Commercial construction is a vastly different process than residential construction is. The scale is completely different, and the bidding/permitting process is unique. There are more factors to consider and more environmental impacts to account for at each step along the way. There are some special components to contemplate when it comes to commercial construction - let's take a look at some of them.
First, make sure a professional architect or estimating engineer does your blueprints. It might be OK to build a home off of sketches, but a commercial project can't run that way. You will need to submit your prints for approval from the local authorities and you will have to present these to your contractors. Professional plans will ensure that everyone is all on the same page and that you will get the project you want in the end.
Make sure that all of the permits you need are taken out and that necessary inspections are taking place on the right schedule. It can be financially devastating to have your construction project shut down because an inspector is not satisfied with an aspect of your progress, or worse, that he or she sees something dangerous.
Take the time to make sure that your plans are complete and that your specs are all-encompassing. This bit of time spent at the beginning can pay big dividends, sometimes literally, down the road. Conversely, making changes late in the project's progress can be more costly than if they had been incorporated at the beginning.
Line up your financing before a single shovel is picked up, or else things will be delayed mid-project. Those delays can end up costing more than the project would have originally, even though the actual number of work days is the same. Having full financing sources to keep you going all the way to the end of the project will also help you be successful. That financing needs to pay for all of the project's costs, plus it should include a bit of a cushion to handle the unexpected.
Once your project is prepped and ready, send out for a number of bids and read each one over carefully. Look for a successful track record by any of the contractors and subcontractors, and check their bids to ensure that they have accounted for everything in your project. Just because a company is the low bidder doesn't make them the right choice.
After you have selected your contractor, read over the contract carefully to ensure that everything is accurate and that all the points you want covered are indeed covered. Then, inspect what you expect - stop by and check in with your project manager regularly to make sure that everything is progressing on the right schedule.
Any changes that need to be made should be done in writing and agreed to by both the contractor(s) and you so everyone is in accord and that all of the details have been worked out.
Lastly, be sure everyone knows what the timeline is. Each phase of the project should have a deadline, and a cushion should be built into each phase so if there is one delay at an early stage, it won't negatively impact the entire project and make it run past the completion date.