Businesses often only start thinking about design and fitout after changes have already occurred. This places them in a reactive mode, whereby decisions are rushed and money is wasted. Changes (often over many years) can mean that once functional spaces and facilities no longer meet the needs of your business. Spaces can be outgrown by dynamic businesses, but other factors such as market conditions, rent and technology can also affect space usability.
Before you go any further, it is important to ask yourself some questions. What is driving change in your business and how it uses its space? And what are the specific space usage problems the business is facing……or going to face? The first key to successful design and fitout is to recognise both the immediate and potential future requirements for your business, and assess the cost to rectify them versus the impact of not doing anything. All of your requirements are important; some are the essential, while others might be negotiable but may still have significant impact on staff morale, productivity and client perceptions.
Knowing how to evaluate, rank and then provide practical solutions for your requirements is not an easy process, and it can be confusing for an organisation to assess and make unbiased decisions. Often there are many options. The good news is that you have options. The bad news is that sometimes design and fitout providers are not experienced enough (or may just not want) to lead you through a clear, simple and informative process whereby you can understand your options and make informed decisions.
A good designer will help you assess your requirements, convert them into design solutions, actions and outcomes….and ensure that you fully understand the pros and cons attached with each. As an informed client you are empowered. This means that you can make better decisions about implications of the design and fitout, and the impact on your business, staff and clients.
Take comfort in the fact that many businesses (particularly new or rapidly changing ones) may not have had the need for an interior designer in the past. However, businesses mature, and clients and staff expect more over time. Businesses themselves also place greater demands on their environment with regard to functionality, flexibility, efficiency and economy. Your concerns about whether (or how) to engage a design and fitout specialist may be driven by misconceptions, fear of the unknown, or a previously bad experience. Understandable! Don’t let this put you off talking to the right provider about how effective design and properly managed fitout can improve your business’ performance and promote growth. All other decisions will then become much easier!