You’ve qualified (congrats!) and have signed onto a franchise, and have identified your new space, so now what? First, you should receive a build-out manual from your franchise Area Director. This document specifies all the design criteria needed to get your space ready for occupancy, guidelines for installation standards on fixtures & equipment, and resources for purchasing materials. Then, you’ll need to select your Architect or Design-Build contractor team for the build-out of your franchise location. The manual will give your architect/D-B contractor team what they need to work with you on the creation of a cohesive set of plans. The team you select will need the information in the build-out manual before any construction work starts for the smoothest possible start to the build-out process, otherwise, you’ll risk the work they’ve started not being approved by the Area Director or the City later on, and losing that time and money.
This flowchart shows the basic progression of the franchise build-out process. Keep in mind that inside of each step are many substeps, and you can give us a call any time to talk more in-depth about your local franchise build-out! APS has a phenomenal Southern California franchise build-out track record and is well-qualified to work with you on your franchise build-out project.
Franchisees have a long list of tasks and responsibilities to fulfill before opening, and can’t afford to co-manage construction activity. If you follow the build-out steps thoughtfully, the D-B contractor you select will be there to help you maintain your bandwidth and timeline for the marketing, employee training, and other franchise setup steps you need to take. Your focus should be on those things that your D-B team can’t help you with! Making a poor choice could mean having to put all of those projects on hold during the construction process. Here are a few things to keep in mind for a smooth job while progressing through your build-out project with your D-B team.
- Contact fellow franchisees who have been through the build-out process to identify and work through common challenges they might have had during the permitting & construction processes. Open up the conversation to share your findings w your Architect and/or D-B contractor.
- Determine all of the long-lead time FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment) products, order them or require your contractor to do so as early in the project as possible, and plan for delivery dates.
- Integrate your startup activities (e.g. stocking your facility, employee training, computer setup) with the D-B team’s construction calendar to align on plans and expectations and avoid costly miscommunications or conflicts (like planning your paid employee training before opening when your contractor has the power scheduled to be off for testing).
- Make an appointment to visit the Building Department to discuss and better understand any administrative requirements that may be necessary in order to receive your certificate of occupancy. Oftentimes, these are left unknown until final inspections, leaving little time to address, and can cause several weeks of surprise delay.
- Ask your D-B contractor how their team can help you set up outside your unfinished space for your franchise setup, like pre-sales and engagement of your target market.
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APSGC: Managing Your Project Timeline… In Spite of Delays
APSGC: The TI Permit Process: Avoiding Scope Creep
APSGC: Who’s On Your Pre-Construction Team?