1. Get a three ring binder. Fill it with printed or copied pages of your materials, hardware, colors and vendors and subcontractors. OK, in the digital world we live in, a binder seems a little weird, but it's a great tool. When you have lots of people searching for answers about lighting fixtures, vendor info, your color choices and all of the other questions, it's right there on the jobsite, ready for even the biggest technophobe to peruse and get that answer without hunting you down.
2. Communicate! Text, email, call or shout, but make sure everyone is on the same page about the schedule, details and tasks. Have everybody that is on the project's cell phone number and email. Just because the architect's drawing shows something, don't assume that all the players saw it or understand it. You won't offend anyone, I hope, and the end result is a store that is what you ask for.
3. Think ahead. Timing is everything, they say. Keep a drop dead list of all the parts of your project so that fixtures, product and essentials are ordered far enough in advance so that the bugs and gremlins that tend to show up at the last minute won't hurt your opening date.
4. Use your team to it's fullest. There is an enormous sense of ownership when you put together a new store. As an entrepreneur, you tend to micro-manage and stay in control of everything around you. Getting to that opening day will require you to delegate out a large amount of tasks that you would normally do yourself. Just keep that binder up to date and keep the whole team focused on the end game.
5. Be realistic about the schedule. Imposing unrealistic deadlines for your store project can make things happen in a way you would never expect. Mistakes will happen, but super tight deadlines amplify their effect and the consequences ripple throughout the project. I know that making lease payments while this process plods along hurts in so many ways, but opening later than you planned has an even greater impact.
Don, Head Ecowoodie