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Should you renovate your retail business?

As a retailer, the thought of renovating your business space may have occasionally crossed your mind. A fresh new look has its benefits that can directly impact your business and greatly improve customer experience. There are several questions you’ll need to ask yourself to determine if renovating your shop is the next move for you. So, before you pick up that sledgehammer, here are some things to consider as you weigh your decision.

Why are you renovating?

A simple question but one that should really get you thinking. What is the main objective and what do you expect to gain out of this? For some retailers, their space is already in dire need of remodelling for occupational health and safety reasons, while others are wanting a facelift to utilise the store to its fullest potential. It’s good to prepare a detailed plan and set realistic expectations for yourself and the business to avoid unexpected costs and delays.

How will it look?

You have a vision of the final product in mind and we don’t doubt it’s going to look amazing. Remember that while a pretty façade and interior are important in setting the ambience, factors such as your “decompression zone”, shop path, and where your power wall is located are also vital in supporting a positive retail experience for your customers.

An article by Shopify encourages owners to have a walk-through of the store to see where the visual cues take you. Another idea would be to speak to your staff to get an understanding of your customers’ behaviour. ‘What are they drawn to?’ and ‘what do they avoid?’ are some things to bear in mind when planning your shop’s layout. This would also be a good time to consult design professionals and contractors to discuss your plans and ensure you get the necessary permits required to begin construction.

Do you have the funds?

Renovations are notorious for the high expenses, so you’re going to want to make sure you’ve done a thorough calculation of the costs. Nicole Reyhle from Retail Minded advises adding another 15% of the estimated cost to your budget so you don’t get caught off guard by unaccounted amounts.

If you do not have the money to cover the full costs of the work, consider speaking to a financial broker to understand the options available to you. The team at FutureNow Finance are very experienced in working out a loan strategy that you’re comfortable with and will walk you through the entire journey so you don’t feel overwhelmed and confused by the processes involved.

How will the remodelling affect your business?

We mentioned earlier that it’s important to set realistic expectations when addressing the ‘why’ behind the renovation. Reyhle proposes to weigh the cost of the remodelling against the benefit in increased sales you hope to achieve. For example, if you’re a clothing retailer, then adding fitting rooms in your store will almost definitely increase sales. However, if your bookstore is already doing very well within its existing space, then doubling the size may not necessarily result in double the sales.

A successful remodelling project can have a positive impact on your sales. A research done on the effects of store remodelling on customers shows a 43% sales increase for new customers and a 7% increase for returning patrons. Couple this with a good marketing campaign and you’re telling customers out there that their experience matters and you’re serious about investing in the success of this business.

If you’re a retailer who’s considering a renovation of your business premise and want financial advice and support in taking the next step, then we’re here to help get you started. Call us on 1300 013 730 or email hello@futurenowfinance.com.au