic and data. The same goes when it comes to floor planning.
MYTH: YOU DON’T NEED FLOOR PLANNING SOFTWARE
When building a floor plan for your store, it’s not enough to filter data into it and believe that you’re all set to go. While data is vital, you need something else to leverage it. That’s where specialised retail floor planning software comes in.
Let us explain.
If you’re not using specialised software, the chances are good that you’re using Excel or a similar program to build your floor plan. While it may be working for you, and it’s certainly cheaper, you need to think long-term.
As you do, you also need to think objectively about where you want to take your retail business. If you do, you’ll realise that not using specialised software will cost you far more than you expect. That’s because of the threat of human error and time-wasting as a result of making mistakes.
Meanwhile, floor planning software negates all of this and reduces the time spent on deciding your store layout.
Since it also incorporates your retail data, it’ll help you to apportion the appropriate amount of space to all of your categories according to their performance. And reliably so.
Of course, you could argue that software costs a lot. That said, over time, it will end up paying for itself.
COMMON FLOOR PLANNING MISTAKES
There is no harm in admitting that you’ve made a mistake. They happen. Sometimes more often than not. It is instead what you do after the error that counts. Of course, mistakes can also wreck your chance of success. That’s why it’s best to avoid them.
But how can you avoid them if you don’t know about them?
Below are three floor planning mistakes that you should know about so you can avoid them. As a side note, if you have made one of these mistakes, it’s never too late to correct them.
MISTAKE: YOU’RE NOT USING DATA TO BUILD YOUR FLOOR PLAN
We've mentioned the importance of data a few times on this page. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t repeat it. That’s especially true if you consider that the most common mistake is that retailers don’t use data to build their floor plans.
Since we’ve already mentioned what you can do with data, we’re not going to go into it again. Instead, we’re going to look at the data that you need to build a practical floor plan.
That’s because you can’t use any old retail data. You need data that considers your Product, Period, Fact, and Market . Along with that, you must know the physical size of your store and your retail fixture dimensions. With this information at hand, you’ll be able to determine not only your store layout but also your maximum selling space.
On the other hand, if you don’t use retail data, you’ll end up with a store that doesn’t reflect the actual behaviour of your customers and how they shop. In short, you could end up placing favourite products in the wrong sections of your store, thereby frustrating shoppers.
MISTAKE: YOU’RE NOT THINKING ABOUT HOW YOUR CUSTOMERS SHOP AT YOUR STORE
When building your floor plan, it’s not only about what you want to achieve as a retail business. You shouldn’t even think about yourself when creating your floor plan.
Instead, you should think about your customers first. More specifically, you should think about how they shop your store. That’s because by understanding them and knowing what they buy, you can design a floor plan that meets their expectations.
Here’s an example to further illustrate our point.
Imagine a customer walks into your store with a shopping list. However, once in your store, the first product they’re looking for isn’t where they expect. Neither is the next one or the one after that.
Before you know it, you have a customer who is flustered and confused. They’re not having a good experience in your store, and they’re even questioning why they entered your shop in the first place. That’s one of the last situations you want.
What is worse is that they’re likely to complain about your store to their friends and family. If someone close to them also has a horror story to tell about your store, that further entrenches the belief that they shouldn’t return.
MISTAKE: YOUR FLOOR PLAN ISN’T SUPPORTING THE STRATEGY OR ROLE OF EACH CATEGORY
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating a floor plan is first to build one and then try and fit the strategy or role you’ve chosen for each of your categories into that plan.
In truth, it should always be the other way around.
Only once you’ve chosen the role for each of your categories - and you’re satisfied with them - should you begin building.
That’s because, with each category role, there are strategies that can help you meet your specific goals.
For example, if you want to give one category a Destination role, you’d be better off following a strategy that builds traffic or generates excitement.
Meanwhile, if you’ve given another grouping a Convenience role, you should instead implement a plan that generates profit.
As a side note, there are four central category roles - Destination, Routine, Seasonal or Occasional, and Convenience . While some strategies overlap each role, many have their specific plans to help you achieve your goals as a retailer.
It’s also worth pointing out that you can either implement all four category roles in your store or decide on giving all categories one role.
