Richard Hamilton of HamiltonBIG, a creative retail and brand consultancy, talks through the three Ps of a shopfit

We all make mistakes, but some are far more costly than others. In shopfitting there are some obvious ones that are worth avoiding, but these three Ps are the most critical: planning, programme and price.

Planning can be a hassle. Take a typical 1960s shop in a high street and you want the best signage you can get, you want to replace the shopfront and you want to open up spaces to locate the fridges and increase covers. But for reasons sometimes beyond the realm of logic, you are held back for at least eight weeks by the bureaucracy of red tape and middle management it happens countless times.

Yet in some cases, planning is vital historic buildings are a case in point. But whether we agree with it or not, the costs of not applying for planning can be a serious mistake, affecting the programme with potentially bank-breaking consequences.

Programme is the second ’P’ and is critical to ensure the budget is adhered to. There is plenty to take into consideration. If you want to start building a store in a month’s time, you need to appoint a shopfitter, agree a price and allow them a lead-in period for the job at least two weeks in advance, as they have to organise labour and order in materials. Once on-site, you or preferably a project manager have to keep pushing the programme, as additional days on-site cost you dearly.

The final ’P’ is price the most important P not to get wrong. The cost of building store is critical to your business and any mistakes here will have the greatest impact on your payback period, your weekly sales budget and, ultimately, your profit. Agree a cost with a shopfitter a JCT contract can ensure you’re covered legally and make sure you’ve signed off a scope of works that you’ve seen and agreed. Manage your expectations on budget, remembering a contingency. If you can cover off these three Ps thoroughly, any mistakes that could happen should be highlighted and rectified before they begin to have an effect.

In fact, there is one final P, plastic flowers just don’t do it.

l Next month: how to source the best construction team