It can be scary to decide to pay for a big commercial construction project, especially when you’re just starting a small business. You’re trying to watch every penny going out. How do you decide if that extra office or extended showroom is going to bring the returns to make it worthwhile?
When I helped some friends starting a small press years ago, we considered a commercial construction outfit to build out the space. The new owners were terrified that they’d dump too much capital into it and end up with a very nice and modern space for a shuttered shop! So we did much of the work ourselves. And while a lot of the work was all right, we made some mistakes with wiring and flooring that any professional construction company would have spotted right away. When another friend opened a new restaurant, people told him to work with the space he had for the first few years, but he was confident that putting on a patio would pay off. He succeeded while that print shop failed. But I also know of a pet boutique that paid for a huge dog-grooming facility that is sitting empty now, because they overextended themselves.
There is always the option, at least for smaller projects and renovations, of hiring a small contractor or a friend of a friend to do the work. You may think “here’s a person who won’t charge as much or who isn’t as busy, or will be grateful for the work and do an extra-good job.” But sometimes a smaller, more informal company or individual can be harder to get work out of, or they may expect more leeway exactly because they’re smaller. And if you hire on a very small company or individual, and they get sick or injured or are tied up with a different job, you might be left with a business that’s just framing and sheet plastic and piles of materials gathering dust for months. Not a great start for your business! Not all small outfits have these problems, but be sure to get a guarantee or include an agreement to get you out of a bad situation with a minimum of pain. If the people you’re dealing with are really professionals, they’ll understand. Everyone is happier when everyone is protected from mishaps.
Checking reviews and examining a company’s previous work is expected. Pick a construction outfit that meshes with your business; obviously you’re not going to hire a company to build your nightclub who specialized in clean assembly environments. Look for a specialist when possible, and balance the qualities of various companies with their cost. Consider a variety of companies; just like picking a stock vendor or hiring a new employee, the more options you’ve got to choose from, the better your chances for finding just the right fit. Asking around to people who’ve had similar work done can be a good source of referrals. And if a company you’re considering has a lot of sour reports from other clients, take that very seriously. You can hear thousands of stories about construction or renovation projects that start out like new romances between builders and business owners, and turn into nightmare breakups that cost far more than the initial bid and leave the work unfinished or in a slapdash state.
It’s a tough call, deciding to use commercial construction for your new business. You may do weeks of research on traffic flow and sales trends in the area, but if a project runs into trouble, or some unforeseen emergency appears, your precious startup capital can evaporate before your eyes. But if you decide to go that route– making the decision to build out an existing space, or build a new one from scratch– it’s crucial to pick the company that’s right for you.
Contact Joel Flores at 956-227-0843 of Jericho Construction and Remodeling to discuss your project.