So, you’ve decided to renovate your retail store. We know it’s a big step, that requires figuring out a lot of logistics. As much as retail renovations open your brand up for a new stage in its life, it can put a hold on your daily operations. The key to a successful retail project is to have clear planning and have a smooth beginning. So, if you’re renovating your retail store, keep in mind these 6 tips to prepare yourself for a renovation.
Get ready to learn some great tips on preparing yourself for a retail renovation
Tip #1: Plan Your Budget and Stick to It
Renovating a retail store is a big expense, but a necessary one. Make sure you develop a budget for how much you can allocate towards the renovation and think about applying for a renovation/remodeling loan. No matter what your budget is, make sure you stick to it. Many remodeling projects go over budget because clients change their minds or don’t plan for unexpected issues. Therefore, it’s important to add at least a 10% cushion to your budget in case of an emergency. Also, make sure you are specific about what you want and don’t make many changes, so you can estimate costs upfront before starting the renovation job.
Tip # 2: Research and Plan
The biggest mistake people make when doing a renovation is failing to make a proper plan. You can save yourself from this mistake by spending more time researching and planning for what you want your renovation to be. Everything counts, so make sure to plan ahead. Set a budget and a timeline, do your research and have a back-up plan that includes room for setbacks. The more detailed you are, the more prepared you’ll be for the process. Like we stated before, also try to minimize what you change as this is one of the biggest headaches during renovations and what causes the most price fluctuations.
Tip #3: Ask for employee input
The fact is, your employees know your store better than anyone else. They cover the floor countless times a day and can, therefore, give you suggestions about how to incorporate better storage, display, and point of sale options. Explain to them what you want to achieve and incorporate their suggestions into design ideas. This way, it makes it easier for your staff to feel part of the process and it will make it easier for them, and you, to deal with a renovation project.
Tip # 4: Save Costs by Planning Infrastructure Changes
When you start tearing down walls or raising ceilings during your retail renovation, you may come across the extra expense of moving existing infrastructure. Plumbing, ductwork and electrical systems don’t necessarily need replacing during a retail renovation, so plan on working around them and working with what you have in place. Plan all the infrastructure changes ahead of time and stretch your remodeling dollars out with designs that improve your space without the cost of relocating infrastructure.
You should also find out which walls are load-bearing, as changing layouts can sometimes affect these. Check your blueprints to see which walls are load-bearing and which are just partition walls. Your contractor can also help you identify which ones those are.
Tip # 5: Develop a Realistic Timeline
Very few retail stores keep the doors open while a renovation project is in place. Customer traffic usually slows down workers and a construction environment can limit the space available for doing business. Make plans for closing vs having a longer construction timeline. Think about having your workers work at night. Determine what schedule works for your business and discuss the options with your contractor so that you have realistic expectations.
Make sure you set the rules and expectations with your contractor. Let them know your budget and your cushion. Setting these expectations is a priority to make sure your renovation project is a success.
Tip # 6: Interview Several Contractors
When deciding who will do your retail renovation, make sure you choose a commercial contracting company that specializes in retail renovations. Speak with several companies before you decide on who to hire. Get recommendations for good contracting companies from neighbors, friends, and local real estate agents. Try to talk with at least 3 before making a decision. A reputable contracting company will have a project manager sit down with you, listen to your proposal and answer all your questions. The best candidate for the job will appreciate the time you took in planning all the design elements. Experienced renovation companies will be able to provide suggestions on what other retailers have done to deal with the remodeling process, amongst other suggestions.
We know a retail renovation is a process that, while not easy, will help your retail store out in the long run by helping update it, make it stand out and improve its overall image. These 6 tips should leave you better prepared to deal with your retail renovation.
Did you know that re:fab can help you with your retail renovation? We have over30 years of experience doing retail renovations and remodeling. We know how to get the job done fast and done right. Contact our excellent customer service team at 1-800-690-2539 for inquiries and click here for a FREE Estimate!