Are Renovations Allowed?
If you are currently leasing a store (which most business owners do), you'll want to talk with the owner to find out whether or not renovations are allowed. Some property owners may allow minor renovations, such painting and constructing new fixtures, while prohibiting major renovations. Other the property owners may allow all types of renovations -- as long as you get prior approval. It only takes a couple of minutes to call up the property owner and ask them.
Renovating a store without the owner's permission could result in your lease being terminated (and possibly monetary compensation to reverse the renovations).
Which Walls are Load-Bearing?
Are you familiar with your store's blueprints? If not, you should pull them out to locate the load-bearing walls. Just as the name suggests, these walls are critical to the structural integrity of the building, and tearing them down creates a serious hazard for workers and shoppers alike. You can usually identify which walls are load-bearing and which ones are partition by looking at the blueprints. If you want to tear down a load-bearing wall, you'll have to shut down your store and hire a professional architect to create a new load-bearing wall and supporting structure.
How Much Will It Cost?
Of course, budget plays a big role in store renovations. While there's no way to determine exactly how much a renovation will cost, you perform an estimation based on materials and labor expenses. Sit down and decide how much you are willing to spend on the renovation, and then estimate your total cost. You may also be able to get price estimations from professional contractors.
Create a Plan
You can't expect to have a smooth store renovation without a clear plan of attack. Perhaps you want to install new flooring in your store. If so, plan the type of flooring, who's going to install it, where the installation process will take place, etc. Planning ahead will reduce the chance of unforeseen 'mishaps' while ensuring the process goes more smoothly.