Adapting to Space: BA Designs
By Jamie Slack
Photos by David Vincent
Companies are much the same—adaptability is necessary to connect with current clients and to create a business that can evolve as necessary. Risk and instability are common variables in the world of small business. Not only are we competing with the grocery store across the street, we are also competing with Amazon, Blue Apron, and the like. In order for small businesses to survive in this global economy, they must recognize the signals of change in the market and make swift moves to innovate and provide a product or service that appeals to the changing needs of their customers.
ADAPTING TO SPACE: BA DESIGNS Beth Anne Branden and her husband, Russ, started BA Designs23 years ago, furnishing offices and designing new office space for companies all over the U.S.
The Brandens have always looked for new ways to combat the “dreaded cubicle” and create workspaces that allow for creativity and collaborationto happen within an office space. Continually adapting to changing office environments, BA Designs hit it big a few years ago by acquiring a government contract, which allowed the company to add more staff and create more product lines. The large contract provided financial stability that they had not seen before.
The contract also catapulted them into the large business office space. Once again, they had to adapt to their changing market. They added more employees and sought to stay on the forefront of office space design.
Business was flourishing when the need to adapt struck again.
“When the government slowed down in 2014, when the sequester hit, we lost half of our business,” Beth Anne said. “We had too many eggs in one basket. We really had to stand back and say, what are we going to do differently?”
For BA Designs, this was a make it or break it moment. “You don’t really want to talk about the time you didn’t make money, but unfortunately that is the big, in-your- face, rude awakening. It takes some type of crisis to say what’s happening,” Beth Anne said. “We had to adapt and do different things.”
As a result of that adaptation, the way the company attracts new clients and markets its products are vastly different today than in previous years.
“Today, we’re designing for millennials. They are the new decision makers and they want a completely different work environment.” Russ Branden said. “The new buzzword is resimercial—it’s how millennials want to work.”
So, the company now offers spaces that come equipped with kegerators, coffee bars and wide-open work spaces with soft and comfortable seating.
With its latest adaptation—BA Designs was recently acquired by PURE Workspace Solutions, a Kansas City- based company—BA Designs is set to double in size. Beth Anne says being part of a larger company will allow BA Designs to offer better savings for its customers.
“We look forward to our continued relationships with our existing customers and growing our market,” Beth Anne said.