Starting Out - Fitout Tips for Beginners
We love to welcome new clients set up their commercial business premises.
It's a great partnership to work with motivated and energetic owners who've got a passion to pursue a dream.
Regularly we're asked to advise on the basics of setting up a shop, café, office, or medical fitout.
So, this week, here's our tips to get you out of the starting blocks and on track.
Brand your business with your Fitout.
If you've got your branding sorted, that's fantastic.If you're not sure of what your brand should look like yet, call in a graphic designer to help get you going.
Then, the next step is to make sure that the fitout complements it.
Is your brand speaking wild colour or subdued and subtle styling, old school or sleek and modern?
Be sure not to confuse your customers with mixed messages. There needs to be a strong link between the appearance and vibe of the two.
Pay respect to the building where possible.
Now, if your new fitout is in a shopping centre, there's often not an abundance of great architectural features to work with!
You'll need to consult the Centre Management to show them your fitout intentions.
However, many commercial fitouts often involve a renovation or refurbishment of an older building, so this may apply to you.
Examine the features of the space.
There could be high ceilings, an interesting window or door style, a staircase, an existing old fireplace and so on.
Take inspiration from those features in the design, and run with them.
Go for durability every time.
Don't be lured into choosing only the cheapest materials or furnishings.
Often the less expensive the product, the lower the quality. Not always, but often.
Whatever your business is, we're sure you want it to speak quality for service and products.
So, choose materials that will last a long distance and minimise the impact of wear and tear.
Domestic grade materials are usually not robust enough in a commercial fitout.
It's crucial to have your business premises looking good well beyond the first month of trading.
Work with what you've got.
If you're economising strongly, then it may be possible to leave some areas of the shop, office or café untouched.
For instance, there may be a wall of old, rough textured bricks which may be integrated into the refurbishment, or the existing concrete floor could be used cleverly by polishing or stencilling.
Let your head go with ideas here.
Remember though, that in food prep areas, seamless vinyl must be used.
Stretch the Space
If the space is small, then letting in as much natural light as possible is best.
If that's not going to happen, then a wall covered in mirror, a light coloured floor and walls or some really interesting lighting may help.
Creating impact with natural or artificial lighting, light colour or mirror can produce the Wow factor in a small space.
Try to create as much openness as possible.
Don't always think second hand is economical.
Sometimes auction rooms sell counters, shelving or commercial appliances for the cheapest of prices.
They sometimes are a great success but not always.
Refrigerated counters and display units, stainless steel sinks and benches, exhaust hoods, reception counters, office shelving need to be designed into the fitout to actually fit the space and to work with plumbing and electrics.
Check on the fine details with your fitout team before you purchase this way.
Physical size and output are just two things you'll need to be sure about.
There's always the hard yards to run when you're planning your business fitout.
Our final tip is to do plenty of preparation, and seek help from the experts who can advise you safely.
Then run with it!