Richard Hamilton of HamiltonBIG, a creative retail and brand consultancy, considers how to be efficient in your build project

We all know time is money and there is nothing closer to the truth when it comes to shopfitting. But the key to saving time and money is very simple and the same as any aspect of life namely, organisation.

Over the past few months, shopfitters, project managers and designers have all been discussed in varying degrees in this column and for one simple reason they all are integral to the build process of any store and will save you time. There are very few people who have the capability to design, project-manage and build a store on time and on budget.

There are specialists in life for everything and, in the same way we have window cleaners and accountants after all we could do it all ourselves if we had to building a store also has these facilitators, who can help you and offer support and deliver you an efficient build.

Building a store from the legals to the lights will be more efficient if you can create a team of people a build team whom you can brief as to what you want, when you want it and for how much. What the build team will do is produce a specification of what is going to be built from doors to door handles as well as a realistic programme and a realistic cost.

Of course, none of this comes for free and a percentage of your total budget for a designer, a quantity surveyor or project manager and a shopfitter will all add up. But if well negotiated and fitting within the budget, this will pale into insignificance compared to workmen standing on-site for two days, waiting for materials to arrive or a paint colour to be decided or wondering why the ceiling went in before the cabling or from past experience why the furniture arrived before the floor was laid.

Efficiencies are also not just the big and obvious programme issues, they are also created through buying power, relationships with suppliers and a good foreman. All these elements can be achieved through great organisation, but it would leave you little time to run your own business.

l Next month: shopfronts, the window on your business.