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Shop office is essential

When the time came that the Weiss brothers felt they could justify a new shop, the Bay City, Michigan, farm team spent time planning the new structure.

"This was a lifetime investment. So we felt it was crucial to visit other farm shops to get ideas," says Tom Weiss, who farms with his brothers, Dan and Terry.

One conclusion they came to quickly was that their shop needed an office. As shops have become many farms' headquarters, providing office space in that structure makes sense. "When salespeople or other farmers come to the farm, they just naturally go to the shop to find us," Tom says.

When the Weisses developed a floor plan for their 60×60-foot structure, they opted to incorporate space for the office under a 10-foot-deep storage loft that runs across the entire north side of the shop. Furthermore, they positioned the office in the northeast corner of the shop, which is the corner closest to the farmstead's main entrance.

The brothers also opted to keep the office separate from a kitchen. "The kitchen and nearby bathroom were necessities, as none of us live on the farmstead," Tom explains. "But we avoided a kitchen-office combination to cut down on traffic. This keeps the office strictly for business and provides a quiet place where we can talk, do bookkeeping, or make marketing decisions."

When the time came that the Weiss brothers felt they could justify a new shop, the Bay City, Michigan, farm team spent time planning the new structure.

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