Are you thinking of moving your corporate office, distribution warehouse, or retail space? The “renew vs. relocate” dilemma is one every business faces at some point. Maybe you’re hoping to improve foot traffic, reach new markets, or better represent your company culture. Maybe you’re hoping to lower costs or upgrade facilities.
Once you’ve considered the pros and cons for your business and you’ve decided to move to a new office space, the real work begins. There is much more to moving a company than just calling a mover and setting a date, so you’d better be prepared.
First and foremost, start early and plan a lot. To get you into the moving mindset, here are some practical details to consider:
Corporate Office and Business Relocation Checklist:
Donate Old or Unused Items
Moving is a great time to do “spring cleaning”. Instead of paying to move items you no longer need or want, why not recycle them and get a tax break by donating to someone in need? Habitat for Humanity or other registered charities will gladly take your stuff.
After you’ve determined what stays and what goes, make a detailed list of all items to be moved, refurbished, or sold. Make a checklist (or many checklists) and assign trusted people to handle inventory for different areas of the office. Also important, but often overlooked: you should move valuables like cash and securities, important business records and accounting information, and moving-related documents yourself.
Select Movers Carefully
If you hire movers, call at least a few months in advance. Give yourself time to request proposals and compare quotes. Ask for proof of insurance and find out how much they cover. Also contact your own insurance company to find out what your existing policies cover. Know what they are packing and what you are expected to pack, disassemble, etc.
Hiring professionals is a good idea if your relocation needs to take place rapidly or you have a larger office. Don’t expect your team to do everything on top of their regular duties.
Be a Prepared Packer
Clearly mark boxes on the tops and sides so you can tell where things belong and can locate items quickly. Organize your computer cords. Don’t try to move computers or equipment while plugged in. Instead, unplug all cords and put them in labeled plastic bags. Plan and document where things will go in the new place so you can quickly direct the movers.
Tell Your Employees
A company move can cause uncertainty for your employees. They face a new daily commute, new protocols, new workspace, and may even have fears about their job security. Quell their fear of the unknown by telling them everything far in advance and answering all their questions honestly.
Tell Your Customers
Your customers deserve the same friendly fair warning as your employees do. Update your contact information everywhere including your website, social media, Google business listing, email signature, business cards, printed signage, and with the post office. Let customers know if the move will disrupt business activities. Create a banner or landing page on your website to let everyone know what’s coming. Consider it pre-marketing.
Set Up Communications Early
Sometimes there is a lag between ordering service and when they can install it. Organize phone and internet services up to 60 days in advance so that you’re not without it during the transition. Think about call-forwarding. Set up a Google Voice account as a backup in case anything goes wrong.
If your company has 20 or more employees, hiring a professional service to handle the telecom move may be cost-effective.
Plan Ahead for Training
New equipment, new phone system, new gate access, new coffee maker. Make a list of all services and equipment that will require employee training, and plan a schedule ahead of time. In some cases, the service provider can offer a training session. The more prepared you are, the less you will sacrifice productivity, and the faster you can make everyone feel comfortable in the new space.
Expect the Unexpected
It’s easy to underestimate the complexity of relocating even a small or medium-sized office. Have a timeline, but plan for delays, and have a contingency plan. (Did we mention start early?) All that being said, try to take things in stride and go with the flow.
Moving is a lot of work! Acknowledging a job well done and remembering why you decided to move in the first place makes it feel all worthwhile. Don’t forget to reward employees for their help and flexibility throughout the move.
Celebrate your hard work and the beginning of a new chapter with a champagne toast, ribbon cutting ceremony, a welcome gift, or another fun way to pat yourselves on the back for a job well done.
Have we forgotten anything? Let us know!