When you move your business, it’s not like moving homes. As complicated as it may seem to keep track of one person, or one family’s possessions and tasks while moving, it’s more complex to move an office. It may seem easier on the surface–after all, every employee can be responsible for their own desks–but really, there are many details, some of them not tangible at all, that can lead to real problems down the road. So prepare for these in advance and make your move as smooth as you can:
Get the Professionals
Even if you’re a relatively small business that had been working out of a modest-sized office, or even a home office, you should seriously consider using professionals. When people move themselves, they normally have to invest a lot of time, effort, and labor. That’s especially true with a business, and there if there’s a mistake or delay, you have to take into account that you’re losing money for every hour you’re moving rather than running your business.
Vet moving companies in your current and new locations, and see who have the best reputation for working with businesses. If you know business owners or managers who have moved recently, find out who they used and what their experiences were. Not every professional mover is equipped for both homes and offices, so find the ones who are and work with them. Make sure they know your schedule and how long you can afford to be uprooted. Drop in on their business to see how they handle things when a client isn’t there. And really, if there’s ever a time to ignore the low bid and pay extra for quality, it’s when hiring movers–you want the people who will treat your equipment, files, and livelihood right.
Have a Plan
Just as with moving house, have a plan, but more than that, have timelines and agendas. Make sure people know what projects need to be finished, how long to put off new projects, when their individual work needs to be completed, and so on. Don’t let an employee take forever getting their desk packed just because they’ve been handling other things.
It’s smart to put someone in charge of the move, a comptroller that has is primarily responsible for making sure the plan is set, everyone knows the timetable, and people are sticking with it. You don’t want the boss of the company having to drop everything during a chaotic time to handle a missed detail, so make sure your comptroller is someone who can handle it.
Part of that plan should include details that are often forgotten. Do you have measurements for all the new space? Are you changing your workspace to a different desk layout? Where’s the break room going to be? If your employees packed up things themselves, are all their boxes properly labeled? How about all your files and paperwork? Does that have to move now, or can it be digitized and shredded?
Don’t Take Everything
Speaking of converting bulky paper to digital backups, do you need everything in your current office? You probably have storerooms full of things that no one wanted to throw away, or furniture that’s gotten old, filing cabinets that aren’t useful, or that one printer that kind of works if you smack it on the side. There’s no better time to get around to replacing and upgrading things than when you’re moving. If you don’t want to throw away old items, see if they can be donated to schools or nonprofit organizations for a tax credit. Reducing how much you’re moving is a good way to watch your budget, too.
Talk to Everyone
Among the details your moving comptroller should look at is making sure everyone you have a business relationship with is aware of and ready for your move. Your clients should be notified, from notices on the website to signs posted outside your office. Suppliers and vendors need your new address and also to know when you’re going to be in transit–this is especially important and they should be notified at least a few months in advance.
Also, make sure you’re aware of all your infrastructure needs. Has your IT staff checked the new location and made note of what they’ll need there? Do they know how long it will take to move servers and everything else they’ll require? Have you personally walked through the space and come up with ideas where things should go, how work will flow around the new space? And have your managers who are responsible for coordinating teams and workflow been there to check the same concerns?
This can be a big, difficult job, but with preparation, planning, and the help of movers like Gerber Moving & Storage, you should be able to relocate your business with no hiccups at all.