Relocation is often the result of a company’s expansion or the end of its current lease. An expanding business isn’t a bad thing. However, once a business begins to grow, more office space is often needed.
Whether you’re moving from a home-office to a bigger workspace or relocating from one commercial building to another, choosing an office space for your business isn’t easy. Once you have chosen your new location, the move itself is the next bridge you’ll have to cross.
1. Plan well in advance
If possible, start planning your move 4-6 months before you actually want to make the transition in order to attend to all of the details without becoming overburdened. Once you know you’re moving into a new office scope out the space and decide on the layout, including where everything and everyone will go. That will allow you to plan out what your needs are as far as new office equipment goes, and give employees an opportunity to do their own planning ahead for their new space. Create a map or floor plan and make it available to both employees and movers so that everyone knows the plan moving ahead.
2. Hire your moving company early
Since moving a corporate office involves a lot of equipment and details, be sure to get a full estimate and hire a full-service moving company 1-3 months ahead of time. Make sure they have experience with commercial relocation and have them give you an on-site quote for the move — or even better, get recommendations from others in your network who have moved offices before. The movers should be held to the same professional standard as anyone else you do business with.
3. Get the IT Team on board
Give your IT team three months advance notice to start planning the transfer of all things technical: equipment, internet plans, phone connections, etc. They will need to evaluate the new space for any upgrades that need to be made, either to the infrastructure or to equipment being brought to the new office. When relocating a corporate office you want your landing to be as smooth as possible on the tech side, so do the legwork well in advance.
4. Use color-coding
If moving offices mean coordinating multiple departments and a large staff, most commercial moving companies will likely have a system they recommend for keeping everyone organized. Color-coding is one option that has worked well for many and your moving company might even have labels for you to keep things manageable on the other end of your relocation. Be sure your employees understand how the system works!
4. Do a deep cleaning
Don’t bring things you don’t need! Shred all unnecessary papers, get rid of office furniture that has been collecting dust and sell or donate equipment that you won’t be needing anymore. Anything you choose to donate can be used as a tax write-off, so check with your accountants to find out what sort of paper trail you need to create as you purge.
5. Order new equipment well in advance
You want to have everything you need when you move offices, so 1-2 months in advance, put in your orders for new equipment and furniture so that it will be there and ready for you to unpack and settle in. Be careful ordering too many large items, though, or you’ll end up paying for their shipping twice: once to get to you, and once to be moved… again. Coordinate with your suppliers to have your purchases arrive at the new office just before you move in.
6. Update your address everywhere
Be sure your clients know that you’re moving and update your website, business cards, letterhead, and other publicity materials about one week before the move. Get in touch with Google to have your online listing and address changed a month ahead — that change can take a little while longer to be effective since they need to send confirmation materials. Also, update any suppliers or vendors to be sure future deliveries go to the correct address.
7. Have employees be well-organized
When employees are packing their belongings and individual supplies, have them put their name on the outside of the box in multiple places so the movers can put them in the appropriate location according to the layout chart you made. To be extra sure, you can also put name cards in the correct locations at your new office to help your movers to be efficient and organized.