5 Ways Office Refurbishment Can Boost Productivity

Your office is, first and foremost, a place of work. That means that, when it comes to refurbishment, your priorities should be a little different than they would be in other commercial settings, like restaurants and shops.

In restaurants, the top of the priority list would probably be to create a design that creates the right ‘atmosphere’ for your customers. In shops, a functional design that makes it easy for customers to shop would be best.

In office spaces, though, it’s all about productivity.

The primary goal of office refurbishment is to create a space that enables you or/and your employees to work their hardest – to create an inviting, bright space that increases effort and minimizes stress.

But can the design alone really achieve such a goal? The evidence seems to suggest so.

Several studies on workplace productivity have found that an employee’s physical environment is the most important factor affecting their ability to focus. In fact, many have suggested that a well-designed office space can boost productivity by around 20%

But how exactly can a refurbishment boost productivity? Let’s find out:

1. The Colour

Did you know that color is very closely linked to human psychology? Colors impact our thoughts and feelings in all kinds of subtle ways, a point which we’ve already written about extensively in our article ‘The Importance of Colour in Commercial Refurbishment and Shopfitting’.

When it comes to productivity, it’s been shown that the color blue is important. Blue can elicit more productivity and create a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere.

Lots of colors can also cause distractions which can be detrimental to productivity. That’s why most office spaces opt for light colors and minimalist designs.

A good shopfitter will carefully assess and plan the best colors to use in your office space to meet your needs.

2. The Lighting

A well-lit office is extremely important to productivity. Good lighting can help you to stay focused, awake, and creative. Bad lighting, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect.

It’s been shown that spending a lot of time in dim or dark spaces can impact your mental health and cause or worsen depression. It can also leave you feeling lethargic, miserable and unproductive.

Lighting that is too strong or unnatural can be equally bad, causing headaches and eye-strain. If, like most others, your office space contains computers, then bad lighting can also lead to glare which can make it difficult to see what you’re doing and further damage productivity.

A comprehensive shopfitting service will look at lighting as well as the design and use of space in the office, and make sure that the lighting is suited to the space.

3. Space Organization

In large offices with many people, space is probably the most important factor impacting productivity.

Workspaces need to be designed so that employees have adequate room to move around so that they can do their jobs better and faster.

Desks need to be far enough away from each other so that employees aren’t constantly distracted from the person next to them and have a degree of privacy.

Departments or individuals that need to communicate with each other frequently need to be close enough that it doesn’t take minutes to walk across to them to get the information they need. The quicker they can communicate, the more they’ll get done.

Toilets, chillout/common areas, and kitchen spaces all need to be in the right place to maximize productivity.

A good shopfitting service will handle all of this for you. They’ll take the time to talk to you to better understand the nature and needs of your business and design the best use of space possible around that.

4. Access to Nature

One thing we know about human psychology is that we’re deeply affected by the natural world around us. If we break it right down, we’re all still just animals that have evolved to survive in a natural environment.

If you take that natural environment away, it can have a dramatic impact on our mood and productivity. For example, studies have shown that people who have access to a window with a view onto a green area like a park tend to feel happier than those that don’t.

Office spaces are indoors so, naturally, they do limit our access to the natural world. That’s why it’s worth considering a refurbishment which brings some of the outside into your office. This is especially important if you’re in an office that doesn’t have windows.

Large plants, natural; wooden flooring, and skylights are all ways this can be achieved, and a good shopfitter will consider all these options and more when planning your refurbishment.

5. Temperature/Air Quality

Both temperature and air quality can have a big impact on productivity.

Poor air quality can limit your ability to focus. It can also damage productivity indirectly by boosting the spread of bacteria around the room, which can mean more employees get sick and take leave.

In terms of temperature, an office that is too cold can be a distraction – employees might be too busy shivering to focus on the task at hand! Similarly, an office that is too hot can lead to employees feeling sluggish and lethargic. Both of these will damage your productivity.

Managing temperature and air quality effectively means hiring a shopfitting service to carefully plan air control units in your office space. It may mean improving or changing your air conditioning setup, or adding air filters to recycle the air and improve air quality.

5 Ways Commercial Refurbishment Can Save Your Business Money

The most important financial consideration that the management of a business has to make is deciding the best way to invest the funds available to them. It’s necessary to make sure you’re getting the most out of your cash and making the best decisions possible by carefully considering whether any investment you make will offer worthwhile returns for your business.

When it comes to shop fitting, this can sometimes be a tough call to make. A good commercial refurbishment can cost your business thousands of dollars, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re going to see adequate returns on this investment before you begin a project.

To help you make this decision, we’ve put together this list of five reasons that a commercial refurbishment might actually save your business money in the long run.

1. Increased Sales

The most obvious reason to invest in a commercial refurbishment is to boost your annual sales. When it comes to retail spaces, a good shop fitting service will make your store more attractive to your customers which may, in turn, boost your sales.

In fact, there are lots of anecdotal reports of businesses experiencing a turnover increase of 15-30% in the 12-24 months following a store fit-out. This is usually more than enough to justify the cost of the initial investment as, with these results, the fit-out more or less pays for itself within a couple of years.

Even if your store doesn’t see an immediate increase in turnover, you’re likely to see the benefits over a longer period of time, as the new fit-out may very well strengthen your branding and lead to long-term gains and increased customer retention.

2. Efficiency

A new shop-fit out can increase the efficiency of your business operations in many ways, which can save you money by reducing business expenses and thus provide a return on your initial investment via savings.

One way in which it can achieve this is by integrating energy-saving lights and other electronic devices in your business space. Switching to energy-saving lighting can reduce your electricity bills and your carbon footprint. This has the added benefit of making your business more environmentally-friendly and attractive to the conscious-consumer market.

A shop fit-out can also make your store more energy-efficient in other ways. For example, installing new windows and doors with adequate installation can keep your store warmer and make you less reliance on central heating, reducing your heating bill and saving you money over time.

