Shoppers have so many options these days, and you compete with neighboring retail stores, area malls and even the Internet. One of the smartest investments in holding on to sales and generating new revenue starts with a retail build-out that maximizes the in-store experience. While this type of construction expands business potential, it requires careful planning. Here are five things to consider before you get started on that build-out project.
1. Your Tenant and Landlord Agreement – If you haven’t looked at your lease lately, now is the time to go over the fine print. You want to be sure about financial obligations and building options for tenant improvements before finalizing any plans. If you’re moving into a new space and weighing the advantages of a retail build-out, discuss your ideas with the landlord, make sure you agree on the details, and get everything in writing. It’s also a good idea to consult with an experienced tenant improvement contractor about lease and agreement specifics because he can catch wording and language that you might not understand.
2. Tenant Versus Landlord Build-Out – Both tenant and landlord build-out options have pros and cons. When the landlord takes responsibility for the project, he deals with everything from architectural plans to subcontractors. However, you have no say in design, materials and scheduling. While a turn-key process is appealing, time and money saved might not offset your disappointment in the final results. Handling the job yourself can be time-consuming, but you don’t relinquish project control. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s critical to hire an experienced commercial construction company to oversee the job.
3. Permit and Zoning Navigation – Building codes ensure construction meets important safety and structural standards, and zoning restrictions help establish order as different entities compete for limited space. However, it’s hard to appreciate the necessity of these regulations when you’re trying to navigate through multiple information sources at various city and county offices. Permitting takes time, and your project can’t go forward without the proper paperwork. Consider putting this part of the job in the hands of a local commercial construction contractor. He understands your area’s permit, zoning and code regulations because he deals with them every day.
4. The Lure of Under-Building – While it’s tempting to take a minimalist approach to build-out plans, cutting financial corners doesn’t pay off in customer satisfaction. Cheap materials and fixtures convey the wrong message about your brand and undermine the shopping experience. Working with limited funds isn’t easy, but your contractor can help you make budget-friendly decisions that stretch tight dollars. A retail build-out doesn’t have to involve major changes to make a positive difference. If you enjoy a multi-year lease, complete your plans in phases, and give your bottom line a little breathing room.
5. Shortsighted Over-Building – It’s easy to dream big when you’re planning a build-out, but recognize the difference between what you want and what you need. Substantial structural changes involve everything from new flooring and entryways to reworked electrical and plumbing systems. It all adds up quickly, so keep a steady eye on the budget. A reputable construction firm can help you draw up designs and choose materials that keep the project affordable. If you plan on staying at the location for a long time, a substantial investment makes sense. If you’re on a short-term lease, remember that whatever you invest in a retail build-out stays there when you move on.
A successful build-out starts with smart planning, proceeds smoothly with expert oversight and finishes with a fresh look that attracts business. Our teams here at Stovall Construction are ready to help you through the process with industry-proven strategies and our special brand of personalized customer service. We excel at retail build-out planning and construction, so contact us today, and let us help you stay ahead of the competition.