Whether you’ve been in business for one year or 20 years, there’s a lot to be said for making a good impression with customers. In the United States, there are more than 30 million small businesses and all of them want to make a good impression and have a steady flow of customers. After all, when a customer enters your store, you want them to form a good impression, test out your products, and maybe even buy something.
But if it’s been a while since your storefront was looking brand new, then you might want to consider some much-needed business renovation. If done correctly, giving your business a facelift can make a huge impact on your business and have benefits that last a long time.
With any business renovation, there are practical improvements you can make such as trying to become more energy-efficient or eliminating obvious safety hazards. But a renovation can be so much more than that and help you really update and rethink the way you do business.
If a business renovation is in your future, here are some tips for ensuring that the needed work results in a successful transformation of your business.
Budget Your Money
There’s no doubt that renovation can do wonders for your business. Let’s say you opened up shop 20 years ago in a building that was in less than stellar condition even then. Fast forward 20 years: the exterior paint is probably faded and chipping. Your storefront sign might be faded with some letters missing and even though you might have some great products and services to offer, customers may discount your business because they’re unimpressed by your storefront.
Renovation can be as low-key or extravagant as you need it to be, but it’s important that whatever way you go that you budget your money. The simple truth is that renovations of any kind–whether you’re talking about business renovations of commercial property or renovations on your home–can be very time-consuming.
Because they are time-consuming, renovations may require you to close up shop for a while. And even if you’re the most successful business, it’s going to affect how much money you’re able to bring in. So with any renovations, you want to make sure that you carefully budget your money.
- Ensure that you do a business renovation you can afford.
- Ensure that your business isn’t closed for business very long.
- Ensure that you don’t go over budget and getting swindled by contractors.
Whatever your budget is, you need to be smart about any business renovation you do. Shutting down for a few days, a few weeks, or however long it takes is fine, but you also want to make sure you’re not doing your business a disservice. For example, you probably don’t want to do any renovations during the Christmas season, when you might see an uptick in business.
Keep People In The Loop
Once you know what your plan for business renovation is going to look like, you need to let people know what’s going on.
Your employees need to know about the work because it may affect their work schedules and their daily routines. You need to tell your customers too because your store hours may change if you’re open during the renovations or you may be closed altogether if you’re undergoing major renovations.
When it comes to telling customers, social media has made it easier than ever to keep them in the loop. If you know you have upcoming renovations that are going to significantly change your business hours or close your business for a period of time, you can easily post something on social media that explains the changes, what’s coming in the future, and thank your customers for sticking with your business.
Believe it or not, closing down for a little bit might be good for your business. Let’s say you want a popular restaurant in town. If you’re closed for several months for renovations and you have a loyal customer base, then your customers are going to be hankering for you to reopen so they can get your delicious food.
No matter how big a business space you may own, a business renovation can be the perfect time to make better use of your office space.
Take some time to think about how you can better make use of the space you have. Perhaps a few small reconfigurations can completely change the productivity in your office. Doing things like creating separate workspaces or designing meeting rooms, or keeping employees away from noisy areas, you can make your business way more efficient and allow your employees to do their best work.
Think About Your Brand
Doing needed business renovation may be the perfect way to give your business a facelift, but every change you make should somehow reflect the brand of your business as well as its goals and philosophies. In essence, you need to make changes for more than simply just the sake of change.
If you’re going to knock down walls or change the paint scheme, or even change up the sign out in front of your store, make sure that it reinforces what your business is all about and the values you have. If you go too far one way or the other it may just confuse your customers about what you’re trying to promote to them.
Business renovation costs money, it’s true, but there are many ways you can get the funds you need to complete the work you need to complete. It’s doubtful that any business location is perfect from day one.
If you want to install commercial glass doors and other new things in your business, you can go directly to a bank and take out a loan. Banks are going to want a good credit score as well as a solid business track record.