STORE PROBLEMS THAT FLOOR PLANNING CAN FIX
There is a lot to say about the power of strategic floor planning. For one, it can help you to build a store that your customers want to shop. It can tempt them to buy more.
And then there is the fact that it can help you to address a myriad of problems that you can face as a store.
PROBLEM: YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH STORE LAYOUT CONSISTENCY ACROSS ALL YOUR STORES
When a customer walks into your store, they’re expecting to find what they want without too much fuss. That’s even if they’ve never visited your store.
Fortunately, smart floor planning can help you. A well-thought-out floor plan can ensure that each of your shops, no matter where they are, has the same store layout.
As a side note, when we talk about a similar store layout, we’re referring specifically to the fact that the positioning and order of your categories should be the same. It doesn’t matter so much about having the same amount of space per category.
You can’t expect to give your product groupings the same amount of space in all of your stores. For one, the floor area of your different stores will prevent that. Also, not each store caters to the same demographic. You must consider your target market and location and then localise your product assortment accordingly.
If you’re an FMCG retailer, for example, whenever a customer walks into your store for the first time, they’ll know from having visited another of your stores that the Bakery is on the extreme left. The Butchery is beside it, and nearby is your Fresh Vegetables category.
PROBLEM: YOU’RE STRUGGLING TO MAXIMISE YOUR SELLING SPACE
Finding new and innovative ways to maximise the selling space of your store is a problem that we’ve heard many times before.
That said, it’s a problem with a reasonably easy solution. That solution, of course, involves floor planning. More importantly, it includes floor planning driven by data.
A store floor plan assists you in allocating space and positioning each of your categories in your store. That said, you can’t do this effectively without retail data. And it’s not just about allocating the correct amount of space to your categories according to their performance. It’s also about giving each of your categories the exact amount of space to match the role that you’ve chosen for them.
For example, if you’ve chosen to give your Dairy category a Destination role, you’d need to ensure that it has the appropriate amount of space to reflect that. That includes giving it more space than another category such as Cereals which follows a Convenience role.
The result is you’ll have more money in your pocket since you’ve given shoppers the impression that you have all of their Dairy needs covered. Of course, there is more to it and other ways to maximise your selling space.
By creating a logical product flow, you please your customers. More than that, by spreading out your high traffic categories across your store, you’re exposing shoppers to more of your merchandise, subtly encouraging them to buy more.
PROBLEM: YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH A CONGESTED AND UNSHOPPABLE STORE DURING PEAK SHOPPING HOURS
For many shoppers, the whole shopping experience isn’t one to look forward to. That’s especially true if it’s the weekly (or daily) grocery shop that they can’t put off. Keep in mind, though, that in instances such as this, it’s not your fault.
It only becomes your fault when the cause of their frustration isn’t so much that they have to go shopping but that they have to shop at an individual store. Here we’re referring specifically to instances where a store is too crowded to shop.
The likelihood of facing a problem such as floor congestion becomes that much more plausible when you have a floor plan that you haven’t optimised.
So how can you use floor planning to correct this problem?
Simple: you organise your floor space so that not all of your most popular categories are alongside each other.
You can use specialised floor planning software to help you determine which of your product groups are your top performers.
For example, after analysing your data, you’ve found that two of your best performing categories are Dairy and Household Goods. You wouldn’t want to place them in the same aisle. Instead, it would be better to set them far away from each other to avoid congestion.
Just a warning here. You do need to consider your product flow and how your customers shop when spreading out your categories. One of the last things you’d want to do is design a store layout that doesn’t make any logical sense to shoppers.
MACRO SPACE PLANNING STRATEGY ESSENTIALS
Spatial awareness plays a large part in helping you to make full use of your floor space and increase your return on investment. More importantly, it can go a long way to encouraging your shoppers to walk more of your store, see more of your product, and keep returning for all their needs.
1. SPACE ALLOCATION
If you want to make the most of macro space planning, the key is to give each of your categories the correct amount of space on the shelf. In doing so, you’re providing your customers with a satisfying shopping experience.
More than that, by giving each category the right amount of space according to their overall performance in-store, you provide them with the opportunity to grow. It's one of the financial benefits of floor planning.
