Businesses today are expanding faster than ever. As a business owner, the realization that you soon won’t have the space to store your products or even have any place to put your employees, (like this company just experienced), is terrifying. Operating in a space that perfectly fit your needs five years ago could now be causing all sorts of headaches, and even be affecting the quality of your business.
Imagine how your business could flourish if you had a hallway designed to work with the needs of your sales team. Or, a space where you didn’t have to use the storage closet as the conference room. The good news is that these types of spaces exist – and they exist in the form of a build-to-suit office space.
If you’ve decided your next move is to invest in a custom office build out, I’d love to offer a few tips on how you can get there and get the most value for your dollar:
- Assess long-term needs. Don’t just focus on your short term needs. It’s perfectly fine to consider your company’s growth plans – just be realistic about those numbers. Spend some time and think about how your business needs are changing.
- It all starts with a good conversation. After you’ve spent time reviewing your business goals and needs, the next step is to meet with a space planner and an architect. You’ll work with them to imagine what your ideal office space looks like. Does it have a full kitchen complete with a shiny copper espresso machine? Or, does it have sound-proof conference rooms complete with in-wall projectors? While these ideas might sound lavish, there’s a certain allure around creating an office space that is exactly suited to fit your business’ needs. And the build-out starts with a good conversation. While you’ll collaborate on ideas, tell them how you want the layout to look and how the office should flow.
- Consult specialists. Once you have the bones in place, think about the look and feel that will resonate with your customers. Your company’s image and personality should be reflected in your office space. Build-to-suit is uniquely fitted to display your brand in the colors, finishes, and architectural design of your space. (P.S. If you have a family member or friend who swears they were an interior designer in a past life, you might want to think about tapping into their knowledge when you’re deciding on color palettes and furniture.)
- Confirm a plan of action. As the saying goes: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Getting the most value for your dollar starts with the plan. Find out who will collaborate with who. This next step is complicated and time consuming – as it requires the tenant to send out request for proposals to various building landlords, then once the right space is selected, lease negotiations begin. Because the build-to-suit lease binds the landlord and tenant for an extended period of time, having as much detail as possible should be included in the lease documents.
Build-to-suit office spaces aren’t for everyone – or for every company. It’s a serious long-term commitment. Before moving forward, consider all your options and seek the help of a trusted advisor in your area for guidance.
Not quite ready to build out a workplace of your dreams? You may want to read our post on how you can lease a new space, smarter.