Tight budgets can make it tough to decide where your money should be spent. Should the lions’ share go towards those extra flourishes like mood lighting or would it be put to better use elsewhere. At ASF, we firmly believe that in order to achieve a quality retail fit out, you need to invest in quality materials and workmanship. After all, these will form the bare bones of your project – the very essence of your fit out. For everything else, there are surprisingly cost-effective solutions which will help you to achieve the result you want, for a fraction of the price.

Here are our top five cost-effective ideas for your shop fit out. For further inspiration, download our guide to the best retail layouts for your business.

 Work your fit out around your shop’s peak trading time

Easier said than done but with the right planning and the right fit out team on board, it’s entirely possible for your store to be fully operational during peak trading – even in the midst of your fit out. If your store’s wares are generally seasonal, begin planning your fit out during the months in between. If you rely on weekend trade, ask your fit-out contractors if they’re able to complete the majority of the fit out during the week. At ASF, we’ll always try to work around you. During previous fit outs, we’ve worked right through the night so the business wouldn’t miss a day’s trade. With the right team on board, anything is possible.

 Bring your fit-out contractors in as early as possible

In our experience, costs tend to spiral when a fit-out team is brought in at the very end of the planning stage. We understand the temptation to draw up plans with an architect or buy those preferred shelving units ahead of time. However, by setting your fit out in motion before seeking the advice of the professionals, you could miss out on some essential cost-saving opportunities. At ASF, we offer an end-to-end solution to your retail fit out. This means that we’ll manage your project from concept and design, all the way through to that final lick of paint – a service which could ultimately save you money. Our strong ties with chartered architectural firms and lumber yards puts us in a much better position to negotiate a discount, which is a saving we’ll then pass on to you.

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Be open to new ideas

You may have your heart set on solid mahogany shelving units, but are they strictly necessary? Does the success of your venture rest wholly on the marble-topped table for your point of sale? It’s easy to get carried away with the romance of starting a new business, however it’s important to reel in your expectations and be open to other, more cost-effective alternatives. Your fit-out contractor will have had experience using all of the materials on your wishlist, and will have come across a few like-for-like alternatives along the way. Ask their advice and be fully receptive to the alternatives that they suggest. You could end up saving thousands. 

Don’t get carried away with your finishing touches

Providing those extra flourishes can be a needless and costly exercise. Remember, when creating a retail space, less is more. After all, your shop should be devoted to showcasing your wares, not the very latest shade of Farrow and Ball.  

Invest in quality

Perhaps the most significant cost you’ll incur from your fit out is, well, your fit out. Contractors, architects, money from lost trading… it all adds up. It stands to reason then, that this isn’t something you’ll want to do all again next year. By investing in quality materials for your fit out, you’ll reduce the likelihood of things breaking before they should. Not all building materials are created equal and your fit-out contractor will be able to steer you in the right direction. With their expertise, you’ll know where to make savings and when to spend a little more to safeguard your fit out for the years of successful trading ahead.

For more advice about planning your retail fit out, get in touch with ASF

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