How to Stay Open During a Renovation

Blog / November 14, 2023


Renovations are a crucial, unavoidable aspect of many businesses, especially those that value their brand’s association with innovative visuals and a constant sense of exploration and growth. However, renovations take time and can be extremely messy and disruptive. In this article, we will look at some clever ways to minimise the effects of a renovation, even allowing the doors to remain open if planned and executed strategically.

Communication is key

The clarity of your vision and the efficiency with which you convey it to others are keystones of its success. Hard work is all well and good, and there will undoubtedly be plenty of that. But working smart and working hard are two different concepts, and here at 360 Shopfitters, we have put together a team of professional shopfitters who have found the perfect balance between the two. Members of your team and outside parties who need to be kept in the loop and communicated with effectively include:

  • Owners and tenants
  • Designers and shopfitters
  • Contractors
  • Outside suppliers (gas, electricity, plumbing, WiFi etc.…)
  • Employees
  • Customers

Before you begin

Keeping your business open during a renovation is not a step to be taken lightly. Some suffer very little from the disruption a renovation brings, whereas others cannot cope. Think carefully about the wisdom of remaining open during this period and whether the continued flow of revenue is a short-term advantage. If other factors are likely to outweigh those advantages in the long run, it may be wiser to close briefly. This also allows for easier access and less disruption to your renovation team and should be assessed thoroughly.

If the renovation is also a rebranding, it does not make sense to remain open while the changes are made. It is much more sensible to keep prying eyes away and set up for a grand reopening event. The excitement and potential publicity surrounding this is bound to be higher and more aesthetically pleasing than your space morphing into the new style over several weeks while remaining open to the public.

Make a list of goals and non-negotiable factors

Take some time to think about what the perfectly executed renovation would look like and how and why things might go wrong. There are some issues you cannot afford to overlook, namely:

  • Safety — The only thing that truly matters in the long run is the safety of anybody setting foot inside your space, for whatever reason.
  • Not overburdening your staff — Renovations can cause high stress and put extra pressure on employees who might already feel under-appreciated. Go above and beyond to show your employees you value their efforts and appreciate their understanding and cooperation during what will be a frustrating period.
  • Budget — Make one and stick to it. Ensure your contract with any outside companies is specific on the limitations and flexibility of your budget.
  • Timing — Just as important as the cost is how long the project will take. It pays to allow some extra leeway to handle unforeseen events and setbacks, but you should know roughly how long everything will take and make it clear that you expect those deadlines to be met.

A detailed, collaborative plan

The importance of a well-thought-out plan is hard to overstate before embarking on any renovation project. This becomes even more applicable if you plan to keep the space open to the public and represents the make-or-break of the whole scheme. Give detailed consideration to:

  • Optimising the location and making use of additional space
  • Facilitating contractors and design teams
  • Easing pressure on your employees
  • The customer experience
  • Working around unpredictable time schedules
  • Any dirty/dangerous work that necessitates a full or brief closure

Do not rush this process. Make a detailed list of all the timings and practical dispensations that must be accommodated and try to involve as many of the other people involved as possible. It is useless to decide you want to tackle the flooring first if the flooring contractor is not available at that time, which leads neatly to the next point:

Work closely with your chosen shopfitters and contractors

If your budget can accommodate the extra expense, try to convince your building team to complete most of the work outside business hours. This way, clients and staff will face fewer disruptions, obstructions, and loud, unpleasant noises. Although contractors of all kinds can be notoriously vague and unreliable when making predictions, the more closely you work with them, the more able you are to gauge whether their predictions are feasible. Ask them specific questions about:

  • How much space they need/accessibility issues
  • Expected noise levels
  • Phases most likely to cause dust and debris
  • Tasks requiring the closure of the space
  • Logistics/transportation
  • Storage space for tools and equipment

Keep things fastidiously clean

People can overlook inconveniences and forgive many things, but poor cleanliness is not one of them. Nobody wants to spend time in a filthy, dust-filled space, so do everything it takes to remove as much dirt as possible and keep things clean and tidy at all times.

With the right attitude, planning, attention to detail, and teamwork, you can minimise the stresses and discomfort of any renovation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek the advice of all those affected by the changes. They will appreciate you all the more for it.

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments you would like to direct to our team, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We will gladly discuss any aspects of your upcoming renovations with you and offer our open, honest opinion and advice, as always.