Your successful business is ready for a new space that will welcome more employees and more technology. You’re embracing the evolution of your company and the new integration of your business model. Moving offices to a fresh space doesn’t have to feel as complicated as a home move. Here is an office-move checklist for startups and big businesses alike. Avoid becoming overwhelmed during your office transition by following the tips in this guide.
Plan for emergency
Consider the motto, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” You never know when a disaster will befall you. If one does happen to your company, it will take you by surprise. Make sure you have planned for backup movers, backup electricians, backup employees, backup moving vehicles, and backup cleaners. You can even have backup food; this never hurts, especially when staff members might stay late in the evening to clean out their desks. They will thank you for the hospitality.
It’s tempting to opt for the moving company that’s promoting a deal. Perhaps the company is new to the corporate domain and wants to make a great impression by offering their services at a discount. Using such a company for office moving may save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars at first. But if you have hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of machinery, art, or fine furniture (nevermind high-security files and data), is the gamble worth it? If your company is worth a lot of money, then hire a company that matches that value.
In addition to hiring a moving company that is highly recommended, with years of experience, you’ll need to cover your bases by insuring yourself with a comprehensive plan. Emergencies happen when you least expect them, so be smart and plan in advance. Opt for the most significant plan, and be sure to educate yourself on the deductible required, should something bad occur. Also, note any exclusions that may leave you ineligible for a claim. Often these are not obvious, so it’s recommended to have your company lawyer review the terms.
What’s with the art?
For most businesses, what hangs on their wall is of no consequence compared to what happens within those walls. However, if you’re in the corporate sector, it could be that the art you have hanging is worth more than the furniture or technology you have. Art pieces must be handled separately and diligently, with special wrapping, depending on their materials. Be sure that the moving company understands this requirement and has a plan for this preparation. Also, ensure the moving company has the necessary experience to handle this task.
Prep to park
On the big day, where will the moving trucks park? This may not seem like the number-one priority at first, but actually, it can make or break the day. Most public buildings that are situated in downtown centers or busy urban places do not have ample parking space for large automobiles. You may need to notify building maintenance well in advance, both for your previous building and your new one. They may need to section off part of the road. Also, consider doing the move on a quiet day, like a weekend, or prior to rush hour.
Get your mail
We’re so used to the mobility of email that it’s easy to postpone switching postal addresses. However, important invoices, documents, and shipments are bound to come in hard copies, so let your post office know right away about your change of address. They can do an address forward so that any mail coming to your address will be automatically redirected upon moving offices.
Assuming your move is permanent, you should also announce your address change to every company you provide services to and are billed by. The formality will be important down the road, and it also protects you from mishaps with mail forwarding. It’s integral that you reliably receive your hard-copy mail since missing documents can also be a security issue.
What’s your phone number?
Hopefully, when you move offices, you’ll be able to retain your business phone and fax numbers. This is straightforward if you have an internet phone or cellphone that you use. But if you have an old-fashioned landline, you will need to discuss it in advance with your phone company. Sometimes, if you don’t provide enough notice, you can lose your number. Keeping your long-term phone number is important so that clients can reach you and business can proceed. Be sure to inform your phone company early.
Check your IT
How will the moving company handle all of your technology during the move? How can you make sure that the property has not been damaged? When moving technology, damage may not be apparent superficially. Hire a moving company that has experience with moving advanced technology. Request references and follow up with them. Ask to speak with the company who they moved and ask this company how the IT was handled. Have the movers come to the office to see your servers or equipment and ask them to explain how they would operate a safe and efficient move.
Check your insurance coverage once again to ensure coverage of IT equipment. Sometimes such plans contain exclusions, so ensure your situation does not leave you vulnerable.
Tips for moving offices with the office move checklist
As with everything work related, the golden rule is to begin early. While advance planning will depend on the size of your company, you generally want to begin your move plans a minimum of six months ahead. Of course, larger companies will need more time to prepare.
Create an office-move checklist. Then, begin by notifying the owner of your present building well in advance and by solidifying a contract at a new location. Ensure major components are in place at your new location, such as furniture and technologies. Check that you’ve ordered other necessities, such as a refrigerator for a staff kitchen and printers for employees. Not being fully equipped upon move-in can lead to extra expenses, such as catering food for staff and outsourcing your printing to a print shop. Smaller items, such decorative elements or coffee machines, can be sorted out later.
Hire a leader
While all of these plans may sound quite simple, once you get deep into the to-do list, they can be overwhelming. Keep in mind that you have to keep the company afloat during all this, with business as usual. You don’t want to burn yourself out, and you also don’t want to lose funds from reduced sales. You’re already forking out cash for the move; you don’t want to get hit with a loss twice.
Consider hiring a manager to oversee the move to help reduce losses and keep things running as planned. This would free you up to oversee the running of your business and the productivity of your employees. You will be available to the company for any of their needs, and your employees will respect you for it.
Have a party
Even though moving can be stressful for everyone, it is also an exciting time. It likely means that your company is undergoing a fresh expansion with the hiring of new employees. Or, it can mean that you’re headed in a new direction, opening a different department, or offering an innovative product or service. Whatever the reason is, be sure to include a party in your moving plans.
Don’t hesitate to spread the news of this event alongside the announcement of the move date. Set the party date within a week of the move, and make it special, though simple. Give employees more than a pizza party and make it fully catered and prepped in advance, so that you don’t need to work too hard when you have a move to consider. Better yet, assign the coordination of the event to your move manager, who is bound to do a great job.
Moving can be overwhelming enough when you’re switching homes. Moving an entire company involves not only a change of scenery, but also liabilities that can cost you. Don’t lose out on sales while you are prepping for the big day; hire a manager to oversee the plans. Insure yourself and double-check that you don’t fall under any exclusions. Get a high-end, experienced moving company that can provide references and years of practice moving IT equipment. Announce all of it to your employees as soon as you can. Finally, don’t forget to throw a party to make the most of your new space.