If you or your company/organization/church already owns property for expansion, this article will serve more as a checklist to highlight items that may need further research. If you are meeting in a space that needs revitalization, this article will help you develop a plan based on facilities you already have. You may need to do some retroactive investigation to make sure you can confidently make decisions and prioritize your needs. If you are planning to one day purchase or lease property for your building, you will want to use this as your go-to resource until you close a deal.
Typically, buildings who need the most help, but who can afford it the least, are in the very beginning phases of seeking a permanent place to call home. You might be meeting in someone’s home, or leasing something that for various reasons isn’t meeting your needs. You know you need to be working toward change, but you aren’t sure where to begin. All sensibilities aside, the possibilities of where people could meet are essentially endless. The question becomes whether the decision is financially prudent, provides the possibility for expansion (if not, can be quickly sold or benefit the company in another way), and, most importantly, sets the stage for your culture to thrive.
Thinking about the vision for where your group might live can feel overwhelming and can provoke two opposite responses:
- Paralysis by analysis
- Hasty action based on little or no reliable advice
Both of these approaches have a tendency to exhaust the leadership and the space. Indecision will result in your building reaching the point of bursting at the seams, while hasty action (which is often based on urgency to show the group their funds are being used correctly) usually results in poor decisions and disastrous consequences (typically financial in nature). A conservatively proactive approach is a much better strategy. Long before you are ready to hire any professionals or make a purchase, you have a lot of work to do to ensure that when the time comes, you can confidently strike while the iron is hot!
Have you ever thought, “Could someone just tell me if this property would work, how fast I could get it, and how much it would cost?” It’s no secret that dealing with leasing and purchasing property is complicated and can move quickly! If you could quickly determine if a scenario is even feasible, you could save money and time. This is where feasibility studies come in. They are the fastest and most cost effective way to weigh a customer’s options. For example, say we have a potential property we are considering, and we are wondering if it will work – can we get the parking spaces we need; can we seat all the people; can we have band practice; can we accommodate the food distribution ministry? And, importantly, does this property offer a reasonable price point, as compared to our other geographically acceptable options?
A feasibility study can also figure out how your current facility could be expanded to meet your congregation’s growing needs. Or, the study could compare your current location to a different one, with regard to space and price. A feasible study could look at leasing versus buying.
Feasibility study – a concentrated effort to determine whether an idea is financially, strategically, functionally, and aesthetically feasible. This study typically involved a design team working for a short time to address one or more possibilities (sometimes for land purchases and other opportunities).
Such a study is the quickest tool to help you make decisions about your next move. A feasibility study does not go into great detail, but rather investigates the major considerations of a location, leaving the smaller items to study later.
Feasibility studies are the single best value product offered at PlanNorth because they offer the client a chance to compile all of the facts in a straightforward way, bringing clarity in preparation for good decision making.
If any questions come to my mind, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org