Thousands of businesses relocate each year. Workforce proximity is the most commonly-cited reason. Essentially, a business needs to be close to its workers. Other reasons include:
- A need to tap into new markets,
- Facilities improvement (upsizing),
- Lower cost (downsizing), and
- Quality of life issues.
Thoughtful and comprehensive pre-move planning is usually a key to a successful relocation. Once the plan is in place, it’s important to partner with an experienced professional like Stevens Moving & Storage to execute your plan.
Establish a Timeline
Small offices probably need at least three months of preparation time; medium and large offices need at least eight months. This allotment does not include the time you spend looking for new space. This clock begins ticking as soon as you find that next landing spot.
Phase one of the early timeline plan involves gathering information about the new space. Look over construction blueprints and other items to develop a vision for your new office space. That includes big-picture items like who will occupy what office as well as detailed minutiae like the location of power outlets.
In phase two, list the problems to overcome based on your phase one analysis. That could mean installing temporary walls to break up large spaces or making accommodations to help smaller spaces be more suitable.
Assemble a Team
Through appointments, volunteering, or a combination of the two (“voluntold”), put together a group of people who are responsible for all aspects of the move. That probably means one person from each department. Also, set a budget for the move.
When planning your budget, remember that in addition to logistics, movers and trucks, you’re going to need supplies. Residential moves in the US require, on average, about 70 moving boxes. Business moves can require a multiple of that. You’ll also need packing tape, moving dollies, cordage, pens and a lot of patience. One option to reduce cost is to use free moving boxes, or buy inexpensive used moving boxes. You can find more than 2 dozen sources for these used boxes here.
Give these individuals the information and list you obtained in the previous step. They probably have some very good ideas for maximizing available space and overcoming any obstacles. Then, gather the team frequently to keep everyone on the same page and make the process completely transparent. Last-minute decisions that seem to come from a remote mountaintop often create unwanted stress.
Moving a teenager from a bedroom to a dorm room is tailor-made for a do-it-yourself move. But office relocations are much more complex, simply because there are so many more moving parts and so much more is at stake. In addition to the aforementioned office movers, you’ll also need people like:
- IT specialists,
- Telephone installers, and
Sometimes, the new landlord provides these services. Other times, you’ll probably need to hire temporary workers using the funds you set aside earlier in the process.
Inform Customers and Clients
Some professionals have an ethical duty to inform all clients and former clients of their new address. In many other cases, it’s simply good business. Either way, you’ll probably be sending a lot of notices. Sometimes a mass email may suffice, but use your own judgement.
Publicize the move as well. Consider placing notices in regional trade publications and holding an open house once the dust settles at the new location.
A business relocation is usually a very exciting time. If the move is done right, that momentum can carry over into everyday business operations, giving your enterprise an edge over the competition.