There is a real skill to an in-situ or small office refurbishment. It takes dedication, time and some out of hours working or very creative thinking. All companies will tell you they can provide the service but in order to do so they will usually charge you an outrageous amount of money!
Small budgets and awkward projects are often scoffed at in the office fit out industry, everybody really wants the sweet spot projects and clients as they usually put a lot more value on profit than creating partners. My early years were shaped by these small projects, being creative with budgets and working unsociable hours to ensure the projects success.
Step 1 – Be up-front about your budget. A lot of clients are coy around their budget but by being up-front you are able to see a businesses true desire from working with you. If it is small and seems like hard work a lot of companies will back off right away showing their true colours and the value, they put on you as a potential client. They are simply looking at you as a transaction and not your lifetime value to the business.
Step 2 – Be realistic with your demands. The build industry requires time, there is always a sequence and a speed that dictates a project timeline and it’s important to respect this and be open-minded. Of course ASAP is occasionally a requirement for all of us but most of the time we have more time than we think.
Step 3 – Identify the key results you want out of the project, separate the nice to haves from the necessities and see who can provide you with the best of both worlds. Your office expenditure is an investment in your people and their performance so understanding this and working with a partner who shares the same belief will help for a smooth project.
Step 4 – Ask for creativity and be open minded. I am sure you have an idea of what you want but be prepared to listen to the experts advice. In our market the labour is expensive and materials cheap so if you are prepared to make sacrifices then it may help your budget stretch a little further.
Step 5 – Look for a partnership out of the relationship. Perhaps a larger company pitch better for the work but a smaller company will be able to provide you with a more attentive on-going service. Choose the company best-fitted to the project you have now not the project you have in a year or two to come. Offer referrals, references and public thanks through social media too. A savvy business will understand the value of that is worth a few £££ off the bottom line.
Step 6 – Look for an individual who has hands on experience. Many in our industry have learnt in a boardroom and not on site. I would choose somebody with hands on experience every day of the week for these projects. Until you have built a project over a number of weekends you just don’t know the nuances and the variables that can go wrong!
If you have a small refurbishment project, then hopefully these tips help you choose the right partner. If you need any further assistance, please do reach out to us