Choosing the Right Shopfitter

Choosing the Right Shopfitter

Some of my clients are wary of using a shopfitter because they believe they can spend less if they manage the fit out themselves. This makes them reluctant to commit to working with a shopfitter upfront even though, in my experience, their assumptions are rarely correct.

As a business owner, one of your scarcest resources is time. Although paying a shopfitter to manage your new store fit out on your behalf may appear to be a large expense, it is important to view this as part of the overall picture. The role of a good shopfitter is to provide expert feedback and advice on costs and how buildable your design is. This allows you to make informed decisions through the design and fit out process. Also, once the fit out of your new store begins, your shopfitter will manage the timeframes, subcontractors and costs to deliver the completed fit out by the agreed opening date.

The real cost of managing a fit out without this expert advice can be found in the cost of the mistakes and also the cost to your time. Very few business owners start the day with spare time and if your time is suddenly taken up solving problems on site that are well outside your area of expertise, the other areas of your business will suffer. And for the few weeks leading up to the opening of your new store, managing the fit out and finalising the approvals is a full-time job. If anything is missed or there are delays, it will often result in a delay to the opening of the store and a further loss of revenue.

Choosing the right shopfitter depends on your needs and your level of experience regarding opening new stores. If you are not yet confident in this process, finding a shopfitter who will be generous with their time upfront and give you a little extra advice will be invaluable. Many shopfitters will be willing to put in a little bit of extra effort to help build the relationship upfront. But be aware that your shopfitter is not getting paid until you have signed the contract, so the service they can offer upfront will have a limit. However, if your shopfitter is only willing to come on board once they have priced the job, this may not provide you with the upfront advice you need to accurately predict cost and any buildability issues.

Your choice of shopfitter will have a significant impact on the quality of your new store fit out. Choosing someone who understands your vision and works collaboratively with the rest of your design team will ensure your vision is translated into a successful end result. Good communication between everyone is critical to making the fit out process smooth and enjoyable for you.