In addition to making your store more energy-efficient, it can improve your efficiency in a more general sense too. For example, your store may benefit from updating equipment such as checkouts and barcode scanners to newer models, allowing manual tasks to be completed faster and potentially reducing the time your staff needs to spend on these tasks.

By rearranging the layout of your store, it may be possible to make the use of space more efficient, so that tasks such as store merchandising and cleaning can be completed faster and more effectively.

3. Fewer Repairs

Updating your old fixtures and equipment to new models will likely make them more durable and less likely to fall into disrepair. Whilst it might be tempting to cut down on the costs of a refurbishment by using old fixtures, this might not save you money in the long run as you’ll have to frequently replace this equipment when it becomes damaged.

Updating your equipment and fixtures is important for other reasons too. From a health and safety perspective, using old equipment may increase the risk of your staff or customers injuring themselves whilst on business premises. Loose screws, jagged edges, and damaged flooring can all be health and safety hazards.

Not only is this bad business practice, but it could also potentially lead to lawsuits if a customer or staff member was to be injured and pursue a claim. Refurbishing your store or business premise every few years will minimize this risk by refreshing the space and making it safer and more up-to-date.

4. Free Marketing

A typical business allocates a large portion of their funds to their marketing budget. This makes sense as your advertisements and promotional efforts ultimately drive sales and profitability. However, you may be able to save on marketing costs by refurbishing your store.

This is because your store itself can function as a marketing tool. A store fit-out could redesign the front of your store to make it more eye-catching and enticing for passing customers. This is often a better promotional tool than any billboard or poster could ever be.

Having a store refurbishment also gives you a great opportunity to do a full-scale ‘relaunch’ of your store. A relaunch provides the perfect promotional opportunity as you can market the relaunch event and drive new customers to your store, boosting sales and providing returns on your investment.

5. Deter Shoplifters

It might seem not seem intuitive, but refurbishing your store might actually help with loss prevention by helping you to minimize losses from shoplifting. The layout of your store can have more of an impact than you might think on how difficult it is for shoplifters to target. In some cases, changing the layout of your store can be more effective than investing in security personnel.

For example, changing the layout so that the more expensive items are at the back of the store can help to prevent grab-and-run-style opportunistic thefts. You could also utilize fixtures that make it more difficult for shoplifters to access expensive products, or increase the visibility of certain areas of your store by rearranging it so that your staff/security cameras always have a clear line of sight to every area.

Made Up Your Mind?

If you’ve already made your decision, and you feel that your business could benefit from investing in a commercial refurbishment, Whiteoak Developments may be able to help. Our team of professional shop fitters can help turn your design ideas into reality. Get in touch today to find out what we can do for you.

5 Things To Think About Before Hiring a Shopfitter

Having your shop refitted can be an exciting time, but there is also a lot of planning involved. Rushing into shopfitting can often lead to situations in which the customer is unhappy with the end result.

With the right amount of preparation, shopfitting can be a positive experience that increases the success of your business. In this article, we list 5 things that can help you to ensure that your shopfitting experience is positive and productive.

1. Your Budget

Budget is often the driving factor behind most shopfitting decisions, and that’s why it’s important that both you and the shopfitter you plan on working with have a clear idea of what you are willing to spend and what you want for your money.

Before taking on a shopfitter, you should make sure you have a good understanding of the average prices for shopfitting services, and how much the services you require should cost. Of course, every shop is different, so you’ll want to be able to determine exactly what your shopfitting will cost ahead of time. You can arm yourself with a rough idea of what you can afford beforehand which will then help you to find a shopfitter that is willing to work within your budget.

2. Your Timescales

Timescales are extremely important when organizing shopfitting. Depending on the type of shopfitting services you require, your shop could be out of action for hours, days, or even weeks.

It’s important to consider the impact this can have on your business and address this before arranging shopfitting services. You will need to decide how much time you can afford for your shop to be out of action so that you can communicate this to your shopfitter. Without clear deadlines in place, the whole operation could take longer than you expected and could end up costing your business too much money and time.

Try to be clear with the shopfitters about how much time you have and how you would ideally like the whole project to pan out. If you have found a reliable shopfitting service, they will do their best to accommodate your needs and carry out the project with the minimum amount of disruption to your business. You should, however, be prepared for the possibility that it will take longer than expected, and allow yourself a kind of ‘buffer zone’ in your plans to minimize the impact that this may have.

3. Design Ideas

In order to achieve the end result you are looking for from your shopfitting service, you need to have a good idea of what you would like the end product to look like. The shopfitters will likely be able to help a lot with this once you’ve hired them but, in order to get an accurate quote, you’ll want to be able to give the shopfitters as much design guidance as possible.

Spend some time researching different shopfitting trends, materials, colour schemes, and fabrics and compile them to show to the shopfitters when you first meet with them. With the use of the internet, this is pretty easy to do. You can use popular sites like Pinterest to prepare a board which will give the shopfitters a feel for what you like and the sort of designs you are hoping to mimic. Once they have this, the shopfitters will be able to build on this and use ideas gathered from other sources to create unique designs that fit your brand and budget.

4. Reputation and Reliability

When you begin to think about hiring a shopfitter, it is important that you don’t jump in feet first with the first company you meet. Although they may be the company you choose in the end, it’s a good idea to sample the market and see what else is available first. When it comes to shopfitting, most companies are reliable and offer excellent customer service. But, as with anything, there are some companies that won’t. Before officially hiring a shopfitter, you should always check out customer testimonials and reviews.

If the company you are looking at has a high proportion of good reviews, you could be onto a winner, but you should still pay close attention to any negative reviews that you find to see if there are any trends to customer dissatisfaction. For example, even if 95/100 reviews are positive, if the other 5 are all unhappy about the same thing, it might indicate that this is a problem area.

