commercial construction

Commercial construction, branding and image: tying it all together

Building your business when commercial construction is complete is tough unless you’re a franchise. If you’re an independent business owner striking it out on your own, getting a brick-and-mortar shop is half the job done. The other half is making it customer and employee-friendly.

 

Think about how to tie everything together. This includes:

  • Your brand
  • Your image
  • Customer experience
  • Employee welfare

 

You also want to set yourself apart from your competitors. This is easy to do, right from the planning stage. Ask yourself ‘what can I do better?’ You can do things for both customers and employees if you include these in the commercial construction design.

 

Your brand and image

What sort of image do you want your office to project? High end corporate? Or would you rather the youthful vibe of a startup? When you’re part of a franchise, this is easy to take care of because you must follow a set design. Working as an independent operator, though, you have a lot more freedom.

During the design stage of the commercial construction process, collaborate closely with the interior designer and play around with ideas. You can collaborate with local artists for murals. Have exposed brick walls instead of traditional plasterboard. Buy furniture in block colours and use the cushions to play with patterns and textures.

 

Employee welfare

These guys spend their entire day at the office, so it’s important to keep them in mind at all stages of the commercial construction. Create spaces that fit  your company values and ethos.

You can have common rooms or collaborative areas where employees can ‘hang out’, or have a hot desk system so people can sit wherever they like every day. You mightn’t be able to provide tennis courts and swimming pools like the Google offices, but it’s okay to start small. A fun addition for both employees and customers is an outdoor entertainment area, like a patio or rooftop bar.

Customer experience

Like employees, you don’t want your customers to feel confined. Open reception areas that allow customers to look into the working area lends a sense of intimacy. They can look at the ‘worker bees’ doing their thing and see the faces behind the brand.

Your offices doubles as a meeting space for clients. Floor-to-ceiling windows facing a garden area will lend a relaxing atmosphere. After the commercial construction is complete, look at extra amenities that can boost your image with them. It can be something as simple as luxury soap like Aesop, or even a coffee machine for each conference room.

office renovation

6 hacks to save on operating costs BEFORE your office renovation finishes

If you think your business is leaking money, an office renovation gives you the time and opportunity to ‘plug’ them once and for all. Energy and water saving measures, combined with a little ‘self-improvement’, can save money and provide peace of mind by the time you move back in.

  • Choose LED

LED lights have more staying power and energy-saving benefits compared to bulbs used in older buildings. Plus they’re less harsh on the eyes and won’t give workers a headache.

LED bulbs have a higher price point and will add to the expenses of your renovation. The benefit lies in the amount of money you’ll save on bills. Also, they only emit 10 watts of electricity compared to the 60 watts of an incandescent bulb. That’s less heat impacting the environment.

  • Waterproof with WELS

Speak with the builder about using WELS approved fixtures in the plumbing. These choices guarantee a decrease the amount of water used every time someone turns on the tap or flushes the toilet.

According to the Australian government website, WELS fixtures use two-to-three times less water than regular taps and whitegoods. The higher the star rating, the better the saving.

  • Furniture

Good office furniture lasts for years. Office renovation is an excuse to shop around for new stuff, but not at the cost of blowing out your budget. Rather than get all-new chairs and lounge suites, get them reupholstered. It’s not as easy as just taking delivery of new stuff, , but it’ll save a few thousand dollars. Plus, if it’s not broken, don’t dump it!

  • Machines

Your monitors are just as guilty of using too much electricity as anything else in the office, and are  often overlooked because people focus on the lights.

You can kill two birds with one stone. If possible, have staff use laptops instead of having desktops at every workstation. You can then hire monitors for the desks that staff can access at any time. These are usually LED monitors that have the added bonus of consuming less power during sleep mode.

  • Cut costs

An office renovation gives your business a clean slate, and the improvements don’t stop with changing the fixtures or the furniture. Use the downtime from the renovation to look at your books to see what’s being spent where, and if there’s need for improvements in general.

During the design stage of your office renovation, consider making some rooms dual-purpose and having a more ‘open plan’ office space. You’ll cut operating costs and employees won’t feel so confined.

  • Not just window dressing

Curtains and tinting aren’t just for show. When the sun heats up the room, the auto-cycle on the air-condition works overtime to cool down the space. Curtains, louvres, and other types of window dressing are pretty but they’ll also save you a bit on electricity.