If you’re in the middle of a remodel, it probably means your business is going well, but that doesn’t make the remodelling process easy. From sawdust flying to the nonstop buzz of saws, hammers, and drills, remodelling makes it tough to keep working through the chaos. That doesn’t mean you have to put your business on pause until the renovation wraps up. With a strategic action plan for handling your small business remodel, you can keep business running as usual, although possibly from another location, to keep your customers happy and your company thriving.
Create a Plan
Working with your contractor to figure out the details of the office remodel helps you plan your next steps to keep the company running. When do workers plan to handle the office renovation work? Is the entire office affected or just a portion? If you’re doing a total remodel, find out if the contractor plans to work on everything at once or to attack the job in smaller sections. The scope of the job helps you decide if you can continue work on a limited base from the office. If not, start researching alternative location options.
Find a Temporary Location
Working from a different location is often the easiest option. You get away from the mess and noise that comes with a remodel. A temporary location gives you more space to spread out, so your employees can work efficiently. One option is to rent temporary office space if the budget allows. A space with a short-term lease option prevents you from getting locked into long-term payments. A co-working space is a similar option that may fit your needs.
If you use a cloud-based system, having your staff work from home is an alternative. Your employees need clear expectations to maintain productivity if you give them temporary telecommuting status. This option isn’t ideal if you meet with clients regularly or need to collaborate in person.
Giving your employees a heads-up about the upcoming remodel ensures they know what’s going on. They need information about temporary work locations and how you plan to handle business in the meantime. If you’re still working out of the main office, employees need to know about any restricted areas and safety guidelines. Tell your staff how to handle customer communications about the remodel. Giving the community and your client base a consistent answer to common questions cuts down on confusion and frustration.
The other important stakeholder in the remodel status is your client base. They know you for your consistency and exceptional service. You may find it difficult to keep up with the pace of business when you’re dealing with the limitations caused by remodelling. Customers are much more understanding if you let them know about potential hiccups before they happen. An email or snail mail letter explaining the project, timeline, and ways it might impact customers gives them the info they need. If your customers come to your office, make sure they know your new temporary address. Calling clients who have upcoming meetings is an easy way to know they all get the message about your new location.
Timelines often change on remodelling projects. Keep your customers updated on any changes that might delay your return to your main office location. If the remodel drags on, consider offering some type of courtesy gift to smooth things over. Things that work well include a discount, freebie, or contest with a product giveaway. Once you’re operational in your remodelled space, invite your loyal customers for an open house complete with free samples, tours, snacks, and entertainment.
Remodelling forces you to get creative with your work space. By keeping your workload as close to normal as possible and using strong communication skills throughout, you can keep your customers and employees happy.