4 Steps to Help Plan a Shop Fitout
It can appear to be very challenging when faced with the prospect of arranging a shop fitout for a new or existing commercial space. Taking the time to plan and prepare for the fitout can make this process a lot easier and can ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible. From the look and feel of the space to its available facilities, you should take into account what will increase staff productivity and improve your company’s image.
Whether the electrical fit-out is part of a complete fitting or just by itself, this advice will help you in the planning process. As a business owner, you want to make sure the fitout process runs as smoothly as possible. By following these 4 simple steps, your office or shop will be ready in no time.
1) Ask Where, Why, What, When and Who
“Where is the shop fitout required?”
While the answer may be obvious if you’ve owned the relevant space for a while, this is an important question for business owners that are just acquiring or planning to acquire a site. Make sure that you are fully familiarised with the commercial space you want the fitout for. This may sound a very obvious point, but the more you know and understand about the space, the more you can understand potential issues going forwards.
“Why do I need an office or shop fitout?”
Again this may initially seem like a simple question, but think of the reasons and plan for any future decisions too. Are you expanding an existing space with the potential to expand further at a later date? What are your main objectives, not just for now, but for the future too. Will the fitout have an impact on these plans?.
“What kind of electrical work do I need to be done?”
This is where you will most likely need to have a consultation with an electrical contractor to ascertain all the work that will be required. You may have an idea, but discussing your plans at length with a contractor will help you to identify and understand additional work that you may not have realised or taken into account. This will help you manage your expectations as well as your budget. Installing alarm systems, heating/cooling units, interior and exterior lighting are just the basics you’ll need for a commercial electrical workload.
“When do I need the fitout to be finished?”
Do you have a specific timeframe for the fitout? If you have already established that premises have to be open or available at a certain time period then you need to ensure that there is sufficient time for the fitout to be completed. Again it may seem obvious, but this ties in with the understanding of exactly what work is required. Project planning and management is essential to ensure that everyone keeps on track with the work required.
“Who will perform the commercial electrical fitout?”
This is possibly the most important point. You will need to ensure that your contractors are licensed and qualified electricians and have prior experience with the work you want to have done. Having the right team will not only ensure you receive personalised advice for your business, but you’ll also have the peace-of-mind of getting quality work and excellent long-term results.
2) Implement efficient system designs
Basic systems like lighting and temperature control can be upgraded to more efficient and ‘smart’ technologies. So, if energy efficiency is a top priority for your commercial electrical fitout, then you might want to consider:
- Lighting: What types of lighting will you use? From overhead luminaires and desk lamps to energy efficient LEDs, there are a lot of options and solutions for your office lighting.
- Electrical equipment: Do you have enough power and data connections for every workspace? Are there enough safety switches to protect all of your staff?
- Air conditioners and thermostats: Where are the best points for their installation, and how will they be controlled? We recommend you make an efficient operation schedule so you don’t have to pay astronomical bills to your energy provider.
3) Think about how to keep your business running during a shop fitout
If you are upgrading an existing workspace then it’s important not to ignore your need for business continuity. This means that the fitout work should have minimal impact on customer accessibility, staff productivity and customer satisfaction. In order to achieve this, think about:
- Leaving key areas or departments undisturbed at important times during business hours. Also, you can choose to carry out your fitout after business hours. This is extremely important if you are migrating IT and telecoms systems to a new location to avoid disrupting communications.
- Make sure your clients are still able to contact you and interact with you during the design and construction phases of your new fitout.
4) Know your legal obligations around electrical safety
Electrical safety at work should be your number one priority. The fitout plan should comply with the law if you want to avoid potential legal problems in the future. This also includes getting a certificate of electrical safety for all electrical equipment, as well as providing fire services, smoke alarms and emergency exits. Ensuring that you use only qualified, registered engineers and electricians to carry out any of the electrical work means that this shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
If you would like to discuss any aspects of your new office or shop fitout, please contact our friendly staff and we will work to assist you throughout each step of the fitout process.