1. Not hiring the right designer (or, even worse, not hiring a designer at all!!)
Let me just put it out there - failing to hire an experienced commercial interior designer when designing your premises is a fatal mistake!
Ok, Ok, I can hear your cries of “of course you say that, you are an interior designer”!
That is true, but bear with me here. There are some very important considerations that you should take into account before you launch yourself down the path of designing your premises without a designer by your side:
Costs - The number one consideration, before you embark on your design journey, is cost. You may feel that not hiring a designer will save you money upfront, but I’m afraid that is just not the case. Yes, you will have to pay a designer for their services, but in the longer run and throughout the design process, having a designer leading the project will actually save you time and money. A good commercial designer can achieve cost savings through their ability to source and buy materials more cost effectively, by working with teams of trusted trades that they have good relationships with (and therefore avoiding any costly conflicts or delays), by avoiding costly mistakes such as poor choice of materials and bad design that may need redoing later and by avoiding scheduling conflicts, thus minimizing the cost of shut-down.
Adding Value to Your Business - A great design will add value to your business. Hiring a designer to achieve a look and feel that is above and beyond what you might be able to achieve in a self-managed project, will not only increase your sales and attract new customers, but will, ultimately, help you achieve a much greater value should you decide to sell. We have seen businesses as much as double their market value after our design team redesigned their interiors!
Designing with a Plan in Mind - A good designer will approach your project with a finished plan in mind. They will have taken your brand, your customers, your staff, your functionality and great design into consideration before they set anything down on paper. A good designer will complete a full audit and create a full concept before even beginning. This will again help you to avoid costly mistakes and design and scheduling errors.
Consumer Behaviour - A good designer will design with your target audience in mind. A great designer will understand what drives that customer, what helps them to make their purchase decisions, what they want to feel and how to design a space that helps them feel that way. A great designer will be able to get inside the mind of your customer and figure out what their motivations and perceptions are and will then look at your premises design from the point of view of those motivations and perceptions. A great designer knows how to link consumer psychology with design psychology, ultimately increasing your sales!
Future Proofing - Finally, a designer’s fee is an investment in the future of your business. To future proof your premises design is a delicate balance of cost, quality, durability, style and show-stopping wow factors! It is extremely difficult to achieve that delicate balance and to ensure you stay relevant and fresh in years to come, without needing a complete re-furb every 5 years! This is something that can only come with years of experience and an education in design. Check out our article on future-proofing your business here.
So, you can see why the number 1 mistake that Irish businesses make is not hiring a designer.
2. Not thinking about the future and growth of your business
The second major mistake that Irish businesses make when designing their premises is not thinking about their future and growth.
To avoid big costs and a possible complete re-design in the future, you should spend some time now with your designer mapping out your future plans for your business.
Will you be taking on more staff in the future, for example? Do you hope to expand your business at some point in the future? Is your trade growing at the moment? And at what rate? And what will that mean for your space and facilities in 1 year, 3 years or even 10 years’ time?
Will you require new technology in the future? And where will that be housed and how will it be powered? Are you planning to rebrand your business or search for new target markets at any point?
Will you be launching new products?
All of these questions are imperative when you are designing your business because the scope and plans for your business will determine the space and functionality that you will need to incorporate into your future designs.
Again, this is something that a good designer will work through with you at the early stages of the planning process.
3. Letting price determine the choice of materials
The third major mistake that Irish businesses make when designing their business premises is to allow cost to dictate all design decisions. This is a big mistake!
We, of course, understand that everybody has a budget and your overall budget is the guiding point and it is important to stick to that figure. However, within your budget, there are areas where you should invest more and areas where you can cut back a little so that the overall budget tallies up.
Allowing yourself to always be guided by price can ultimately cost you more money in the long run.
When choosing materials, there are many considerations to weigh up and some of those considerations can lead to more business in the long run. But, made the wrong way, some of those decisions can ultimately cost you more than you might save in the short run.
Let’s work this through in a quick example: Let’s say you are designing a day spa:
There will be all sorts of choices to be made about finishes and fixtures and materials and furniture etc.
Ultimately, you want to create an atmosphere of relaxation and therapeutic rejuvenation.
Now, depending on which end of the market you are targeting, you may like to create an air of luxury or of simple elegance. That will be your first cost guiding decision. If you want to attract clients with lots of money to spend, and ultimately command a higher price point, then you need to really invest in high quality finishes and fixtures (especially in the more visible areas of the spa).
If you are going for simple elegance, then perhaps you can afford to cut back on some of those finishes, but bear in mind, that you will ultimately, likely, not command the same price point as the luxury spa.
Next, think about the high traffic areas in your spa - the reception, the flooring, the bathrooms, the equipment - if you want these surfaces to last for years to come, then you again need to invest in quality and durability here.
However, there are other, less visible or less used areas and surfaces in your spa where you might look at cost-savings, such as wall and ceiling finishes, window treatments, back of house areas and so on.
So again, just bear in mind that whilst the overall budget is important, the breakdown of the budget is equally important and not every purchasing decision should be solely based on price or cost savings.
These are all mistakes that a good commercial designer will guide you through and help you to avoid.
To consult with one of our Interior Designers at McCabe Design Group, click here.
McCabe Design Group