Office Buying or Building Guide — What You Need to Expand Your #SideHustle

The time to make life happen is now. Women professionals are achieving awesome success, and they are doing it rapidly. As you grow your business, you may find yourself growing out of your current work environment. This means you’re ready to buy or build a new office!

This can be a scary venture if you haven’t ever done it before. That’s okay, though. We are here to help you. Follow this guide for buying or building a new office, and you’ll be in your new space being more productive than ever.

Buying an Office vs. Building One

Before you start, you need to decide whether you should buy or build an office. Answer these questions to find out what’s best for you.

  • Do you want an office that’s unique?
  • Do you want to have a certain location that doesn’t have an office you can use?
  • Will the cost be significantly less if you buy or if you build?
  • What does the real estate market look like right now in the area you want your office?

These questions will lead you to making a decision on whether you should buy or build.

Decision to Buy an Office

If you decide to buy an office, you will need to set yourself up for success. You will need key players as a part of your office buying team.

You will need:

  • Accountant — This person can help you decide how much you want to spend and what makes sense when you take your business expenses and profits into account.
  • Lawyer — This person will be your advocate and make sure your rights are protected throughout the office buying experience.
  • Commercial broker — This person will help you find your dream office. You may have to see a lot of properties before you decide on just one, but you’ll have a much easier time when you use a commercial broker.
  • Mortgage broker — Financing can be a headache if you don’t have someone who knows what your financing options are and can recommend what may be in your best interest for your business.

Once you have your team in place, you will be ready to find your new office.

You have some important considerations when looking to buy an office.

  • Location

Think about your location carefully. If you are serving customers, you want to be in a location that is accessible and convenient to them. The harder you make it for your customers to come see you, the less likely they will come to you.

You also want to make sure that you can access your office conveniently. There are going to be days you’re so busy that if making it to the office is too difficult, you may end up wasting time that could have been spent working.

  • Physical Condition

You don’t want to buy an office that has a lot of problems as soon as you walk into it. Be sure to have an inspection done before you sign on the dotted line.

If you plan to do renovations, it’s still important to use an inspector to make sure the building is sound, or you may end up with way more work and money invested in it later.

  • Check Limitations

Consult with your lawyer about any office building you’re interested in buying to be sure there are no limitations to its use. There are zoning laws that could prevent you from running your business in certain areas.

  • Future Opportunities

It’s always good to think about what you may be able to do with the office building later on, such as leasing, buying or expanding it. This way you will have options when you outgrow the space in a few years.

Buying an office can seem like a huge undertaking, but it’s not too bad. As long as you do your due diligence, have a team of professionals behind you, and think about what you need now and what you might need in the future, you will find yourself a great office space to grow your business.

Decision to Build an Office

The decision to build an office is an exciting one. It’s a blank slate on which you can create the perfect working environment for you and your employees.

Just as you needed an accountant, lawyer, commercial broker and mortgage broker for buying an office, you will need them to build one. You will also need some other people to build:

  • Project manager
  • Architect
  • Contractor
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Painters/Drywallers
  • Mason and Roofers
  • Carpenter
  • Interior Designer

Together with your accountant, lawyer, commercial broker and mortgage broker, you will be able to find the best location and land to build your office. Once that process has been completed, you can move on to the building stage. You will still need your accountant and lawyer for that because there are permits and costs associated with the build they will know more about to protect you.

When building your new office, consider a study by Gensler: Half of all employees would work an extra hour a day if they enjoyed their workplace.

It’s important to bring your team into the planning process of the office. You want them to feel valued because it will help them be more productive. Some of the considerations to make when planning and building your office building:

  • The floorplan should make sense to the type of work you and your employees are doing. Departments that work together to achieve one goal should be much closer to each other. This is about the space layout, space usage and workarounds.
  • When you start the design process, think of how people will work together. Random seating and collaboration areas promote team work. When you want higher productivity, have executive offices in the corner.
  • Don’t forget outdoor space if you have it. This can be a great place to work as well. You can have seating and décor that enhances productivity just as much as inside your building.

Get started on improving your office space with either a purchase or a build. The sooner you’re able to start, the sooner you’ll be able to start growing your business by leaps and bounds.

Sarah Landrum

After graduating from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR, Sarah moved to Harrisburg to start her career as a Digital Media Specialist and a writer. She later founded Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping young professionals navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers.

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