It’s difficult for companies to maintain 100% positive reviews, but check out what the negative reviews have to say because they could have experienced issues that might heavily affect you. For example, previous customers who didn’t have a tight timescale may have been happy with the service, but customer working to a deadline might have been unhappy with the turnaround times. If these are things that could be a problem for you, you might want to try a different company.

If you’re struggling to find companies to work with, you could also try to ask for recommendations. Head into shops that you love the design of and ask the manager if they know which shopfitters they used. Most people will be happy to share the information and might tell you a bit about their experience too.

5. Your Business Goals

Shopfitters are more than just shop decorators – they also have a wealth of expert knowledge about how their designs will affect your business. When you meet with a shopfitter, you should discuss with them what you are hoping to achieve from your shop’s new look. Maybe you have a particular product line that you want to take centre stage, or perhaps you want to modernize your electrics and POS systems.

The shopfitters can help you with all of this and they can also advise you on the right lighting choices, layout, and features to help you to achieve your business goals.

The Importance of Colour in Commercial Refurbishment and Shopfitting

Commercial refurbishment and shopfitting are all about creating commercial spaces that keep customers happy and make them want to spend more with your business.

In a retail space, this might mean making sure merchandise is correctly displayed and providing a comfortable, spacious environment for customers to shop in. In a restaurant setting, this might mean creating a space which is warm, relaxing and inviting for customers to dine in so that they keep coming back. For an office, it might mean designing a space that is conducive to productivity so that more work gets done. Whatever your business is, it’s important to make sure that this commercial space is well-designed and a good shopfitting company will do this for you.

But there is much more to shopfitting than meets the eye. It’s not just about selecting appropriate shelving and display units. Shopfitters are keenly aware of consumer psychology and make the best decisions they can to attract customers into your shop, and one key component of this is selecting the right colours.

Why Are Colours Important?

Believe it or not, colours affect the way we behave in many subtle ways. You might not feel that seeing a certain colour evokes a certain emotional or physical response, but it often does. Many studies into the psychology of colour have been completed over the years and the results are clear – colours really can incite us to take specific actions.

As colours only really affect our subconscious, it might be difficult for your conscious mind to accept that your decisions really are affected by colours. To assuage any doubts, let’s look at some proof.

Take the McDonald’s sign, for example. You know that strikingly familiar red and yellow that it uses? Well, they chose that colour because it makes us hungry. Ever notice how a lot of fast food restaurants use similar colours? Burger King, Hardees, Pizza Hut… the list goes on and on. The effects might be subtle, but they affect consumer behaviour enough to warrant companies to base their
whole brand image on them.

So why is it that red and yellow makes us hungrier than other colours? One theory is that it’s due to the wavelength of the colour. Colours like red and yellow have long wavelengths and thus are related to ‘warm’ things like fire. Conversely, colours with short wavelengths, like blue, are considered ‘cool’ colours.

Several studies have looked at the different effects of cool and warm colours on consumer psychology. Some have suggested, based on the results of controlled experiments, that warm colours like red and yellow, attract attention and speed up the blood flow of our bodies, this blood flow goes to our digestive systems and consequently stimulates our metabolism, which causes hunger.

It might also be due to simple association. We learn to associate the things around us with their colours. This subconscious association might affect the way we see other things of the same colour and the feelings they evoke within us.

In our representative example above, the answer might simply be that many people like McDonald’s and, therefore, associate red and yellow with the brand. Other fast food companies might want to capitalize on this and make their brand logos red and yellow in the hope that customers will associate them with McDonald’s and eat there instead.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that colours are important. Now that’s been established, let’s look at what effect different colours can have on commercial spaces.

Shades of Green

What are the first things you think of when you think of the colour green? Two answers that might have popped into some of your minds are money and plant life.

Dark greens and wood colours can lend a commercial space a feeling of elegance. They can make a room feel quieter and more natural. This makes these colours a popular choice in offices, restaurants, and retail spaces where natural imagery is important to their brand image.

Brighter greens have a slightly different effect. They hold connotations of health, which makes them ideal for retail spaces which sell healthy lifestyle products, such as health and fitness stores, juice bars, organic restaurants and more.

Pale greens have similar connotations but are more calming, which makes them more suitable for relaxed environments like spas and massage parlours.

Blues and Purples

Remember how we said that blue was a ‘cool’ colour? Well, this gives it a calming effect. It’s unassuming and creates a sense of calm and control. It’s also associated with authority figures, dependability and trust. As you might have guessed, it’s often used in banks, offices and in uniforms. It’s also a versatile colour that can work well with other colours and can be used to create interesting designs.

Many people associate the colour purple with passion, creativity and originality – particularly darker shades. You’ll see purple often used in beauty stores, clothing shops, and hair salons.

Black and White

Black is powerful, dramatic, and sophisticated. We associate black with boldness and power, so it’s often used in high-end establishments alongside accent pieces of brighter colours to lend the space an air of class and sophistication.

White, on the other hand, is simple and clean. Consumers associate it with cleanliness, simplicity, freshness and professionalism. It’s often used in office spaces and certain retail stores. It’s also the perfect background colour and can function as a blank canvas to set off other colours.

What Else is Important?

Colour isn’t the only important consideration to make when designing a new commercial space or fitting a shop. It’s just one of many tools that shop fitters and interior designers utilise to create the perfect interior atmosphere.

Fixtures, use of space, lighting, music, temperature and scene all combine to make a space what it is. Relying on the above colour guidelines isn’t recommended as, whilst these associations are common, not everybody is the same. Different customers will react differently depending on their culture, life experience and personal preference.

A good shopfitting company will be able to take all things into consideration and come up with a design solution that fits your customers and brand.

What Fields Contribute to Commercial Refurbishment?

Designing and stocking a store is a unique skill, and it’s one that takes experience and expertise to master. However, many people fail to realize just how much goes into shopfitting and why it’s worth bringing aboard experts when it’s time to open or revamp a shop. Here are some of fields that influence commercial refurbishment and why they’re so important.

