Designing your business space
Steve Curtis founded Space Design Studios in 2000. The company has designed for homes, restaurants, hotels, shops and offices. He shared 7 tips for new businesses seeking a well-designed site.
If you're thinking of launching a new business, or taking your business to the next level and moving to a new place, a successful interior design concept can help.
1. Choose your site carefully
Everything starts with the search for a suitable place. Focus on the kind of business you want to attract – the location depends largely on that.
Whether you're setting up your own business site or choosing a site for a client you're designing for, your concerns should be similar.
Using a property agent can give you an advantage. That way, you'll have access to properties before they become available on the open market. This can help you get a better deal.
2. Choose a designer with care
The interior design company you choose should be aiming to keep up-to-date on the latest trends in the design industry.
Keep an eye on the market, attend exhibitions and travel around to see how other companies do things.
We try to make sure our interior designers spend as much time as they can exploring what is happening in the design world.
Our designers try to get out of the office as much as possible. Keep an eye on the market, attend exhibitions and travel around to see how other companies do things.
Meet with your designers first. An initial meeting helps them to understand your needs, the kind of business you are looking for, and the budget you are willing to spend.
You should be able to develop a brief of the project together. At Space Design we aim to focus on how the client will benefit from our services. We want to maximize their business productivity with design that is strategic as well as visually appealing.
3. Manage your budget
Budget here is always important, but especially when you're starting out. You should be analysing the feasibility of every project you're offered in great detail.
At Space Design Studios we provide clients with quantity surveying services, tendering, cost control and business guidance services. We have to include all of these in the overall cost of our projects.
With proper money management, you can keep hold of a real idea of how much the project will cost, right from the very start.
This is particularly helpful for clients who have never called in designers before. It gives them a bigger awareness of all the stages they need to go through, and a better sense of security in you, their company of choice.
4. What approvals do you need before work starts?
You will need to take care of any statutory approvals you might need to obtain before the new office design becomes reality. These might include:
- planning applications
- any building regulations that need to be met
- health and safety legislations the work must comply with
- any other legal licensing.
It is important that these steps are taken care of at an early stage – often they can determine the rest of the project.
Some spaces or projects might require architectural work, so you might need to work with an architect. We have staff in-house who have architectural backgrounds, which means we can offer their expertise as part of the project.
5. The design process should bring the project to life
With the regulations on the right path, it's time to develop the design further.
Your interior designers should aim to bring the concept to life as much as possible. You, the client, should gain a full insight into what the finished result will look like.
Keep hold of a real idea of how much the project will cost, right from the very start.
Designers might use:
- lifelike artist’s impressions
- 3D renderings
- samples of materials, colors and layouts
Detailed drawings can now be produced. This is the stage where the concept begins to become reality.
Plans of the different spaces and floors will be produced so the contractors can start work as soon as possible.
Specifications should continue to be as detailed as possible so that the project can be priced accurately.
6. The designs should fit your brand
If a new brand identity is being developed with the building, this can also start to grow from the concept.
From the general feel that gives the space its identity, we've completed projects where we also developed a brand logo, stationery, menu designs and uniforms.
7. Choose your contractors carefully
As soon as you're ready, it's time to start the work on-site.
Using the right contractors is fundamental to successfully working within your deadlines. Your design company will want to maximize the time they have available. You also want to get the new site opened as quickly as possible.
Look for a team of reliable contractors with a good reputation.
Look for a team of reliable contractors with a good reputation. At Space Design we usually recommend companies we have worked with for several years.
It's important to have support in terms of costing control. Ideally your designers should provide a named staff member who will be able to offer you on-site support during the building work. We offer this as part of all our projects.
8. Launch and market your finished office
When the project ends, it's time to host an opening party!
The initial idea has finally materialised. At this stage, the most important thing for both you and your interior designer is to make sure people know about the work you've done.
It's in both parties' interest that the work generates outside publicity, so make sure an ongoing marketing strategy is built into your working process.