As a charity trustee faced with uncertainty do you have a niggling worry that your premises may not be ideal?
When it comes to managing the organisation, charities are no different from businesses and need to think the way the best businesses think, to optimise their activities. After all, efficiency in a charity is vital.
• Charities will be assessing their working practices post-COVID, to see if anything can be learned from changes which have in many cases, been forced upon them. What were we forced to change? How did we respond/adapt? How was working from home? What aspects can we retain for the benefit of:
1. our efficiency,
2. our staff health and welfare and
3. the environment?
• Charities will be reappraising their requirement for premises in the changed world we are waking up to.
1. Do we have the right space on the right commercial terms for the way we will operate in future?
2. In an ideal scenario, what space and agreement would suit us best?
3. Is what we have, an asset or a rather large millstone?
• Charities will be looking beyond the short-term, virus-created recession and asking:
1. What does our business plan tell us about the “container” we will need, to put our charity in (its premises) and how will that need to change with time?”
2. How far into the future can we look and say “this is what we will need”? That I call the business horizon.
Try this analogy as a helpful way to view your premises. Think of them as you would a key member of staff. They will be benefitting the charity by what they do, every day. They are the “right fit” for the charity in terms of appearance and presentation, and they are trained and resourced to be most efficient. They are looked after and nurtured to maintain that positive contribution and paid/rewarded accordingly.
Do you look upon your premises in that way? As an asset to the charity making a positive contribution, not a rather distasteful overhead sucking on the cashflow? Which way do you look upon your employees?
Thanks to Jim for writing this blog for us.
Jim Culverwell FRICS is an independent commercial property adviser with over 36 years’ experience in the sector, which he employs to assist charities and businesses large and small in their property dealings. Jim offers charities and not-for-profit organisations discounted fees to encourage them to seek advice.