Psychology

The field of psychology is broad, as it’s based on the study of human behavior. Countless psychological studies have shown that small factors can influence whether a visitor is likely to make a purchase when visiting a store, and commercial refurbishment experts use this information when working with clients. Professionals can help you redesign your entire store’s layout, but sometimes a few small tweaks can have a major impact. Furthermore, commercial refurbishment experts can explain the reasoning behind their suggestions, allowing you to make the most of your redesigned store.

Marketing

Marketing is often viewed as a subset of psychology, and for good reason. When you work with a shopfitter, you hire someone who knows what the latest in marketing research reveals and how store owners can use it to their advantage. Maximizing your store’s potential requires ensuring all elements of your store work toward your goals, and marketing is a cornerstone to these efforts. Marketing also involves following the latest trends and determining if they’re worthwhile. If you’re interested in new marketing ideas, Commercial refurbishment experts can provide valuable insight.

Accessibility

Laws and regulations ensure that stores are appropriately accessible to people with disabilities. These laws can help you maximize your client base, but they can also be difficult to interpret. Commercial refurbishment experts study these rules and cases where they’re relevant, and they can relay this information to you when you’re opening or reopening your shop. Accessibility mistakes can cause you to lose potential customers, and they can lead to fines. Furthermore, errors can cause you to have to pay for potentially expensive redesigns. This expertise is invaluable, and the cost of hiring a commercial refurbishment experts is typically far lower than the cost of failing to provide adequate accessibility.

Energy Expertise

Green businesses are more likely to attract customers, and energy-efficient businesses can enjoy the benefits of lower power bills. Commercial refurbishment experts understand how important efficiency is when running a store, and they can provide valuable guidance. They can help you set up a store that minimizes waste while still providing a comfortable environment for customers and clients. Although it might still be worth hiring an independent energy expert, working with a commercial refurbishment expert can ensure you get off to a strong start.

Logistics

Although customers will only visit your store during certain hours, running a shop requires a substantial commitment. Maintenance is essential for keeping your store safe and welcoming, and restocking supplies is essential for maintaining your day-to-day operations. Commercial refurbishment experts understand the long-term process of running a store and can help you design yours to be easier to maintain. Factors as simple as making cleaning supplies easy to access can help prevent messes and clutter from building up.

Artistic Sensibilities

Strong branding is essential for making your store memorable to current and potential customers, and the commercial refurbishment expert you bring aboard can help work to create a cohesive brand for your store. Although you may want to hire an artist to create your logo and other elements, the guidance you receive from commercial refurbishment experts will be invaluable for ensuring you make the most of your artistic elements. Furthermore, stores need to be painted on occasion, and a fresh coat can help you enliven your store. Commercial refurbishment experts can point you in the right direction and find the right experts to help you along your way.

Construction Knowledge

In some cases, shops require significant reworks to best make use of their space. A commercial refurbishment expert can help you work through options for redesigning the physical layout of your store and work to uncover ways to do more with your limited space. Not all stores require extensive work; in many cases, a few small changes are all that’s needed. However, knowing what options are available is useful when making decisions for the present and the future.

Running a store is about more that just providing products and a place for customers to gather. Fortunately, expert help is available, and hiring a commercial refurbishment expert can ensure you’re on the right path. If you have any questions about commercial refurbishment, maintenance, or shopfitting, make sure to contact us to find out more.

How Experts Can Help Your Commercial or Retail Refurbishment

When launching or refurbishing a shop, store owners often feel it’s best to tackle the project alone. Bringing in experts, some think, can detract from their vision. In reality, however, most stores will greatly benefit from expert help, and shopfitters and refurbishment experts can help make the change as effective as possible. Here are a few of the reasons why experts are work consulting along the way.

Clarifying Your Vision

Envisioning your dream store is a great way to get started with a refurbishment. When it comes to putting a plan in action, however, complications almost inevitably arise. Details matter, and experts can work with you through all the elements your refurbishment will need. It’s easy to overlook small but critical details along the way, and problems that arise can compromise your vision or lead to much higher costs. Working with experts ensures you can meet your goals and achieve your perfect store.

Making Your Vision More Effective

Preparing a store is an art, but there is a considerable amount of science involved in the process. Psychological studies have given invaluable insight into what helps impress customers and sell products, and hiring an expert will grant your access to decades of research. In nearly all cases, these changes won’t interfere with your vision for your store, but they can help you make decisions about the implementation process. Refurbishment experts will work with you to find the ideal way to combine your vision with best practices.

Cutting Costs

There’s a reason why so many people work with refurbishment experts: The money they help you save is typically far less than the cost it takes to hire expert help. As with most fields, navigating the market for supplies and other products is a skill that takes time and experience to master, and these cost savings can be passed on to you, allowing you to use your money in more important areas. After working with an expert, you might find that you can achieve even more ambitious plans than you originally envisioned.

Space Efficiency

In most cases, shop owners can’t realistically expand their store while remaining in the same space, so using your space the right way is essential for making the most of your investments. There’s been a considerable amount of study into how to make the best use of limited space, and experts can share this information with you to craft your perfect store. Furthermore, experts have ample experience working with stores of all shapes and sizes, and their expertise can give you ideas you’ve never considered before.

Setting a Timeline

Refurbishments are notorious for taking longer than anticipated. As the owner of a shop, time spent on refurbishment can lead to fewer sales, potentially causing significant financial pressure. By working with professionals, you can better craft a timeline for your refurbishment and better plan out the process. Furthermore, you can even break your refurbishment into discrete stages, allowing you to keep your store up and running while refurbishment phases are underway. Even being able to stay open an extra day or two can cover the cost of hiring an expert to begin with.

