How to Save Money on your Shop Fitout

Opening a new shop is an exciting time for a small business owner. But with so many things to consider it can also be a bit overwhelming – especially trying to squeeze everything you want into your budget for that perfect new space.

It’s important to invest in your fitout, but you shouldn’t blow the budget by making mistakes along the way.  If you are well prepared, you can avoid spending more than you thought. I’ve put together my top 4 tips to help you get started.

1. Work out your budget.

Odd as it sounds, you start saving money by working out how much you want to spend! You might have a total figure in your head, but you need to check that will cover everything you want and need.

Don’t fall for the trap of using a square metre rate (an old standard used to be $1,500 per sqm – so a 100 sqm shop = $150,000 in fitout costs).  This often does not work.  You should have a list of all the things you need and put a concrete number against each one.

If you’d like an example of the budget sheet I use, please get in touch.

2. Keep design simple and flexible

Your design doesn’t have to be the fanciest in town. Keeping it simple and perhaps adding a feature light or surprising colour element goes a long way to wow factor. Brief your designer well, and always tell them the number you are working to.

For more tips on finding the best designer for your fitout – see my earlier post here.

And don’t forget to include your designer’s fees in your budget (see point 1)!

3. Choose your shopfitter wisely.

The best way to make sure you don’t get last minute costs is to make sure your documentation is crystal clear about what you want and who does what. This is where a good tender document is crucial.

Even if you know someone who can build your shop for you, get a second quote, and if possible a third. If one price is a lot cheaper than the others, check what they have left out, because chances are that’s what’s happened!

And think hard about building or installing anything yourself. What seems like a cost effective solution can end up costing you more time and effort than it’s worth.

4. Hire a Project Manager

A little shameless plug for Setting Up Shop?  Why not – it is my blog! But the truth is, with a project manager on your side you can ensure that you’ve covered all the major and minor details in leasing, fitting out and opening your new shop.

Having someone on your side highlighting the path can bring the excitement back into the process, and certainly alleviate the stress. Our experience will set you up for success!


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