Moving your business does not have to be a catastrophe. It is possible to move to a new facility—across town or across the country—without losing customers or your sanity. Planning ahead and making informed decisions remain essential to a successful move.
First, plan ahead. It is not uncommon for a move to take longer than you might think. Imagine every contingency and create an action plan to deal with unexpected crises. For a large business, planning for a move months in advance makes sense.
To this end, consider appointing or hiring a project manager for the move. The manager should serve as a single point-of-contact in charge of planning for and executing the move. They can also delegate tasks to others. Their duties will vary but could include choosing a professional moving company, arranging for the transfer of phone and Internet services to the new facility or deciding when the move should occur.
The project manager might take charge of creating a property inventory. This is another element of moving that businesses sometimes overlook. It takes longer than most imagine to document all a company’s equipment and furnishings. Businesses should keep track of all items to be moved on a spreadsheet. Taking pictures or making a video of the office prior to the move makes it easier to recreate an office layout at the new facility. If a company files a claim with their insurance company, visual documentation of lost or damaged items may be required.
Moving provides a great opportunity to survey your office furnishings. Consider if it might be more cost effective to donate old furnishings to a charity. Your company can apply any tax breaks to the purchase of new furniture. These fixtures can be delivered directly to the new facility, thereby saving your company some of your moving budget.
Computer hardware should be given special attention. Use thick moving blankets when moving heavier computer hardware, such as the tower and monitor. Tape these items securely. Place them in a single box or moving container. Accessories such as data cables or power strips can be placed in a large Ziploc type bag. Wrapping them carefully in bubble-wrap can prevent accidents like bent connector pins that can make data cables useless.
If possible, plan for a gradual move over time. This may not be possible for all businesses, but a weekend or holiday move can help reduce lost sales or productivity. Likewise, moving one area or department at a time creates less disruption to overall operations. Doing so can reveal potential problems on a smaller scale, making them easier to address.
Most of all do not stress or get the office move crazies. Things can and probably will go wrong. Address them one at a time and with a smile. The key is to minimize disruptions. This will enable your business to reconvene operations as quickly and efficiently as possible.