Stay Within Regulations

Accessibility laws help ensure everyone can access stores, but these laws can be notoriously complex. It’s easy to run afoul of these requirements while refurbishing your store, which can possibly lead to fines. Furthermore, violations will need to be rectified, and this can lead you to have to revamp your design at a potentially high cost. Experts understand these laws and can point to where your vision needs to be tweaked in order to remain compliant. This expertise also ensures your store is accessible, so everyone who wants to visit is able to do so safely.

Preparing for the Future

Fads come and go, but there are always future changes store owners need to keep an eye on. Your networking infrastructure, for example, might become key for customers in the future. Refurbishment experts keep track of these changes and develop the judgement to know which changes are likely to be relevant in the future. A bit of preparation can go a long way to future-proofing your store, and working with professionals is essential for properly preparing.

Working with refurbishment experts doesn’t require you to change your vision. On the contrary, they provide the feedback and framework you need to bring your vision to life. If you have any questions about how refurbishment expertise can help in your store’s launch or redesign, make sure to get in touch with refurbishment experts to learn more.

Six Ways New Technology Will Change Shopfitting

The development of new technology has always had a strong and immediate impact on the world of commerce. New hardware and software is very quickly translated into practical applications for online and offline businesses. You might be thinking of fitting out or refurbishing a retail space in the near future. Here we’ll examine six ways in which these new developments will affect both the process and the result of your shopfitting endeavour.

Cashier-less shopping
Major retailers are now experimenting with shops that allow customers to make purchases without ever having to interact with sales staff if they do not wish to. This can be achieved by a number of means. Some systems use mobile apps linked to credit cards which the user can scan themselves using the camera on their phone. Other setups use cameras to observe customers and link that to information gathered by bluetooth sensors to determine their identity and the products they have chosen. This staff-free checkout process must be balanced with security and theft concerns. However, many customers express a preference for this style of shopping which could rejuvenate foot traffic to some physical locations. This technology is still being proven, but it maybe be desirable to arrange your retail space to allow for easier integration and conversion in the future.

Fully dynamic pricing
Some retailers tend to have large volume of products on their shelves, each individually priced. For the first time, the technology needed to remotely update and display information and prices for each item is becoming affordable and easy to install. Based on electronic ink systems, these individual screens may be programmed wirelessly or integrated into the local network of the shop. This will then allow prices to be continuously updated and refined based on time of day, demographic changes, pre-programmed sales and other factors of your choice. Using a system like this will require careful analysis and planning before committing to your fitting out.

Pre-visualisation of shopfitting
In order to make a commercial space into a successful venture, it is necessary to fully understand how it will look and operate before starting the hard work of making it a physical reality. Architects and designers have many tools at their disposal to demonstrate 3D walkthroughs of their mockups and proposals. New software which integrates with mobile phones and tablets will allow this pre-visualisation process to take place in the store itself. By moving the device you will be able to see a live view of the potential design. This will allow the design to be tweaked and refined and snags to be overcome before starting your fitting out. The main benefit of this it that it is always less expensive to make required changes mistakes earlier rather than later.

Virtual store assistants
The use of bluetooth beacon technology has become more widespread lately, and one potentially interesting use case is to assist customers without incurring extra staffing costs. Some retailers are now using assistant apps which work on mobile phones being used by people in the shop. The beacons allow the app to know exactly where the user is located, and can then offer directions and assistance in finding particular items. Additional useful information such an online reviews for individual items can also be offered to the customer. Using this approach will require the development of a custom app as well as highly-integrated beacon system when fitting out the shop.

Magic mirrors
Although expensive, new mirror systems which integrate displays and interactive touchscreen technology allow retailers to support and encourage customers during a vital time in their purchasing decision-making process. Shoppers can be helped to feel safe and relaxed when trying on clothes using magic mirrors, which allow the lighting to be altered, different angles to be displayed, or even alternate sizes of clothes to be requested and brought to them. Users may also be identified using their phone, allowing past purchasing history and preferences to be displayed, and individualised recommendations to be made.

Proximity marketing
This marketing technique also relies upon the use of beacon technology. Certain locations inside the retail space are outfitted with sensors which can identify individual smartphones in the immediate area. Special offers and coupons may then be sent directly to a customer via bluetooth or a specialised app. For example, the system maybe observe a customer lingering near or repeatedly returning to a particular item. Since this often indicates indecision about their purchase, they will be then be given a custom time-limited offer to encourage them to make a choice. This technology requires careful installation and placing of the beacons during the shopfitting process, as well as a suitable choice of software vendor.

Commercial Building Maintenance Explained

Many people think that commercial building maintenance is synonymous with commercial property management. But let’s set the record straight: there is a clear difference between the two services. This article focuses on commercial building maintenance, including its advantages and what it entails.

What Is Commercial Building Maintenance?

Commercial building maintenance refers to a type of service a commercial building owner or manager contracts for to have the condition of his building maintained professionally. It is a perfect fit for busy commercial property owners who do not have time to maintain their property. It ensures that the building maintains its top-notch condition despite regular traffic.

It doesn’t matter if your property is small or large, maintenance should be done on a regular basis to ensure your facility is well-kept and protected. Typically, commercial building maintenance providers are responsible for replacing or repairing any damaged equipment in your building. They also replenish any property supplies to ensure your facility operates efficiently. The service details include the following:

• Plumbing and wiring
• Facade repair
• Painting
• Power washing
• Roof replacement
• General cleaning
• Floor repairs
• Partitioning
• Snow removal
• Lawn maintenance
• HVAC replacement or maintenance
• Winterization

Advantages of Commercial Building Maintenance

1. Professional Service Delivery

IUnlike your regular building caretaker who only knows basic maintenance services, such as cleaning, commercial maintenance service providers basically work on almost every aspect of maintenance. Many commercial building maintenance providers have a team of skilled and well-trained maintenance experts who have the ability to handle critical systems of your building without causing any more damage.

