Renovating a commercial establishment as it remains Business As Usual can become a real challenge for business owners. There’s the pressure of ensuring that the construction work goes along successfully while making sure the business doesn’t suffer profit losses.

Remodelling your space has multiple benefits for your business. In sum, these benefits include:

  • Better use of space – Giving your business a facelift grants you an opportunity to improve your store layout. With the guidance of a renovation professional, you can come up with plenty of ideas to optimize the space you have to serve your customers better.
  • Strong impression on customers – A fresh new design can boost your company’s image and help attract new customers to your business. For best results, come up with a sleek design that speaks of your business’ core values and brand proposition.
  • Reduced wear and tear – Renovating your commercial establishment allows you to repair wear and tear which come with time. It’s an investment that helps prolong the lifespan of a building.

While striking a balance between the two can get tricky, keeping your doors open amid an ongoing renovation is feasible. All you need is a solid plan and a skilled general contractor to make sure that the success of your project is well on track.

These helpful tips will help you start your renovation project on the right foot.

Put yourself in the shoes of your customers

Assess the project

Evaluate the construction project and determine how the process will affect your operations. Getting a clear understanding of the implications of the renovation helps you apply proper adjustments to meet your customers’ needs.

Here are some questions you need to consider when assessing renovation work:

  • Which parts of the building are likely to be affected?
  • Will the exits or entrances be blocked?
  • If so, what are the alternative ways for customers to get into the building?
  • Will you need to redesign another fire safety plan?
  • How will you manage noise issues?
  • Will you need to set new operating hours?

Your general contractor can help you in reviewing these questions and assist you in preparing for these situations as they arise.

Thorough planning is key to a successful renovation

Plan in advance

Keeping your doors open during renovation is very feasible for any commercial space, be it for a retail store, office space, or a restaurant. You can stick to your regular operations as long as you plan your renovation steps carefully.

A plan is carefully laid out is the number one step for any successful renovation. Studying other brands or competitors and talking to customers about what improvements they’d like to see may help you identify the features you want to upgrade. Will you make minimal upgrades to the decor or remodel your interiors entirely? How do you want to improve your exterior to make it more appealing to tenants?

Before starting your renovations, make sure to sit down with your contractor and create a construction plan around these factors:

  • Safety – This is the utmost priority of any construction projects, especially for business establishments that choose to stay open throughout the renovation phase. Extra precautions should be observed to ensure the welfare of construction workers and customers.

One of the best ways to enforce safety during an ongoing open renovation is to do the work in sections. Barricading these sections can also lessen the risks of construction hazards. Other measures include the addition of extra ventilation, placement of signs on trip hazards, setting aside a staging area where you can store construction materials and equipment.

  • Function – Is it necessary to keep open a specific space as the renovation takes place? Will it serve its intended purpose during the progress of the construction? These are essential questions you need to consider before going ahead with an open renovation.
  • Noise and dust – Businesses, particularly restaurants, should be mindful in reducing these common disruptions that come with construction. Make sure to have the work area/s sealed off with plastic sheeting to keep dust at bay. Perform the dustiest work (e.g. grinding and cutting tiles) after store hours and do it at a significant distance.

Properly planning your renovation requires expertise. Hire a professional who understands your vision for your business, has ample experience, and uses skilled subcontractors who can deliver on your vision.

Make sure customers are not affected by the construction

Determine the schedule of the renovation

Timing is a crucial factor in the success of your renovation. As such, you need to decide when the work has to be performed. Do you prefer doing the construction within the company’s business hours, in the evening after the business has closed, or on days where nobody is in the building? Will the renovation take place all week or just on specific days?

If you are repainting, it will help to identify the peak and off-peak hours/days for your business so your painters can maximize that time to perform the repainting with fewer disruptions. Get a professional contractor who can work projects on flexible schedules in such a way to prevent your loss of business.

Minimize inconvenience by informing stakeholders

Communicate properly

Set proper expectations for your staff and customers about the upcoming/ongoing renovations. Use any means possible to keep everyone informed: send your employees an email bearing the complete details of the renovation work (e.g. date, areas to be renovated), tell them during the next staff meeting and hand out fliers that remind customers of the construction date. Doing these allow everyone to make necessary adjustments and reduce possible disruptions to their work.

Post banners or signs on your doors and posts to let your customers know that renos are undergoing. This helps minimize any inconvenience on their part.

Signage can make it easier for your customers

Manage traffic flow

Your customers should be able to enter and exit your property with ease even when the renovation is in full swing. Keep your customers from getting confused and avoid potential accidents from happening by putting up bold signages that indicate:

  • Detours
  • Parking areas
  • Restricted areas
  • Construction zones
  • Easy access routes for emergency vehicles
  • Traffic flow
  • Store entrances and exits

NOTE: When planning your renovation, avoid DIY mishaps by choosing professional contractors. With the right experts as your ally, you’ll have the peace of mind to trust that whatever challenges arise, your contractors are committed to accomplishing your vision, every step of the way.

When you need a helping hand in realizing your renovation from conceptualization to execution) contact PT General Contractor. We help commercial establishments in Toronto or the GTA turn their renovation ideas into reality. Call us at (416) 757-9100.