- Ensure your aisles are wide and spacious enough to shop comfortably;
- Allocate most of your floor space to selling areas and minimise non-selling areas;
- Consider sales history when allocating space to all categories; and
- Choose a space allocation tool to make this process easy and painless.
2. STORE LAYOUT
The goals of your store layout are to present your categories in such a way that you expose your customers to the maximum amount of products you have on offer. At the same time, your floor plan needs to ensure that store traffic flows smoothly.
It’s not a simple task.
It’s also vital you understand how the different parts of your stores connect. That allows you to design a layout that helps your customers navigate your store easily. And don’t forget that your floor plan also needs to motivate them to buy more than they intended to purchase when entering.
Of course, you can’t pick any layout . Your floor plan and arrangement depends on the products you sell, your location, and how much money you can afford to put into the design.
3. FIXTURE SELECTION AND MERCHANDISE PRESENTATION
The purpose of your retail fixtures is to attract the attention of your customers while simultaneously enticing them to visit a specific department.
Meanwhile, the presentation of your merchandise on your fixtures are usually organised from Brand to Category to Size to Price. To maximise your sales, you need to set your best-selling products and items in the most trafficked area.
Of course, be careful that you don’t overdo it and increase floor congestion.
As for the primary goals of your fixtures and product displays, that’s to develop a unique store image, which will ultimately create brand recognition.
The most favourable locations to merchandise your items include:
- Feature floor displays;
- Gondola or aisle ends ;
- Eye-level position; and
- Checkout and point of sales areas .
4. VISUAL APPEAL
By creating visual hooks in-store for your customers, you stand every chance at creating a memorable first impression. Lighting: Use overhead lighting fixtures to provide your store with enough light. That said, you can also use your lighting to direct shoppers down a specific path or highlight a product on display. Signage: The proper use of signage can go a long way to ensuring your customers never feel confused or unsure of where to go when they enter your store. By using category signage, you also make the shopping experience that much more enjoyable.
5. CUSTOMER BEHAVIOUR AND TRAFFIC PATTERNS
If you want to understand how your shopper shops your store, you only need to look at your retail data. It’ll tell you everything you need to know.
That said, it’s not only about knowing what they buy that will help you. To make full use of floor planning, you need to know so much more. This specific customer information includes the following:
- What shoppers buy;
- How they buy;
- When they buy and why;
- How these patterns shift through the day; and
- The role your categories play for your customers.
HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT FLOOR PLAN FOR YOUR STORE
Building an effective floor plan for your store is about more than placing your categories wherever you want.
Or giving them any amount of space. If you aim to be successful, you need to be deliberate in your approach.
STEP 1: CONSIDER AND DECIDE ON THE ROLES OF YOUR CATEGORIES
Before you consider doing anything around floor planning (in fact before your start with category management software), you need to decide the roles for each category.
The reason for that is simple. Aligning internally with the role of a category is useful to understand how your customers behave towards different product groupings in your store.
More than that, the idea behind defining each product groupings’ role is to understand the purpose of each category so that your efforts consistently contribute to helping the product group reach its goal. As a result, your whole business will prosper.
- Destination category;
- Routine category;
- Seasonal or Occasional category; and
- Convenience category.
STEP 2: DRAW UP YOUR INITIAL FLOOR PLAN
Once you’ve chosen your category roles, it’s time to draw up an initial floor plan.
It's an architectural or 2D drawing of your entire floor space. In doing this, you must ensure that you measure the actual size of your area to avoid any mistakes further on down the line.
Also, you must account for all of your fixed items such as your doors, fittings, till points and even obstructions. Once completed, it’s always helpful to walk your store to ensure that you haven’t missed anything.
That’s especially true if you’re tweaking an existing floor plan and it’s been a while since you set it up. You could find yourself coming across obstacles or additional fixtures that aren’t on your initial floor plan.
STEP 3: DECIDE ON THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF SPACE FOR EACH CATEGORY
Now that you have a floor plan, it’s up to you to decide where you want to place each of your categories.
Of course, it’s not just about placing your categories wherever you want. You also need to decide on the appropriate amount of space. You do this by analysing your retail data. The better a category performs, the most area it deserves.
As a side note, you shouldn’t just take your total sales into account when allocating space. You should also consider your units and profits contribution.