2. Helps to Save Time and Money on Routine Repairs

No property owner wants to spend more money than is necessary on his structure. Typically, companies that provide commercial maintenance services have what it takes to do the job right. With their highly-trained technicians, you can be sure that only fewer or no stones will be left unturned when it comes to delivering a quality service. And let’s be real here- many on-staff engineers and subcontractors don’t have certifications. Hence, hiring them to carry out your property maintenance may not guarantee you quality service. Remember, it is needless to repeat something that can easily be done once because it wastes time. Also, the more the maintenance schedules, the more the maintenance costs.

3. Safety

Commercial building maintenance providers boast highly-qualified technicians who know what safety is all about. They have a good understanding of various OSHA regulations, including electrical safety and indoor air quality. You just don’t want a novice to handle the wiring system of your property and cause a possible fire outbreak in future.

When considering hiring a commercial building maintenance provider, it should be known to you that the service involves more than what a good janitorial contractor can do. Here, you need someone who will ensure your building remains both safe and attractive. After all, no property owner wants to contract a company that will deliver mediocre maintenance services.

Assess your building and ask good questions

This involves understanding the maintenance needs of your commercial building. It entails evaluating the condition of your property to gain an idea of the nature of maintenance services your building needs. If you feel that full-time maintenance services are not necessary, be sure to hire a service provider who is ready to work part-time.

When interviewing the company, be sure to ask every relevant question. Since the company will have the permission to fully access every area of your building, you need to know the people who will be on your property. A good maintenance service provider should be honest and willing to be extensively interviewed. Other questions you may ask include:

  • Does the company possess a well-trained staff?
  • How much experience does the company have in the industry?
  • Does the service provider have a license and insurance?
  • Does the company carry out background checks on its staff?
  • Does it provide uniforms to the employees?
  • What specific maintenance services do they provide?

For more information, please visit: https://www.whiteoakdevelopments.com.au/services/sunshine-coast-commercial-building-maintenance/

Why Commercial Refurbishment?

While you had initially laid out a perfect commercial space, you may need to undertake some refurbishments over time. With time, operations change, your commercial undertaking grows demanding new things such as advanced technology equipment, increased human force just to mention a few. This means that your commercial space may require a makeover to hold the changes efficiently. Despite the changes, you may also just want to refurbish your commercial space as it grows out of taste. You can undertake a minor, medium or major refurbishment following your requirements. Here are some of the reasons why you may consider commercial refurbishment:

Branding concerns
The moment a potential customer steps in your commercial office, they start to create a perception of what to expect. This is why branding is vital. It allows you to control what others think of you. You do not want people to be met by worn out paint, broken furniture, out of date hardware, and untidy environment. Commercial refurbishment allows you to organize the space as you see fit; in a manner that portrays your business as a serious, well organized commercial undertaking.

When branding, it is the small things that matter, things such as uniform but a straightforward display of who you are. From letterheads, pens that customers find on your desks, that water dispenser you have lying around to the furniture that you use on a daily basis. With commercial refurbishment, you will spot what is out of date, what requires to be replaced, maintained, added or simply rearranged.

Efficient working environment
As your business grows, you increase the labor force and machinery to ensure that your operations are running smoothly. Commercial refurbishment allows you to set up space in an efficient way. Some of the most vital consideration while refurbishing your area is lighting and integration of modern and efficient green energy. Increasing efficiency in your working environment translates to increased productivity and at the same time decreased costs, amounting to profitability, a valuable aspect every commercial enterprise intends to achieve.

Safety
While growth is good, it may result in overcrowded space, a lot of clutter and definitely becomes a hazardous working environment. Apart from reduced productivity, the unsafe working environment could ruin your reputation by incurring multiple lawsuits. Employees can get hurt while working not forgetting that visitors are your responsibility while on your premises. Some lawsuits can be costly and even if not, it consumes your time. Commercial refurbishment enables you to reorganize the space and remove any unsafe materials and clutter while introducing modern and advanced features ensuring that space is safe for everyone.

Legal Purposes
The law sets standards that every commercial undertaking ought to follow. In time, such regulations change. As you strive to keep up with the rules, you may need to undertake commercial refurbishment. The regulations are set to protect the employees and other stakeholders as well as setting the standard that every business has to follow in taking care of the environment. Given that the operations of a company have repercussions say for example carbon emission and waste management, it is wise to consider refurbishment now and then to ensure that you comply with the law.

There are numerous advantages of commercial refurbishment. However, if not well planned, it may end up foiling your business operations. As such, it is wise to consider and evaluate certain features before embarking on the process. Such factors include:

The scope
How extensively do you want to refurbish? Is it a complete overhaul or just a minor refurbishment? Having a clear scope of what you want to achieve gives you a timeline and a specific budget, a significant aspect when planning for commercial refurbishment.

Maintenance and room for growth
You will need o keep your new look maintained to ensure it stays so for as long as required. As you refurbish, it is advisable to consider how maintenance costs will impact your budget in the long run. Since it is the dream of every business to keep on growing, consider how refurbishment will affect growth and always leave a room for more growth. That way, you will reduce future costs as you accommodate new integrations.

Status
You may not own the building your commercial undertakings are set. This means that your lease could be expiring soon, or the refurbishments may affect the structural features of the building. Consider how the landlord will take it and how productive the refurbishment will be.

Working environment plays a significant role in determining how efficient and productive business is. As time goes by changes are inevitable. The changes affect different aspect in varying ways. As a way of ensuring that your commercial undertaking is keeping up with the ever-changing times, you may need to consider commercial refurbishment. With the help of professionals, your work is eased, and you are in a position to get that office space that you desire, and the one that will improve your overall performance.

How Professional Shopfitters Ensure Your Success

Most people who open a store have a fairly detailed plan in mind. Because of this, many people are tempted to go through the shopfitting process alone and track down components on their own. Doing so, however, can lead to a number of problems and fail to maximize the store’s potential. Here are a few reasons to consider using professional shopfitting services.

