by Stephen Daniels
Moving is a daunting prospect, especially when a business is changing office locations. But if you plan ahead and enlist the right kind of help, you’ll successfully relocate your company without excessive stress.
While keeping costs down is essential, the end goal is getting your company up and running again with as little down time as possible, so keeping the move within your budget is important. In general, a big business will hire a full service moving company to handle most of the actual details. Small companies should also look into this option as movers are insured in case of damage or breakage to important equipment.
It is important to create a timeline for a move. Small offices generally require three months to prepare for a move, while medium to large ones need six to eight months.
Be sure to interview several companies to determine their experience level with the type of move you are contemplating. Do your own due diligence to check out their licenses, insurance, and bonds, as well as their safety records. Check out online review sites to find out how other businesses rate each company you are interviewing.
Be sure to measure carefully the new space – get blueprints if possible. Don’t overlook placement of the electrical outlets and storage space at the new location. You might need to employ electricians to add both electrical and Ethernet outlets.
Negotiate with the new landlord, if you are renting space, to determine how much repair and replacement work is covered by the property owner, and how much you will be responsible for.
This is a great opportunity to do a thorough inventory of all your office and business supplies, as well as sell, donate, or trash things you no longer need. Broken and outdated computer equipment should be taken to a recycling center for that type of equipment. Remember that most landfills will not accept it. Paperwork that you are no longer using should either be shredded, or archived. If you lack sufficient storage facilities for all the paperwork you must keep, locate a nearby paperwork storage facility to ensure that you can access old records easily if and when necessary.
Be sure to allot adequate time for your IT department (or hired IT workers) to get your computers, servers, and other related business equipment up and running. Make sure they are given advance notice of this change so they can determine if there are sufficient power outlets and working phone and network connections at your new location. Also make sure they have all the extra wires and cables they might need in the new location. If possible, try to arrange to have the office furnishings and electrical equipment transported during non business hours.
As you can see, early planning and sound contracting decisions ensure an efficient and smooth company move. Many small businesses will ask employees to pack out their own desks and work spaces. To ensure that each person has all their own things after you begin settling in to a new location, make sure each has adequate boxes and that all boxes are labeled appropriately with contents and employee name.
Hopefully all these suggestions will help keep you focused and will make the process more efficient and manageable.