You feel like your business will grow if you have better, bigger space. You are considering renovations. What are the top ten things to consider before you sign on the dotted line? It’s important to think through every angle of this project, or you may wish you’d never started.
It is important for entrepreneurs to remember that they are not the only one affected by their decisions. It is important to discuss all appropriate aspects of this with your staff before you agree to renovations. Whenever possible, get written agreements with your remodelers on everything you can.
Everyone wants to grow, but if you start a building project, will you impact your cash flow? You need to have money coming in at a fast enough rate to cover all of your bills and allow you to order new products. If you start renovating, your cash flow may grind to a halt.
There are a variety of reasons this can happen. Renovations cause many headaches including driving away customers who either don’t think you are open or don’t think you can handle their business.
How much of the project will you have to manage? There’s a lot to renovating your business. You could get sidetracked by the process. If you are the driving force behind your success, you may see your success slip away if you are too busy to handle your regular duties.
As the number one entrepreneur on the premises, you must be the leader and keep up morale. You need to watch what happens at their level, experiencing the renovations through their eyes and the eyes of your customers. This way you will see problems coming and address them in real-time.
Furthermore, if you are not only the boss but the day-to-day manager, your business may suffer while you are looking at flooring samples. You need to stay active, managing your employees and overseeing the daily operations as if renovations weren’t happening.
Construction tends to stir up dust. Big trucks may tear up the concrete or simply use up all the space in the parking lot. How will this affect your customers? Will they even come while this is going on? How will it affect your employees? They may be upset by the seeming chaos. Your parking arrangements may be challenged by equipment, stacks of supplies, and trucks.
Your contractor needs to give you written assurances about how the overall infrastructure will be protected. This will range from how the crew will control their mess outdoors to how they will clean up after themselves indoors. For instance, will your contractor use construction mats to protect the concrete and the grass? The more you get in writing, the better off you’ll be.
While the construction is going on, will the work be able to continue? It’s quite likely that you will move your operations into one-half of the building while the other half is under construction. Perhaps there are workers who can do their jobs from home. Perhaps you will move to another location for the duration of the work. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to conduct business if there is noisy construction on the other side of the wall.
The most important thing you can do is to answer all of these concerns before you sign a contract. Once you’ve legally agreed to the work, you will use your leverage with the contractor.