5. Organising Your Relocation:
You should start getting a budget in place comprising of current figures and costs associated with your new location. Costs could be either lower or higher depending on the reason for the move, so it’s up to you to decide whether these expenditures are doable from a financial standpoint. You’ll also need to plan also for relocation expenses and any bumps in the road that may come along. Moving costs include professional movers, shipping office furniture and losses due to downtime during the move. These are one-time expenditures, but they still impact your bottom line, so plan carefully.
Evaluate your equipment. If your network infrastructure is ageing, the office move is a good time to update your equipment. If you plan accordingly, you could even have your network up and running in the new space before moving day arrives.
Audit all equipment to determine whether it still meets your needs and will be suitable in the new location.
List any equipment that needs upgrading or replacing and order any necessary equipment.
Return any leased IT and phone equipment that is no longer needed.
Properly dispose of old or broken equipment. Recycle with and ensure you are WEEE compliant in the disposal of electronic equipment.
Evaluate server room requirements.
Do the relocation during a down period:
There is no ‘right time’ to move an office as no matter what happens, you will not be fully operational for a few days. However if you identify when your ‘slow period’ is and plan the move during this time, you can minimise disruption for your customers and loss of business for you.
Discuss your plans with your moving company:
Every moving company has individual protocols for office relocation. With this in mind it’s wise to discuss any preparations that need to be done on your end to make the move as smooth as possible.
For example a moving company may ask that employees clear their desks of personal items/pack them into drawers/unplug their electronics and just leave the furniture there to be picked up. In this case you should cover safe packing practicing and manual handling with your employees.
You should also discuss if you will need any items that are not being moved to the new location disposed of or recycled, as some moving companies such as Allen Removals supply this service for you.
Take care of both shutting off (if required) and or switching utilities in your previous location and find out what is required in your new location. Many locations have a pre-contacted provider for electricity, waste disposal and water in the building you are renting so you may not have much choice but to go with it. However sometimes you will still be allowed to choose and asked if you need any price or service comparisons to help you decide.
You’ll want to get in front of updating your address information well before relocation, so that you’re not getting mail or clients showing up to your old address. Update your Google business listing at least three weeks in advance and if you’re not eligible to verify changes by phone or email, be aware that you’ll need to verify by mail, which can take up to two weeks and I would always recommend building a buffer zone for those worst case scenarios!
Make sure that any other directories in which your business is listed, get updated as well and that all clients are notified. Also worth remembering, as soon as your lease terms are squared away, start updating your printed materials (such as business cards, flyers and anything else with the company address on it). Above all else, make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to prepare for any unexpected considerations that may arise, and that you’re communicating with stakeholders along the way.
Additionally, consider the following:
Transferring your existing number to your new location.
Set up call forwarding if you’re changing your phone number.
Establish and order the type of internet access required for the new location.
Prioritise the IT department:
For many companies the IT department is absolutely essential to operations. You might want to arrange for the IT department to move into the new location gradually so that you don’t completely lose your base of operations but that once you move into your new space it’s ready to go. This will ensure your company can get up and running much quicker after the move. You may also want to work with your IT department to arrange for any upgrades to equipment before the move occurs. This will ensure the IT department is up to date and running efficiently in the new space before everyone else arrives.
Set up essential departments first:
After your IT department is set up think about what is absolutely essential for your company to run and prioritise them. This could be key employees in a particular department, such as customer service representatives, or major departments that make up a huge part of your business, such as the manufacturing department. Focus on key departments first and move them ahead of other departments that can work remotely or on a looser timeline.
Get moving insurance:
Talk to your company’s insurance company about insurance for your move as companies are required to get insured for any major moves. An accurate list of your inventory will be taken by your surveyor (or yourself if you choose not to get a surveyor) and the estimated worth of your total number of items being moved will have to be supplied.
Arrange clean-up for your old location:
You will need to leave the old space as clean as it was when you moved into the space. You may need to organize a clean-up crew made of volunteers from the company or hire cleaners to come in once the space has been cleared out.
After the move:
You’re not entirely done with your old space yet. Confirm the termination of your old lease or agreement. Collect parking passes, security cards and keys for your old facility and ensure their return to the landlord. Transfer your insurance to your new location if you have not already done so, getting insurance certificates in the process.
Complete and file all warranty information for all new furniture and equipment and update your fixed asset accounting system for all of those pieces as well. Confirm that your address has been correctly updated everywhere it needs to be. Schedule a press release and client announcement for the next business day.
Although moving into a new space can be stressful under even the most ideal circumstances, the benefits of a move often outweigh the drawbacks. Small businesses and start-ups can benefit from the professionalism and legitimacy that an office space provides. Larger offices, meanwhile, can completely reinvent the boring layouts that are favoured by tradition, but not by employees.
Finally deciding to move from your current space to a new one is a tough decision that ensures more work on your end, but planning ahead properly will only make the undesirable parts of this process easier and less stressful. Before you move, make sure that you’re relocating to the best possible space and that you are sticking to a realistic budget, that you have a plan for when you arrive, and that you are ready to reopen as soon as possible. With a proper checklist and plan, moving is no longer a hassle