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.