You also need to acknowledge what is left and right of your product groupings to ensure that it all makes sense to anyone shopping in your store. Again, your product flow is crucial .
And then there is the flow of your entire store. While you usually reserve the front of your store as a promotions area, you'd place popular categories such as Bakery or Dairy at the back of your store.
Keep in mind, as much as retail data informs you of how much space to give to your categories, their role (and the strategy you pursue) plays a crucial part too. It also helps you decide where to place a category in-store.
For example, if you aim to boost the sales of a low-performing category, you’d want to place it besides a high-performing grouping.
STEP 4: ANALYSE THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR FLOOR PLAN
If you want to create a floor plan that works for you rather than against you, you need to have a way to analyse its performance.
That’s why it’s also worth investing in retail floor planning software. Let’s take the example of DotActiv’s software, which includes a Highlight feature.
Once you have an existing floor plan open and have populated it with gondolas, you can click on the Highlights button. It leads to a window popping up where you can select the type of highlight you want to create.
You can highlight by almost anything, including Days of Supply, Sales, Unit Movement and more.
Once selected, you’ll see a heat map highlighting all of your categories. You can now start tweaking your floor plan, moving product types around to ensure that your high performing groupings aren’t all grouped beside each other.
By analysing the performance, you can also set about achieving the goals of floor planning, namely to reduce floor congestion during peak hours and maximise your retail floor space.
STEP 5: REPEAT WHEN NECESSARY
When it comes to re-evaluating your floor plans, you should do it once a year. At a push, you can review it every six months.
We go into more detail about how often you should update your floor plan in the next section below, including the two different changes you can make.
WHEN SHOULD YOU UPDATE YOUR FLOOR PLAN?
On the one hand, you can change the space allocation of your categories. On the other side, you can move your different product groupings around in-store. The second change essentially flips your store on its head.
Regardless of the change your make, you can handle each differently.
1: CHANGING THE SPACE ALLOCATION OF YOUR CATEGORIES
How often should you change the space allocation of your categories.
A best practice when re-evaluating the space allocation of your categories is to do it at least every six months. We’d advise you to reassess your space more often than that, updating it on a seasonal basis and for special events and promotions.
For example, during November and December (maybe even October), you’ll want to create displays for Christmas. These displays will have an impact on your shelf space, which will, in turn, affect the immediate categories nearby.
The same will happen if you create a display during any other seasonal occasion such as Valentine’s Day or Easter.
Fortunately, of the two changes that you can make to your floor plan, this is by far the least obtrusive. That’s because adjusting the space of your categories won’t confuse your customers. Your categories will still be in the same place.
Of course, when making such a change, you do need to be careful not to take away shelf space from your high performing categories. Also, when considering this change, it needs to make business sense.
WHAT LIMITATIONS DO YOU FACE WHEN MAKING THIS CHANGE?
Whenever you want to make a change, there will be limitations and obstructions. That’s the way it works. However, if you know these obstacles before you begin, you’ll be better prepared. That means you’ll also understand how to combat them.
In the case of changing the space allocation of your categories, there are two main limitations. They are Time and Money.
The amount of time it takes to adjust your floor plan impacts your overall productivity. You could quite quickly find yourself needing to close down a section of your store during implementation.
The cost implications of changing category space can be significant. Let’s say, for example, that you sell photographic equipment. If you need to update the space allocated to it, you might find yourself having to pack away the whole department during trading hours, which means lost sales.
2: MOVING YOUR CATEGORIES AROUND IN-STORE
While recommended that you change the space allocation of your categories regularly, as far as moving your product groupings around in-store, less is more.
In short, you shouldn’t make this change more than once a year. Of course, there is an argument to stretch that to every six months. While not recommended, If you decide to go that route, you need to do it for the right reasons.
The justification for saying the above should be apparent. Changing your categories around can lead to shopper confusion and frustration.
You only need to imagine your average customer walking in expecting to find a product where it has always been only to find it gone. As they look around, it’s not just that product. The entire categories are not where they were in the past. It’s disorientating.
On the other hand, you could find your staff preoccupied with changing categories around rather than fulfilling the roles they’re employed to do.
