Moving is already a stressful experience in itself, but relocating an office or business brings it up to a whole new level. There are so many more factors to consider when relocating an entire office. The saying “time is money” is so true. Moving makes such a huge impact on the bottom line when you have to halt business and spend that time getting things moved.
According to one survey in the United Kingdom, relocation is so stressful that some business owners will opt to stay in locations that they may have already outgrown causing issues with cramped spaces and even expensive overhead. The only thing more stressful than relocating is hiring new staff.
Luckily, there are ways to make the process a lot smoother and make sure that your business downtime will not be any longer than it needs to be. Here are 7 tips that can help you get your office relocated and back in business in no time at all.
1. Plan Way Ahead
This is probably the most obvious step but often the most under-estimated as well. Unfortunately, it’s probably the most critical step as well in any relocation including residential moves which can seem like a walk in the park compared to what you’re about to go through.
There’s more to planning than just deciding on a time frame and move date, and you need to get all the bases covered before you can even begin to start the actual moving process. Making a mistake here can spell the difference between a profit and loss. This is why it’s also vital that you set a relocation budget, to make sure you make more objective decisions and avoid letting the costs get away from you.
Another important thing to plan is the new office layout. Unless you’re moving floors of an office tower, then most likely, the new office layout is very different from your current office. So scouting and making plans as to where everything will go in the new location is an important step in making sure that everything will go smoothly on moving day.
2. Get a Project Manager
It’s understandable that as a business owner you’d want to take the lead in something as important as your office relocation. However, you can easily get overwhelmed if you’re trying to take care of something as daunting as office relocation and running the business at the same time. Appointing a Project Manager to take the lead in the office relocation can take a massive burden off your shoulders.
Of course, picking the right person for the job is another concern entirely. But surely by the time you even need to consider relocating your business, you’ve already got an idea of someone perfect for the job with multi-tasking abilities, exceptional organizational skills, effective communication skills, and experience working with budgets.
3. Keep the Team Updated
Now that you’ve got a project manager to take the weight off your shoulders you’ll also need to make sure the rest of the team are in sync as well. Coordinate with your project manager on the planning stage and what else needs to be done so you can also update your employees regularly on every step of the relocation process.
It’d be a waste of time if there was someone who was lost during the move process and can cause delays if your employees weren’t given a proper briefing on how the move will be handled. So make sure that everyone knows all the details like the new address, contact information, schedules, packing arrangements, new building rules, as well as any procedures n packing up their stations.
4. Get Professionals
It’s easy, and not to mention much cheaper, to just have your staff handle the actual move especially if they are willing to help. But in the long run, it’s still a much better idea to get professional office movers to take care of all the heavy lifting. Not only are professionals trained and equipped to handle office relocations, but legitimate movers are always fully licensed and insured as well making it much easier to deal with any potential damage to the office items or property.
There’s no point in trying o save a few bucks by not getting professional movers, especially when dealing with delicate equipment in large numbers such as computers or even complicated office furniture such as cubicles and workstations. Plus it’ll make sure your employees won’t get exhausted and call in sick the next day.
5. Clean and Declutter
One area where your employees can be of use is n making sure that you don’t bring anything you don’t need. The more your business has grown the less likely you’re familiar with the exact details of daily operations and you’ve probably accumulated some items or equipment that have no more use or have been replaced entirely by other solutions.
Including a decluttering process in your employee updates is a very good idea to make sure that you get a completely fresh start in your new location. Best of all you don’t have to be wasteful about it since many office movers also offer junk removal services that involve donating or salvaging old furniture and equipment. This way you can rest assured knowing that your office junk may be finding a new home elsewhere.
6. Secure Important Files and Documents
Whether hard copy or softcopy, you must always make sure that all your business information is secured. Having office movers moving about and getting access to drawers and office equipment during the move can cause slip up, and you don’t want to lose anything vital to your business process.
Looking into storage solutions s a great way to make sure your data stays intact and at least you know exactly where everything is. There are many secure storage solutions that you can look into for office documents, but in terms of digital information, it’s vital that your project manager in charge of the move also get a data expert to take care of securing all the backups.
Individual employees can secure their softcopies, but anything can happen in a move, and you don’t want to lose months of data just because a server was shifted during transportation. So having backups of backups with a central source is another critical business relocation step.
7. Update Everything
Before getting the actual move completed, you’ll want to make sure that your new address and contact information have been updated in everything related to your business operations. You don’t want mail getting lost in your old location or suppliers unable to contact you, so make sure that everyone knows that your business has moved.
This is also important in today’s social media age since you probably have some sort of online presence. Make sure you’re aware of everywhere your business is posted and that all your latest contact information is updated there as well. Otherwise, you may have customers and clients get confused as to what happened to your business when they show up n an empty office or can’t reach you anymore.
Moving an office may seem like climbing Everest, but as long as you make sure to get all your ducks in line before even beginning the actual moving process, then you don’t need to worry much. Moving a business is all about contingencies upon contingencies, but the most important thing to remember is to make sure that you have clear and concise communication with your project manager, your employees, the professional office movers, your suppliers and vendors, and even your clients and customers.