Finding a Fit Out Company
Have you decided to refurbish or relocate your office, and are looking for someone to help you through this process? Perhaps you’re unsure if you need to do the project at all, and want to explore the options? If either of these options sounds like you, then you’ll need the support of a design & build company.
Choosing the right design & build company to work with can make or break your project. However, before you can choose them, you have to find them. But if you’re unsure how to find a great design & build company, where do you start? Even if you do have a potential contractor in mind, it’s important to explore other options. This will give you a better understanding of the market and give you more confidence in your final decision.
In this article, we’ll go through the 5 most common ways you can find a design & build company. We’ll also explain the advantages and disadvantages of each option, along with some tips to make sure your search is a success. By the end, you’ll be ready to research the market and create a longlist of potential fit out companies.
The first option to consider when finding an office fit out company is the contractor your company used for the previous project. You could also consider companies you or your colleagues have worked with at other companies.
Working with someone you have worked with previously is the lowest-risk option. You know them from having worked with them previously, and you understand their strengths and weaknesses. often, using a previous supplier is also the fastest route. You don’t need a lengthy selection process, and you may be able to skip some steps of the project process, using the outcomes from previous projects.
However, this isn’t always the best option. If you didn’t have a good experience with them on your previous project, this is obviously not an option. Your new project may also be different from your previous project, and require a different skillset, which they don’t have.
If you aren’t happy with your previous contractor or this is your first fit out, an alternative would be to speak to network and industry peers to see who they have used in the past. If they are prepared to make suggestions or recommendations, then those companies are worth considering.
Your network won’t recommend someone they didn’t get on well with, so this is the next best thing to working with someone you have worked with previously. This is especially true if you have a close relationship with the person who recommended the contractor.
When taking this approach, there is a risk that they won’t be suitable for your project. Their capabilities and expertise may have been a good fit for your peer’s project, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be right for your fit out.
Another way to find potential fit out companies is to attend industry networking events. There are many different types of events that could enable this, from facilities exhibitions to workplace strategy summits to networking groups. Fit out companies may sponsor or attend these events, enabling you to connect with them.
Events like these enable you to speak to several fit out companies at once and it also makes comparison easier. By speaking to them early on in the process, you can establish a relationship which makes due diligence easier.
However, by speaking to contractors so early in the process, it can be easy to be swayed by their thoughts and opinions, rather than staying focussed on what is best for you as a business. It can also be hard to find the right kinds of events with the content and contractors you need.
If the traditional methods of finding potential contractors are not right for you or didn’t produce any results, then you could try researching online. Simply searching terms like “best design & build companies in London” or “top office renovation companies” will bring up many options. When doing this, your search should be as specific as possible to return the most relevant results.
The main advantage of online research is that it is quick and easy – especially when compared to networking. This also makes it much easier to compare the options in an objective way and do thorough research before making contact.
However, this route will inevitably favour larger companies with bigger marketing budgets. This is not necessarily a problem, but they may not be right for your project. While they may have an impressive client list and a stunning portfolio, they may not have the expertise or cost structure to deliver your project.
Searching social media sites such as LinkedIn or Pinterest is also an option. The best way to use social media for this purpose, however, is to follow relevant hashtags, influences, industry publications, and companies. Over time, you will get a good understanding of the expertise and profile of fit out companies, which will help you longlist suitable options.
Taking this approach allows you to get a good feel for their culture and values, as well as what kinds of projects they specialise in and their design approach. This gives a much more wholistic view than an online search. As a result, your decision can be made with more context.
However, much like online search, bigger companies with a more established digital presence will be more prominent. It’s important to keep focussed on what is right for you as a company.
Finding Your Fit Out Company
Choosing the right office fit out company is crucial to the success of your project. However, you can’t be sure you’re choosing the right company for you unless you’ve carried out thorough research to ensure that you’ve identified the best possible options. Finding several good options will enable you to carry out a thorough due diligence process and a fair comparison. All this will give you the confidence that you’ve chosen the best office fit out company, setting your project up for success.
Now that you know about the 5 best ways to find potential design & build contractors, you can decide which options are best for you, and begin your search. We recommend trying 2 or 3 avenues, to get as many good options as possible.
Once you’ve selected several options, you’ll need to make a final decision. To learn how to do that, read How to Choose the Best Office Fit Out Company For Your Project. You’ll also need to conduct a thorough due diligence process, and you can read about that here.
You’ll have a different process depending on whether you are going to relocate or refurbish your office. If you need to move, then download the Ultimate Guide to Office Relocation. It explains everything you need to know as you move office including exactly what is involved, how much it will cost, and how long it will take.
If you need to refurbish your office, then download your copy of How to Plan Your Office refurbishment. It’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan a successful office refurbishment. not sure which is best for you? Read Office Design vs Office Refurbishment – Which is Best For Me?