Considering improving your business or medical practice? Looking for a better office space or simply a fresh location? If yes, you need to find an experienced office renovation company. Look no further than the Rod Johnstone Group, which are one of the best commercial fitouts Townsville located company providing its professional services anywhere in North, Central, and Western Queensland.Read more
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.
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.
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.
Ordering a commercial construction is a part of your business as a building owner/landlord. Your next step is to find tenants to occupy the spaces. We’ve worked with several commercial businesses and business owners in our time, and have a few tips for you.
- Scope out the neighbourhood
Before commercial construction can even begin, you’ll look at the surrounding real estate and scope out the competition. Do you see any similarities or gaps that your building can fill? How can you make your space stand out, or attract a similar business to others in the area? If your project is being done in a high-income or high-traffic area with little available real estate the odds are in your favour.
- Think like a tenant
Think about your target market or have a casual conversation with businesses in the existing commercial properties. Are they happy with where they are? Some shop owners want to expand or set up another location nearby. Ask them about their landlord as well and make notes about what you can do (or do better).
Think about amenities as well. Parking space for staff and clients, amount of floor space (metres squared), and location are among the top of a tenant’s wishlist.
- Get a property manager
These guys are the experts in putting office space up for lease after the commercial construction is completed. Their office is also the public face of your building when putting up ‘for lease’ or ‘for rent’ signs.
Property managers don’t have the same emotional attachment to the building or the tenants as landlords do. This is how they easily deal with problems like setting the rent or evicting tenants. When your commercial construction is done, the property manager will organise advertising, interview tenants, and deal with them after they move in.
- Make the space showroom ready
Your commercial space is on the market, and it’s time to dress it up. Or at least make sure it’s clean. The trades who took care of the commercial construction will clean up after themselves, but getting a professional cleaner is worth the expense. Depending on the type of building you’re leasing, you can furnish it for show. Or you can just leave it empty and let the visitors use their imagination.
- Can you offer incentives?
The commercial property market is experiencing a ‘glut’, and on top of that other commercial building owners are offering pretty attractive deals. Phrases like ‘free rent for a set period’ or ‘furnishings included’ are thrown around on advertisements.
If this doesn’t suit you, highlight the amenities and benefits that tenants will experience. Highlight the coffee shops and post offices nearby that businesses will use everyday. What cost-saving measures did you put in during the commercial construction?
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A commercial builder gets called in when there’s a shopping centre, warehouse, or other type of business project to take on. The title might look straightforward, but the job description isn’t. Commercial builders do a lot more than make office blocks.
Safe and sound
On site, commercial builders or master builders rarely pick up tools themselves. But they do make regular visits to check everything is up to standard, safety-wise. They’re required to have certification in building codes, safety obligations on a worksite, and qualifications in fault assessment.
A commercial builder might have past experience on site, but in their current role they delegate that work to others.
Commercial construction firms have subcontractors under their umbrella. This includes the usual trades like plumbers and carpenters, alongside designers and architects. Before any work is assigned, the builder will send people to the potential site for measurements and assessment. After that a quote is sent to the client with prices and potential completion dates.
Behind the scenes
A commercial builder shifts paper rather than wood frames. They submit plans/tenders for approval, manage work crews, and do what they can to make sure the project is completed on time and on budget. This means they’re also in charge of supplying the materials for the build. This includes: concrete mix, wiring, piping, wood, tools, etc. They carry out work, but not the physical type.
Commercial builders communicate regularly with the client to give them updates. When they’re on the worksite, they’ll make an inspection with the on-site project manager to make sure everything is getting done safely. They also need to check that the building is up to code and there’s no faults.
They’re also learning constantly. A master or commercial builder regularly receives updates about building legislation, laws, trends, and more about the industry. They keep their skills up to date and must renew their license every few years.
Commercial renovation projects are an expensive practice. Before you’ve gotten the project off the ground, you must consider money and how much you have available. The building is already there; you just need to find a way to “refresh” it without emptying the budget.
Reuse and recycle
Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s useless or broken. Keep the employee’s desks but add a lick of paint. You might even consider restoring it. Freestanding furniture is easier to move around compared to ones that are built into the building. Therefore they’re easy to transport to and from a workshop.