If you’ve got business insurance, it’s possible you can take out an equity loan, which lets you borrow against the value of the property. If going to the bank it’s the easiest of options, you can get a small business administration loan, in which the government acts as a guarantor. This doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the loan automatically, but it is easier to get. Essentially, the government backs the loan rather than the bank.
In this day and age, it doesn’t hurt to try crowdfunding for the money needed for a business renovation. Sites such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter allow you to share your story and have people pledge money to your project. In exchange, your business may offer rewards such as gift cards or promotional items to those who pledge a certain amount. Crowdfunding can take some work, but you might be surprised, even overwhelmed by the response and how much money is raised.
Gather All Necessary Information
You might have some big plans for your upcoming business renovation, but before you knock down walls, stock up on cans of paint, and put in calls to commercial roofing services, you need to take stock of the condition your business is in.
What does that mean? It means you need to look every inch of your business up and down and inspect it. Even if you’ve been in business for a long time, there are likely some areas of your space that have seen better days and may have even been overlooked over the years. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to inspection.
If the plumbing has seen better days, make notes on what needs to be replaced and look up local plumbing services. Plumbing is pretty straightforward; you need water to go in and the sewer system to go out. But with upgrades in material and technology, plumbing can be upgraded so that your business is more eco-friendly and energy-efficient.
If some of your business lighting is old, lightbulbs are burned out or you need a long-overdue installation of an office computer system, take note of what will work in your business space, and hire an experienced electrical contractor. An experienced contractor will make sure everything is hooked up correctly and will also ensure that the main power distribution panel is free of hazards and won’t have any blown fuses or power overloads.
Don’t forget your businesses’ emergency systems. Get local security contractors to come in and test all your commercial fire alarms, your sprinkler system (assuming you have one), and even your security systems. No matter how long you’ve been in business, you’ve worked very hard to get there and you don’t want to take chances when it comes to protecting your business and everything you’ve worked for.
Hire Some Help
No matter what kind of business renovation you’re doing, you’re likely going to need some help moving things in, around, and out of your space. When that time comes, you need to hire office movers.
You may think you can move things on your own, but odds are you have some very heavy equipment and it’s not easy to move. By hiring office movers, you’ll have peace of mind if nothing else. Movers are experienced in working in all kinds of spaces and with all kinds of equipment. As such, they’ll be able to take care of all your things, move everything exactly where you want it to go. You might end up saving a little money in the process since you’ll be working with professionals and not trying to do everything yourself.
There are any number of things you can do with your business renovation. But just because you can do so many things, doesn’t mean you can or should do all of them. If you want to install new windows in an office space that doesn’t have room for them, you might want to consider other options. If you want to install brand new equipment in a space that’s too small, you’re going to need to consider other options. If you’re on a budget, there’s probably going to be some things you want to do, but can’t afford.
At the end of the day, you need to be realistic about what your renovation is going to look like. Obviously, you’re doing it to give your space updates and upgrades, but it needs to make sense for your business.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Upgrading
If you’ve been in business for a long time, it can be very easy to get comfortable and used to the way things are. Being in business that long means you must be doing something right. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change with the times.
Say for example you’re the owner of a successful restaurant in your area. When your regular customers come to your establishment, they know they can expect to see a certain décor, expect a familiar taste to the food, and feel a certain atmosphere. These are all things that put your place on the map.
But if the roof is looking worn and that décor has lost its charm, and the lighting has dimmed, then you shouldn’t be afraid to have necessary renovations done. Renovations can breathe new life into your restaurant without it losing the charm that it’s known for. You may think that renovations may take away from some of the magic of your business, but don’t be afraid of change. New lighting, new tables, and even updated technology (like a point-of-sale system) can help your business keep up with the times and you can still do plenty to help it keep the atmosphere of old.
So whether you’re calling about roofers to replace your outdated roof or having an office floor installation done as you create a modern, open workspace for your employees, don’t be afraid of change. By gathering all necessary information, keeping your goals realistic, and sticking to a budget, you may just surprise yourself with how a long-overdue renovation can make it feel as though you’re opening up your business for the very first time.