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Business Owners’ Tips for Your First Budget Fitout

Almost every new business owner has a strict budget for the first fitout.
There’s so many things to eat up that budget, so not spending on the wrong things is important.

Check out these owners’ tips to spread the budget wide and keep it on track.

“Work with what you’ve got” …..........................................David, retail operator
We had a strict start-up budget to work with, so we had to leave some areas of the shop untouched.
For instance, there was a wall of old, rough textured bricks which we could incorporate into the new shop design.
We also were able to keep the same ceiling and then hang a new bulkhead over the entry to create a new interesting level.
With some new lighting, it came up very well considering the tight budget we had.

“ Use features of the building if it has character” ………………………..John, café owner
We were lucky enough to come across space that suited us in an older building with quite a bit of vintage character about it.
The 50’s style screening and breeze blocks gave us plenty of inspiration for our fitout style.
It wasn’t until we actually got into the building that we came up with the design ideas, so the advice I’d give is to take inspiration from the building if you can.

“Don’t go for cheap materials: they won’t last the distance”…....……… Natasha, boutique owner
We’ve learnt the hard way in the past by choosing the cheaper end of materials and finishes for our shop. Not worth it!
All too often, the less expensive the product, the lower the quality.
We wanted to present our business as a quality one, but when the counter, shelving and flooring started to look shabby, we ended up having to re-do some of the fitout and suffer the cost.
So my advice is definitely to choose materials that will last a long distance.
Their added quality should stand up to wear and tear.
Talk to the fitout out team because they’ve got experience with using all types of commercial grade materials.

“Work with Light to get the right feel and a sense of well being”…………….. Jeannie, business owner.
Let in as much natural light if you can manage it.
Workers will benefit greatly by seeing the outdoors and knowing what the weather’s like outside.
If that’s not going to happen, then you could create a mirrored wall, use a light coloured floor and walls with greenery all around.
Try also to inject as much openness as possible into your office space so people don’t feet hemmed in.

“Don’t always think second hand kitchen equipment is economical” …………..….George, café owner.
My advice is to check with your fitout builders on the fine details before you buy second hand equipment from the auction room.
Physical size and power output are just two things you’ll need to check on, for instance, with refrigerated display, exhaust hoods and appliances. Near enough isn't good enough.
Auction rooms sell all types of commercial counters, shelving or appliances for the cheapest of prices. They can be a success, but not always.
Benches, display units, stainless steel sinks etc, need to be designed into the fitout to actually fit the space.
You can’t just buy them then “plonk” them in.
As well, you need to consider these items in terms of how the plumbing and electrics will be installed.

Plan the fitout carefully and prepare for your purchases before stepping in. Being budget aware will save you time, effort and money.

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