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Updated: Jan 12, 2018
Unless you happen to own a construction business, renovations are probably more overwhelming than exhilarating.
If done correctly though, a facelift can provide your small business with impactful, long-lasting benefits.
Beyond practical improvements like eliminating safety hazards and making your business more energy-efficient, a well-planned renovation can also help you boost profits, appeal to new customers, increase employee satisfaction, and improve workplace efficiency.
So, whether you’re updating your current space or renovating a new building before you move in, follow these tips to ensure a smooth, successful transformation.
Remodeling can be a huge investment, so it’s crucial to examine your finances before you hire a contractor or promise your employees a brand-new office kitchen.
Start by compiling a list of changes you’d like to make, then sort them into two categories: high-priority and low-priority.
Low-priority items are projects you don’t need to address right now, while high-priority items are more urgent, like fixing your building’s faulty electrical system or redoing a storefront sign that’s offbrand.
Once you analyze your finances and set a realistic budget, you’ll have a better idea of how much money and resources you can allocate to projects on your priority list.
This budgeting exercises will help you determine whether you can pay for renovation costs out of pocket or whether you need to consider some sort of financing, like a term loan.
You may want to pad your budget to account for unforeseen expenses and emergencies, like rezoning fees or pipe damage.
Renovations of any kind are notoriously time-consuming — just ask your next-door neighbor, the one whose noisy roof reconstruction took seven long weeks.
To avoid drawing out the project or spending more money than you planned, talk with your contractor beforehand and chart out how long each portion of the project should take.
If your renovation will only take five days and you can afford to close up shop during that time, go for it. Otherwise, you’ll need to be strategic about how you can move forward while still continuing regular business operations.
That might mean renovating in stages, on weekends, or during a long holiday break. Of course, timelines may be subject to change depending on weather or unexpected problems, but setting a rough timeline can help keep you on track.
As soon as you have a plan in motion, let your employees know about the upcoming changes and provide details around if and how the renovation will affect their work schedule or daily routine.
Consider updating your customers and clients, too — especially if your hours will change.
You could share a social media post that highlights the new changes, or create a fun, informational flyer to hang in your brick and mortar location.
If the renovation is significant, consider throwing an event to drum up local interest and celebrate the project’s completion.
Use the renovation as an opportunity to be more intentional with your business space.
If you’re moving to a larger building to accommodate your growing sales team, think about how you can configure the new office to be more conducive to productivity and higher sales.
That might entail creating separate workspaces, moving desks away from the noisy kitchen area, or designing a private meeting room.
Consider ways to make your daily business operations more efficient, too, like building a separate storage facility for incoming materials or reconfiguring the layout of your cafe to allow for better traffic flow.
During a remodel, every detail, however seemingly small, should accurately reflect your business’ brand, philosophy, and goals.
That goes for practical changes like lighting and building materials, as well as changes that affect the ambiance and utility of a space.
Knocking down a wall to create a more inviting storefront, for example, or designing a comfortable waiting area for visiting clients can help improve and reinforce your business’ image and values.
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.