Finding the perfect space for a growing business can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve found an ideal location for your business but think it needs some updating, consider starting a tenant improvement project, which is when a building’s tenant decides to modify their leased space with the approval (and sometimes, funds) of their landlord. It’s common for business owners to hire construction contractors who specialize in tenant improvement projects. This streamlines operations and allows for expert contributions to the final product.

Here are five tips to help you run a successful tenant improvement project for your business.

1. Create a Plan

Before you sign on a lease or look into contractors, it’s important to make a detailed plan for your project. Take time to create a tentative timeframe of when you want certain milestones in the project to happen to get an idea of how long each phase should take. Consider the improvements you want to make to the space, the regulations you need to follow, and the budget you want to work within.

2. Hire a Contractor

Working with a contractor has a lot of benefits, but the main one is that they can provide a level of expertise to your project that most people are incapable of offering themselves. When choosing a contractor, consider factors like price, previous work, and their reputation in the industry. Get quotes from several contractors and meet with them individually to see if they have the resources, availability, and experience to turn your vision into a reality.

3. Communicate With Contractors

Communication is key when working on a construction project, which is why it’s crucial to establish a consistent check-in schedule with your contractors. After you hire the right team, discuss with them exactly how you want to transform the space and make room for them to provide their own input. Meet with them regularly to discuss how the project is progressing and to make decisions regarding both functional and stylistic elements for the space.

4. Comply With Regulations

It’s also important to comply with local and federal regulations when working on a tenant improvement project and consider how these necessary tasks can impact your budget. For example, you want to ensure that your space is compliant with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations so that the area is accessible for everyone. Your space may be subject to inspections from the city to make sure it’s within the local codes for fire alarms and sprinkler systems.

5. Make the Most Out of Your Space

Before you start working on your tenant improvement project, you may have an idea in your head of how you want your space to look. If the space you end up leasing can’t quite measure up to your expectations, the best advice is to work with what the space is offering. For example, if a lease for a teen clothing store has an unfinished ceiling with exposed pipes, consider keeping this for aesthetic purposes to create a trendy, hipster atmosphere in line with the business’s demographic.

Following these simple steps, anyone can take on a tenant improvement project. With some detailed planning, research, and communication, you and your contractors can work together to transform your lease into the perfect space for your business.