Know Your Options

It’s often possible to track down and buy components for your store on your own. However, people without shopfitting expertise simply don’t know how many options are available. When you hire a shopfitter, you can explore all the options available. Even if you think you’re set on a particular idea, it’s worth exploring alternatives; you might be surprised at what you find.

Save Money

Paying for a shopfitter can be a valuable investment in the short term. In many cases, shopfitters know how to find discounts store owners wouldn’t otherwise be able to use, and this can, in some cases, completely offset the cost of hiring the shopfitter to begin with. Furthermore, shopfitters know how the installation process works, and they can guide store owners through the process to keep costs down. People who buy their own store components often find themselves having to replace items in the future, and hiring a shopfitter reduces this likelihood.

Avoid Common Mistakes

Many aspects of opening a store are counter-intuitive, and owners make the same mistakes again and again. When you hire a shopfitter, you also hire a consultant who knows common pitfalls store owners fall in. Again, avoiding these mistakes can save a significant amount of money, making the cost of hiring a shopfitter well worth spending. Running a retail business is difficult, especially in the early days. Shopfitter expertise will improve you chances of success significantly.

Latest Market Research

In many ways, running a store is a like a science. Shopfitters keep up with the latest news and studies, and they can share this information with their clients. Knowing how to interpret studies about retail is difficult, and it takes years to understand surveys and other data. The fundamentals of running a business change little over time, but getting the details right is essential for making the most of your business.

Meeting Regulations

Opening a business entails dealing with a potentially difficult regulatory landscape. Too often, store owners invest heavily in their equipment but find themselves having to make changes to ensure their stores meet fire and accessibility standards. Shopfitters are familiar with regulations, and they’ll provide advice to ensure new store owners don’t have to make sweeping changes after opening.

Expedite the Process

It’s important to take your time when opening your business, as opening it prematurely can lead to poor results. Shopfitters understand the process of opening a store, and they know how to ensure you’re making as much progress as possible. Once again, the cost of hiring a shopfitter often pays for itself, as opening your business earlier lets you begin bringing in revenue promptly.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Running a business means maintaining it, and maintenance costs often exceed what store owners anticipate. Shopfitters can help you design your store in a manner that reduces maintenance costs, and they know how much various pieces of equipment cost to maintain. This expertise helps you maintain a profit margin. Furthermore, shopfitters can help you estimate how much maintenance will cost your business, helping you determine what you need to do to make a profit.

Craft an Identity

Branding plays a key role in your business, but branding goes beyond logos and color motifs. By working with a shopfitter, you can ensure your store blends seamlessly with your branding, giving you an identity that will attract customers and keep them coming back. Shopfitters can also help you explore options for signage and advertising elements, helping you form a cohesive identity for your outreach efforts.

Maximize Sales

Psychology plays a key role in retail, and the way you lay out your store will have an impact on how much you sell. One of the key benefits of hiring a shopfitter is ensuring your store’s layout makes the most of your space. Product placement doesn’t affect your cost of doing business, but the increased sales you’ll reap over the years can be substantial.

Opening a store is a lot of work, and taking a proactive approach is essential for ensuring your success. While it can be tempting to go alone, it’s important to rely on expert help as well. Hiring a shopfitter is an investment, and it’s one that will pay off many times over.

Five Shopfitting Trends Shaping The Market In 2018

The retail industry is easily one of the most competitive markets globally with so many dynamics coming into play especially with the overwhelming influence of the internet. In contemporary times, failure to connect at deeper levels with customers will result in a financial loss no matter the amount of marketing dollars spent. While shopping was largely an impersonal chore in pre-internet days, today, stores must meet customers’ expectation of a branded experience and a nostalgic one at that.

Where is Retail Shopping Heading?
Retail shopping has had its fair share of doomsday prophecies predicting the imminent end of walk-in shopping as the online alternative grows. However, predictions of the internet bringing an end to in-store store shopping are yet to materialise. A 2015 survey conducted by Oracle showed that 69% of Australians prefer in-store shopping over the online experience. This is a contrast to shoppers in Germany (57%), France(54%) and the US (50%). Forward-looking stores are actually fast adapting to consumer lifestyle changes with sensory experiences that stimulate customer desire to visit and make purchases the old-fashioned way albeit with a difference. According to Trent Innes, Managing Director of accounting company, Xero which commissioned a consumer shopping behaviour survey in 2016, “…70 percent [of shoppers] say they shop the same or more in-store now than they did three years ago,”

Where Does Shopfitting Fit In?
A popular saying states that you only get one chance to create a first impression. This may sound like a cliche today but it certainly fits the purpose of shopfitting which is to create a truly sensory and nostalgic in-store experience for shoppers. This entails engaging all the senses with the layout design and installed displays, showcases, wall fittings, counters, floors, fixtures and doors among others.

The ability to create this uncommon customer in-store experience is looking like a gamechanger for many retail stores in 2018. Already, some trends are evident. Here are just a few of them.

i.Smart Lighting Solutions
Easily one of the most critical elements of interior design, lighting is now being better used than before. Professional shopfitting now enables stores to creatively use indirect, natural and LED lighting to provide the right ambience for relaxed shopping. Small spaces look bigger while big spaces look intimate rather than intimidating. Shopper mood is typically affected by the presentation of the inventory and this is done by lighting them up in a subtle yet stimulating way.

ii.Complementing Online with In-store Shopping
The internet is not going away and stores that will remain profitable will learn to leverage the inherent power of the internet to complement and streamline both dimensions of shopping. Forward-looking stores are encouraging shoppers to complete their shopping experience in the brick and mortar stores. It may start online but for some products, it may have to be completed offline. The challenge lies in consistency and this can be handled with a good brand strategy that effectively harmonises both dimensions. Elements such as colours, typography and other brand elements should seamlessly blend both online and offline shopping environments.

