How much does a shop fit-out cost and how can you get finance to fund one? Find out here.
Whether you're starting a new business from the ground up or looking to give an existing space a much-needed makeover, you'll need to undertake a fit-out. However, while an attractive and practical shop fit-out may be essential to the success of a business, it can also be expensive.
Read on to find out how you can reduce your costs and find the funds you need.
How do you work out how much a shop fit-out will cost?
There are myriad factors that can affect the cost, including:
- The size of the space. An 80-square-metre space will cost more to outfit than a shop of half that size.
- The complexity of the job. The more advanced or complex your fit-out is, the more you can expect it to cost. For example, including additional features like climate control systems, additional shelving and decorative artworks can all drive the price up.
- The quality of the finish. If you want a premium finish using only the best materials, you'll need to budget for the extra cost of including this in your project.
- Who does the work. Costs vary depending on whether you DIY, get in a number of contractors or even hire a professional shopfitting firm to undertake the work.
You'll need to take all the above factors into account when calculating the cost of a shop fit-out. Costs vary substantially depending on the nature of the job, so the best way to get an accurate idea of how much you'll have to spend is to phone around and get several quotes.
Business loans to consider for a shop fit-out
What costs do you need to consider?
The costs you need to consider will vary widely depending on the type of shop you run and the space you want to create. Basic expenses include installing flooring, having the walls painted or applying wallpaper, plus the necessary lighting, display shelving and signage.
After that it all depends on exactly what your shop needs to get up and running, which may include:
- Air conditioning
- Cold rooms
- Furniture (for example tables, chairs and lounges)
- Display cabinets
- Wash basins
- Sales counters
- Clothes rails
- Electronic point of sale technology
The other factor you need to consider is the cost of contractors, with labour for these kind of renovations generally costing anywhere from $50 to $80 per hour.
So, what's the total cost of a shop fit-out? As a very general guide, prices rage from around $250 per square metre for a basic job, right through to $2,000 per square metre for high-end projects with premium fixtures and finishes.
How can you cut costs when doing a shop fit-out?
There are several simple things you can do to reduce costs, such as:
- Get multiple quotes. If you want to save money, compare your options. Instead of simply choosing the first shopfitting company you find, compare quotes from multiple firms to find the best value for money.
- Don't go overboard. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and end up paying for things you don't need. Try to keep things simple and create a neat, organised space where your customers will feel at home.
- Do a little DIY. Most shop fit-outs take place in spaces that have been previously used, so the area will usually need a little stripping back before new work can begin. If you can do some or all of this yourself, it'll be a lot cheaper than getting the professionals to do it.
- Sell your old stuff. You might be surprised just how much you can get for your old shop fittings and furniture on Gumtree, or perhaps by going through a second-hand dealer.
- Minimise structural changes. Changing the existing structure of the business space can be very expensive, so avoiding major structural changes whenever possible can provide big savings.
- Plan ahead. Don't put things off until the last minute – leaving it as late as possible to organise any facet of the work will only increase costs. Instead, develop a timeline with realistic deadlines to make sure everything runs smoothly.
- Stick to your plan. Once you know what you want, stick to the plan. Chopping and changing at the last minute is only going to drive up the cost.
How do you get a business loan for shop fit-outs?
If you need a business loan to finance the work, the good news is that plenty of Australian lenders provide fit-out loans. To apply for a loan you'll need to provide:
- Personal and business financial statements. You'll usually need statements for the last two or three years, and they'll need to show that your business is in a strong financial position.
- Business plan. If you're starting a new business, most lenders will request a copy of your business plan and cash flow forecasts to determine whether your business is set up for future success.
- A deposit. Many lenders require a 50% deposit for fit-out loans. However, if you use a residential property as security for the loan, you may be able to borrow up to 100% of your expenses.
What do you need to consider before fitting out a shop?
While a refurbishment done right can substantially increase the appeal of your business to prospective customers, there are a few key risks you need to consider before starting the work.
The biggest risk is biting off more than you can chew, especially if you're taking out a loan to finance the fit-out, so make sure you can afford whatever project you have planned. Taking the time to compare your business loan options, not to mention compare the services and quotes of a number of shopfitters, is also essential.
Finally, remember that a fit-out is not the be all and end all of business success – there's plenty more you need to do to keep turning a profit, and there are always plenty of ongoing expenses to contend with. Remember to budget for those future costs, making sure to leave some money aside and don't blow all your funds on a fit-out.