If the furniture is beyond renovations themselves, companies have the option to buy in bulk to keep costs down. There’s second hand/vintage shops as well that can save lots of money without sacrificing quality.
Renovation means out with the old and in with the new and more efficient. Older buildings aren’t fitted with eco-friendly options. This means various bills, and the carbon footprint, are through the roof.
It’s important to discuss new fittings with the builder and where you want them. Contractors replace a lot of lighting and plumbing fixtures during commercial renovation projects.
One of the points of a renovation is updating the space. This is used as an opportunity to get rid of items that clutter a commercial space. Discuss a minimalist approach with the builder’s designer and architect. They’ll find a way to make the space more “open” and airy. Open plan offices are getting more popular because they let in more natural light and boost productivity.
Buying new costs A LOT when it comes to tech. Photocopiers, monitors, phones and more will burn through cash quickly when bought fresh off the production line. Some businesses have solved this dilemma by renting instead.
Just because a space is getting renovated doesn’t mean money should get spent on anything and everything. Discussing the budget with the builder, restoring the furniture and going green are some ways to keep costs down.
Office fitouts are an opportunity to establish your business and lay down foundations for your future. Although it’s one thing to say “we’re building an office”, it’s another matter actually doing it. Before you sit down with your contractor, think about these points to save time in discussion.
Too much of it means higher rent. Too little of it means employees will feel shut in. Open-plan office spaces are on the rise as opposed to cubicles and is shown to boost efficiency and a positive atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to be specific about how many square meters you want.
Your office is the physical form of how you want to present your brand to clients. Impressions last long after they leave. Having brand colours through the office is a good place to start, but using dark colours isn’t recommended. If they’re in your brand’s logo and want to integrate that, use the colours sparingly.
Designers recommend colours that reflect light and promote focus, like warm yellows or offer a sense of calm, like pale blues. “Focusing” colours are meant to be used sparingly in offices. Painting a whole wall red will make employees more agitated than focused. Schemes like this are important to decide on early in the fitout.
Use of natural light is a great way to put workers at ease. People naturally are attracted to the outdoors and shutting them away inside does nobody any favours. Companies organising an office fitout are more conscious of where the best “real estate” is in their space. Rooms with windows are great for meetings because the view will give ambience. Offices with views are still a status symbol and are much coveted.
There’s also the issue of what types of lights to put where. One type of light doesn’t cut it in an office. Brighter types are used in work areas for better focus whereas lower fluorescent lights are fitted in hallways.
There might not be much in the budget to splurge on new furniture. A more cost effective and waste-saving option is restoring what you already have. This is a significant saving you can spend elsewhere.
If you do have to buy new fittings, consider multi-purpose items. This includes desks with drawers. Employees can have files in their own work area and in return the general office gets more floor space.
Every commercial building project will have various people involved. They seem to be doing similar things but their jobs are quite different, and this leads to some confusion. Example; “aren’t an architect and a builder the same thing?”. No, they’re not. Here is a breakdown on the job titles so that you know who is in charge of what on site.
A commercial builder or a firm has the resources to get the project off the blueprint and into real life. They have a network of subcontractors like electricians and plumbers on call to get the technical work and heavy lifting done. Builders do as their job title suggests and are seen both on the building site and behind a desk. They have technical knowledge about building codes, building laws as well as how to submit tenders and contracts. Commercial builders work directly with their clients and co-ordinate their sub-contractors to get the work done properly and on time.
On site, foremen are the principals of the schoolyard. They make sure that the rules are being followed on site and that the quality of work is up to standard. Foremen also work as a liaison between the seniors on the project and the trades on site. They’ll give reports to the builder or project manager or get them on the phone when the trades have a question.
Builders are more about the inside and the technical. Architects work with the outside and how the building appears. They design buildings to a brief depending on what the client wants and make design changes accordingly. They are more involved with the project during the initial planning stages and not seen on site unless called.
A structural engineer’s job is vital during the planning stage. They make sure the commercial building will stand for a long time and not collapse because of poor load-bearing. Building services engineering has several subsections. Environmental engineers make sure a project is “green” and sustainable. Electrical engineers work in the “bones” of the project, designing the electrical systems for the building.