Starting a business is a huge accomplishment; now it’s time to build your brick-and-mortar location. If you’re like most new business owners, you probably don’t have much construction experience. That’s okay! We’re here to help you understand the ins and outs of construction management so that you can make the best decisions for your startup business. Learn about the different aspects of construction management, from project planning and budgeting to on-site supervision.
1. Know Your Budget
The first step in any construction project is to know your budget. This will determine the project’s scope and help you manage expectations from yourself and your contractor. It’s essential to be realistic about what you can afford and communicate this to your contractor. Otherwise, you may end up with an unfinished project or one over budget.
Part of creating your budget is planning the building design. Because construction costs are based mainly on square footage, it’s essential to be efficient with your space. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online tools and resources to help you plan the perfect space for your business.
2. Hire a Good Contractor
Once you know your budget, it’s time to find a contractor. This is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the construction process, so take your time and do your research. Make sure to read reviews, get referrals, and meet with potential contractors before making your final decision. A written contract that outlines the scope of work, timeline, and payment schedule is also essential.
Depending on the building you are constructing, you must hire a contractor with the right equipment to handle your needs. Some building projects involve lifting heavy materials, which will require lifting wire rope and rigging equipment. Projects that include breaking ground will need excavating machinery. Ask your contractor what equipment they will need to complete your project.
3. Manage Expectations
Construction projects often take longer than expected, so managing your expectations and those of your customers or clients is essential. Have a plan for handling delays if they occur, and be prepared to adjust your schedule accordingly. It’s also necessary to keep everyone updated on the project’s status so there are no surprises.
One way to manage expectations is to create a construction schedule. This document should list all the tasks that need to be completed, who is responsible for each task, and the timeline for completion. This will help keep everyone on track and ensure the project is completed on time and within budget. You can also use this schedule to create a construction marketing plan. This will help you market your business during the construction process and ensure that your customers or clients know the changes.
4. Stay Involved
Even if you hire a great contractor, staying involved in the construction process is still essential. This means attending regular meetings, asking questions, and being available to make decisions when needed. The more involved you are, the smoother the process will go, and the more likely you’ll be happy with the final result.
Communicate often with your contractor and site superintendent. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and that no one is surprised by changes or delays. It’s also important to keep an eye on the construction site for safety reasons and to ensure that the work is being done according to your plans.
5. Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Construction projects always have surprises, so it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected. This may include weather delays, last-minute changes, or additional costs. If possible, build a contingency fund into your budget to cover these unexpected expenses. It would be best if you also had a plan for handling these surprises so that they don’t derail the entire project.
Some businesses also choose to purchase construction insurance. This type of insurance can protect you from financial losses if the project is delayed or canceled. It can also cover damages that occur during the construction process. Talk to your insurance agent to see if this type of coverage is right for your business.
Building a new business location is exciting but can also be overwhelming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with construction management. However, by following these simple tips—knowing your budget, hiring a good contractor, managing expectations, staying involved, and being prepared for the unexpected—you can make sure that everything goes smoothly and that you end up with a space that meets all of your needs. Don’t forget to celebrate once the project is complete! Your new business location is a big accomplishment, and you should be proud of it.