You can expect to face the same limitations (Time and Money) when making this change as you would if you’re changing your category space. That said, there are additional constraints to contend with too.
While it may seem insignificant, the number of plug points available to you can limit any ambitions you have for moving your product groupings around. Let’s say, for example, you have a category that is selling well, and you want to move it around to encourage growth. However, it needs refrigeration and extra plug points that you don’t have.
The fixtures in your store can prove to be a headache. That’s especially true if you have fixed shelving that you can’t move and that doesn’t suit the products you want to place there. Also, since it’s best practice not to put unrelated categories alongside each other, you could find yourself with a problem if you begin moving them around.
UNDERSTANDING STORE FLOOR CONGESTION
There is no doubt about the fact that as a retailer, you want more customers. More shoppers in your store mean you’ll make more sales and see more profit at the end of the month.
However, there comes a moment in time where having too many customers works against you.
For one, more customers mean you need to be careful about how you arrange your store. If you aren’t careful, it can lead to congestion. As the name indicates, floor congestion refers to the situation where your store is so busy that it becomes unpleasant to shop.
If it continues for a period, it could even lead once-loyal customers to consider shopping elsewhere.
As for how you can spot if your store is already struggling with congestion or on the brink, there are a few ways. One approach is to monitor shoppers who walk in, grab a few items and quickly pay instead of browsing and spending time in your store.
Of course, it could be difficult to determine if this shopper behaviour is always a direct result of floor congestion.
A better indication is if shoppers are walking in and out without passing your till points. If too many shoppers do this, you have a problem.
WHY DOES FLOOR CONGESTION HAPPEN?
There are two clearcut reasons why your store suffers from congestion. They are:
- Incorrect floor planning; and
- Not implementing data-driven planograms.
INCORRECT FLOOR PLANNING:
As we’ve already established, the purpose of a floor plan is to position your categories in a way that meets the expectations of your customers while ensuring a free flow through your store. To ensure this happens, you need to analyse both the sales and unit movement of each of your product groupings. By interpreting your data, you can design a floor plan that spreads high-trafficked categories evenly across your floor space.
NOT IMPLEMENTING DATA-DRIVEN PLANOGRAMS:
If you want to build a floor plan that meets the expectations of your customers, you need to use data in your planograms.
After all, it’s the data that will help you to determine how much space each product should receive on your planogram. And it’s the data-driven planogram that ultimately fits into your floor plan.
That’s because it adds to the overall flow of your store. It also ensures the proper positioning of your categories to avoid or reduce congestion.
HOW DOTACTIV APPROACHES FLOOR PLANNING
As part of DotActiv’s Enterprise solution , you’ll have access to our floor planning tool.
With this tool at your disposal, you’ll be able to build floor plans from scratch, import pre-existing floor plans, and analyse your floor plans using our Highlights feature.
HOW TO BUILD A BASIC FLOOR PLAN FROM SCRATCH USING DOTACTIV’S SOFTWARE
Upon opening DotActiv Enterprise, navigate to the Space Planning tab. Under this tab, you’ll find a floor planning icon where you can click on ‘New’. This brings up a Floor Properties window where you can add the dimensions of your floor plan.
You’ll also be able to give your floor plan a name. Once you’ve added all the necessary information, click on ‘Okay’ and a canvas will appear on which you can begin building your floor plan.
Your first step is to build your walls. You can do this by clicking under the ‘Tools’ ribbon where you’ll find a ‘CAD Object’ icon. A drop-down menu will appear once clicked on, giving you options from which you can choose. These options include ‘Wall’, ‘Line’, ‘Gondola Block (By number of drops - NOD), and ‘Aisle Indicator’.
Clicking on the ‘Wall’ option and then left-clicking and dragging down on the canvas allows you to begin drawing the walls of your store. Once you’re happy, you can right-click to exit the drawing function. At this, a window pops up asking you if you want to connect the last line you created with the closest line to complete the drawing.
Next up, you can create the gondola blocks where you’d like to place your gondolas (planograms). To do that, click on ‘Line’ under the CAD Object icon.
For easy navigation, you can hold your right mouse button in and scroll forwards or backwards with your mouse wheel to use zoom in or out. You can also highlight a specific item, hold the Control key on your keyboard and left-click and hold to drag it out to create a duplicate of any gondola block.
