Commercial Managing Director Spotlight: Take 5 with Heath Nicholson

In this Managing Director spotlight, we had the pleasure of interviewing talented business owner and Managing Director for Total Fitouts Sunshine Coast South, Heath Nicholson. Take 5 and delve into his journey, how to foster a positive company culture, maintaining high standards of quality and craftsmanship within the business, and much more!

With Heath’s experience in the realm of commercial design and fitouts, Heath has spent many years working hands-on with the tools, as well as providing leadership from a business perspective. His expertise extends across a diverse array of projects, including commercial office fitoutscommercial hospitality shopfitscommercial retail fitoutscommercial medical fitoutscommercial fitness fitouts and commercial wellness and beauty fitouts

Heath has accumulated many years of experience in the residential and commercial fitout sector, transitioning from hands-on work to leading a team of six in the office, alongside managing external trades and suppliers. His hard work and leadership as a business manager has established Total Fitouts Sunshine Coast South as a reputable business in the commercial fit out industry, with many beautiful projects completed and shown on the website.

Since Heath signed with Total Fitouts in 2019, the Sunshine Coast southern area has blown up with their reputable fit out projects, putting Total Fitouts Sunshine Coast South on the map for commercial in-house design and fitouts.

TFO: Can you discuss your approach to fostering collaboration and teamwork within your team while delegating tasks?

H: Best team management and collaboration is not leading from the front, but leading within, being on the same level as everyone in the office, and putting in a collaborative effort.

TFO: Can you share an example of a particularly challenging fitout project you’ve managed, and how you overcame obstacles to achieve success?

H: We shopfit a project for beauty clinic Skin and Body Club, located in a shopping centre. Our task involved shutting down their old clinic, demolishing it, completing the new fit-out, and relocating them—all within a challenging 24 hours to minimise business downtime. We overcame and achieved this by placing the importance of this to all our employees and trades, and scheduled the job very tightly from the start ensuring everything was procured, everyone was booked in, and it was managed very tightly.

Bespoke curved wall features, elegant lights and green toned colour palette for this wellness & beauty fit out for Skin and Body Club

TFO: What strategies do you employ to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget?

H: Early procurement of the entire job, hence our upfront deposits, and the whole job is scheduled so all trades and stakeholders know what is happening before the job even starts onsite.

TFO: How do you prioritise safety and compliance in your commercial fit out projects, especially in high-risk environments?

H: We have a very comprehensive safety management plan and strong safety policies that all of our employees and trades have committed to and understand, and are monitored for every job. Our site managers conduct site-start tool box meetings with all the trades to identify any possible risks, and as a team to mitigate any potential risks.

Bespoke curved walls, pendant wall lights and neutral coastal beachy colour palette for this medical fit out for Sycamore Health

TFO: What sets us (TFO) apart from competitors in the commercial fitout industry on the Sunshine Coast?

H: Total Fitouts Sunshine Coast South provide very comprehensive detailed quotes, and we never try to overpromise and underdeliver and surprise our clients with variations that could’ve been included in the initial pricing. This doesn’t always pay off as some clients choose to go with “cheaper quotes”, however they quickly find out after its too late, that those other quotes did not include everything that the client required.

We also place a huge emphasis on client relationship, we are flexible, communicate and work along with the client every step of the way.

TFO: What inspired you to start a commercial fitout company, and what values drive your business?

H: I started my career running a residential building company, but the idea of running fast-paced, quick turn around commercial jobs enticed me to make the change, and I’ve never looked back.

Our core team values that drive the business are accountability, communication, client experience, performance, team culture, growth, and integrity.

Total Fitouts Sunshine Coast South shopfit experts team

TFO: How do you ensure that your company maintains high standards of quality and craftsmanship in every fitout project?

H: We have stringent processes that our project managers and site managers follow, they are required to be on every site most days of the week constantly checking for quality, reporting back, and making sure that the client is getting exactly what they are paying for. We also use a strong local team of subcontractors that have all worked for us for many years, negating the risk of chopping and changing new unknown contractors.

TFO: What steps do you take to foster a positive company culture and ensure employee satisfaction within your business?

H: It all starts with the culture of our internal office team, we work as a cohesive collaborative unit, with an amazing fun & professional office environment. This then flows into our whole network of suppliers, trades and consultants.

Total Fitouts Sunshine Coast South shopfit experts team

TFO: Can you discuss your approach to client relationships and how you ensure client satisfaction throughout the fitout process?

H: Communication, communication, communication and transparency. We make sure the client knows we are working with them, and for their best intentions. Our goal is to ensure that by the end of the project, our client’s business is both happy and successful. We aim for a lasting relationship where we can continue to support their business, and that we can take our friends and family’s in to support their business’s.

TFO: Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for the future growth and success of your commercial fit out company?

H: To continue being at the top of our game on the Sunshine Coast, offering top services in commercial interior design and constructing amazing award winning fitouts/business’s that our clients love to brag about!

Custom joinery with brass features, hardwood floors and welcoming reception area for this wellness & beauty fit out for Illuminate Aesthetics


TFO: Favourite Project?

H: I can’t be biased to our amazing clients! But if I had to pick one, our many project for Tim Adams Specialty Coffee.. Because I love coffee!

TFO: Most rewarding project?

H: The Cairns RSL. Very rewarding to complete such a large fit out so far away.

TFO: How long have you been with Total Fitouts?

H: Coming up to 5 years!

TFO: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

H: Doing what I’m doing but on a bigger scale!

TFO: What’s your favourite sports team?

H: Collingwood AFL club, but I also play AFL for our local North Shore Jets team.

Learn more about the Total Fitouts commercial fitout process here.

Whether you’re a Managing Director interested in being featured in Commercial Managing Director Spotlight or you’re searching for your next dream design to fitout project, we invite you to reach out to Total Fitouts and contact us here to explore exciting opportunities and collaborations!