iii.Creative Shop Formats
Uniformity of form design is a much-touted advantage yet in some instances, space sizes vary. Shopfitting professionals creatively use smaller spaces to achieve big effects without diluting the brand experience. A notable example is Nordstrom which has unveiled its ‘mini version’, just over 2% of its traditional 140,000 square feet space. Specially designed to meet the needs of highly mobile shoppers, it is changing the way shopping is done. According to GlobalRetail Data’s Neil Saunders, “The days of the one-size fits all store model are fading, and the future will require a more flexible approach with a variety of store formats designed to address different locations and markets.”

iv.Seamless Blend With External Environment
Screaming colours that are meant to attract attention are fast fading with time. Subtlety seems to be the emerging order as stores are employing the use of colours that integrate into the surrounding environment without any fuss or clamour. The result is serenity and this is typically accomplished through the use of natural elements like cork, wood and foliage.

v.Minimalism
The trend in contemporary design may be encapsulated with the statement, “less is more”. Simple yet succinct, it tells the story. Less is indeed more when a store has so much to display yet knows that customers are not looking to get intimidated. The WOW effect is best pulled off in a minimalist atmosphere and professional shopfitters are aware of this. First, it makes navigation around the store easy while individual items may be easily found. Additionally, clustered shopping environments make it easy to ‘crowd out’ the brand thus defeating the objective of inviting the shoppers in-store.

According to Sanford Stein, founder and moderator of Retail Speak, “The internet has had a flattening effect on the industry, and as a result, even the smallest retailer has tremendous opportunity to launch and thrive….Access to both software and hardware to empower selling is also cheaper, and it enables small retailers to develop a bond and an understanding of what their customers want. That, in turn, lets them offer a high level of product and service.”

Shopfitting is not just helping brick and mortar retail stores change the shopping game, it is keeping them ‘in the game’.

10 Commonly Asked Question About Shopfitting Answered

While considering what type of design a business needs, many business owners have quite a few questions. We often hear a lot of the same questions and so we decided to write this post to help clear up some of those common questions and concerns to help you make a more educated decision.

In this post, we’re going to address our top 10 most commonly asked questions. Continue reading to get answers to your shopfitting questions.

How Do I Plan for Shopfitting?

Before you decide to do a major outfit on your shop or place of business, it is important to consider how much of a refurbish your space really needs. If it is really outdated and has little appeal, then a complete overhaul may be necessary. If you run a retail shop and want to have nice ground level appearance to help draw in more customers, then maybe all you need is a custom outfit on the front of your store.

Many stores already function well and look great, but maybe they simply want a more updated look and feel. Some changes may require a shopfitter, or a business could opt for a savvier option and do some simple updates and aesthetic changes. Preparing for shopfitting is more about determining what is necessary and what is a priority and narrowing it down so that when you approach your shopfitting firm, you know exactly what you need. Knowing these details will help speed up the process for everyone involved.

How Do I Know What To Change?

While preparation is key in this process, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your charges are possible and experts can help you figure out what would work best in your space. You will not know exactly what to change until we all sit down and discuss what must be done in your space. You may find that you need to make more changes to your space than you initially thought or maybe you do not require a lot.

Experienced professionals will be able to do a complete assessment and see if you what you want or need is necessary or possible. The more ideas you have, the easier it will be to put together a design plan and get your project moving forward.

What Should My Color Scheme Be?

We want to be sure that the changes we make work with the color scheme a business already has. Businesses are welcome to change their entire space, but it is not necessary in order to make a new design work. You might have a really strong brand that is powered by the colors you already use and we will simply work with that when we can.

We can show you what choices you have, and you can decide if you need to change all of the colors or only some of them. You probably were not aware of what you could do because you were so focused on changing everything, but we can actually make this much easier on you by planning alongside you to make a space that you can be proud of.

What Is Refurbishment?

Refurbishment is a much more expansive version of we do for a lot of our clients. If you have a business space that has become really outdated, a refurbishment of that space means that we are going to change everything. Refurbishing takes longer, but it is worth your while when it is finished. We do everything from changing the color on the walls, changing all the fixtures, change the traffic flow of your store, or even change the atmosphere altogether.

How Does Refurbishment Differ From Shopfitting?

Shopfitting is a little different from refurbishing in that we are not changing everything. It generally involves changing some of the fixtures in the space that you are using to help your customers find what they are looking for in your shop. They take a look at merchandising and what special fixtures will be helpful to you. More than that, we want to arrange them in a way that will help increase sales and the amount your customer spend.
What About Commercial Spaces?

Commercial spaces are different from retail stores because they are so large and serve a different purpose. We are happy to help with the refurbishment of a large commercial space and help modernise it. You can make your space into anything you want, and we will work with you to you reach your goal.

Show us the space that you want to change and we do what we can to work with those changes. We do our best to get inside of your vision so that you get the design that you want. We do what we can to work around all the problems that commercial spaces have and will transform it to make it look much more inviting.

How Long Does Shopfitting Take?

Usually, we come up with a timeline and do our best to adhere to it. However, anything could happen along the way so we cannot guarantee a specific timeline for your work, but we will keep you updated throughout the process. Shopfitting takes less time than a refurbishment, but we do not want to rush things. This way, you get the best results possible.

How Much Does It Cost?

We will give you an estimate for the work that we plan to do, which you will have to approve before we can begin the process. We will not start working on your project until you have signed off on it. It is essential that you know the cost, the plan, the changes, and to agree to the timeline we provide before beginning.

What Sort Of Businesses Do You Serve?

Whether you run a small clothing shop, a café, restaurant, pub, or business office, there really is no limit to the type of customers and businesses we serve. No matter the business, we can help you make it reach your design goals. We use our creativity and expertise to solve problems that our customers have and will help you feel much better about your business space. No challenge is too great or too small for us.

How Do I Get More Information?

You can visit our homepage for your shopfitting Sunshine Coast needs and you will find our contact information under ‘Contact’. Our team of professionals is ready to help you reach your business design goals and will do our best to answer any questions you may have before scheduling a meeting or on-site consultation.