You can also add any obstructions (by clicking on the Obstructions icon) such as till points, pillars and other immovable items.
Finally, you can add your gondola files to your floor plan. It involves first finding them on your desktop or in a folder and then dragging and dropping them onto your floor plan. From there, all you need to do to complete your first floor plan is rotate your gondolas to fit into the demarcated areas.
HOW TO IMPORT A PRE-EXISTING FLOOR PLAN INTO DOTACTIV’S SOFTWARE
If you’ve already built a floor plan and want to import it into DotActiv’s software, you can do that.
Again, you’d open DotActiv Enterprise, navigate to the Floor Planning icon that appears under the Space Planning tab, and click on ‘New’. Once you’ve inputted your floor dimensions in the Floor Properties window, instead of building your Walls, you’ll click on the ‘Import DXF’ icon under the Tools tab.
After you’ve excluded the necessary layers, you’re ready to drag and drop your planogram files onto your floor pan. As a side note, if you can’t see your floor plan, right-click and hold in to zoom out.
HOW TO ANALYSE YOUR FLOOR PLAN USING DOTACTIV’S HIGHLIGHTS FEATURE
A third action you can take using DotActiv’s floor planning tool in our Enterprise solution is to analyse your floor plan. You can do this using our Highlights feature.
As a side note, if you want to analyse your floor plan, you first need to have an existing floor plan open and populated with planograms.
In the GIF, we’ve chosen a Sales Percentage highlight, which gives you a visual idea of which of your gondolas house your best selling categories and which are selling poorly. Then, on the right, you can select the type of Highlight. In this case, it’s Spectrum. Finally, you can customise what colours you want to use.
By clicking on ‘Okay’, you’re presented with a heat-mapped floor plan looking at Sales. If you want to look at your units sold or profit margins, you can repeat the process. Click on the Highlights button again, click on the Unit or Profit Percentage checkbox and choose the Spectrum highlight type.
In using the Highlights feature available in DotActiv Enterprise, you can understand which of your categories are your best performers and which are your worst. With this information at hand, you can begin to tweak and optimise your floor plan for the best result.
More than that, you can ensure that you don’t have too many high-trafficked categories grouped alongside each other, and in so doing reduce floor congestion.
LET DOTACTIV HELP CREATE FLOOR PLANS THAT MEET YOUR STRATEGY AND GOALS
Reduce floor congestion during peak shopping hours and maximise the flow of shoppers through your stores by creating strategic floor plans.
With our floor planning services, you get quick and efficient access to the skills and software needed to create data-driven floor plans. That includes tailored advice and suggestions specific to your retail environment.
WANT TO BUILD THE PERFECT FLOOR PLAN?
Regardless of what type of retailer you are or your size, you can benefit from implementing floor plans. But where do you start? And more importantly, what do you need to consider?
Your executive summary is the most important part of your plan. It comes at the beginning and is the first thing investors or lenders will read. If they aren't
Order finished floor plans with a flexible order system. With RoomSketcher you can choose to order or draw floor plans yourself. You can even go for a combo to
Preparing to Create Floor Plans · The walls from side to side and floor to ceiling · Where each door, window and entryway sits on the walls · The
Mar 15, 2020 - Explore lacie Hebert's board "Floor plans-business" on Pinterest. See more ideas about floor plans, how to plan, floor plan layout.
When it comes to creating the ideal floor plan for your small business, you must consider layout, design, and implementation. For an effective
Seven steps to a creating a floor plan to scale for any space · List requirements. Make a thorough list of the needs and wants of those who will occupy the space
Bathroom Plan · Bedroom Plan · Cubicle Plan · Deck Design · Elevation Plan · Garden Plan · Healthcare Facility Plan · Hotel Floor Plan · House Plan
Use the Floor Plan template in Visio to draw floor plans for individual rooms or for entire floors of your building―including the wall structure
They Create a Positive Shopping Experience · Floor Plans Prevent Possible Thefts · You Can Predict Customer Behaviour · A Strategic Layout Can Provoke More Sales.
Floor planning describes the entire layout of your store at a category level. In other words, it's a visual representation or retail blueprint of where and how