There may come a time in the course of growing your business when you decide it’s time to move your headquarters to a new location. Maybe it’s because you’ve outgrown your current space, or maybe you’ve opted to move to a more business-friendly city. No matter what the reason, moving a business is a major undertaking, and if you want everything to go well, you’re going to need to have a plan and be fully prepared for every aspect of the move. One good way to make sure you don’t lose track of all the things you’ve going to have to take care of is to make a checklist. Here are some things to consider when you’ve decided it’s time for a move and you need to start taking the steps to make it happen.
1. Start early. Give yourself (and your employees) a few months of advance notice before the move happens. Being rushed is the last thing you want, so make sure you have lots of time to work out all of the logistics involved in moving. Start packing as soon as possible; waiting til the last minute means a greater chance of running out of boxes, losing or damaging equipment and supplies, and creating disorganization.
2. Hire a moving company. Experienced office movers can make the entire process much more easy and efficient than trying to do it yourself, even if you’re a relatively small business. Leaving the actual physical work of moving to professionals will free you up to focus on the planning and setting up of your new space and can save you huge amounts of time. Just make sure they’re fully insured and licensed.
3. Make a floor plan. Get a floor plan drawn up of your new space so you can make sure ahead of time that all of the furniture and equipment you’re moving is going to fit where you need it. Give copies of the plan to your employees so they can get a jump on understanding where everything is going to be and how they’ll be able to best make use of their new environment.
4. Be ready for the address change. Make sure you update your printed materials like envelopes and business cards ahead of time so they’re ready to distribute as soon as you’ve made your move. Reach out individually to your most important vendors and clients. Post announcements on your web site so your customers won’t be caught by surprise, and make sure you set up mail forwarding with the post office.
5. Talk to your IT people. Any computers, networking devices, or other high tech equipment you have might have special needs when it comes to moving them and setting them up at your new location. Make sure you listen to the people in charge of this equipment if they have any particular concerns or instructions when it comes to transporting everything safely and getting it all up and running properly.
6. Do a walkthrough. Before you start bringing everything over, make sure you do a walkthrough of the new location to make sure it’s ready for everything to be set up. Check the lighting, make sure the plumbing works, look for any preexisting damage or messes that need to be cleaned up. You don’t want to have to be worrying about any of this stuff on moving day.
7. Handle the personal and decorative things separately. Make sure your employees (and you) pack up all of your personal belongings ahead of time, before the movers show up. Once all of the actual moving is done, the personal items, plants, and decorations can be moved in. If you have large, expensive, or fragile works of art that need to be moved, consider hiring specialized art movers and installers.
8. Label everything. The more you can label everything for to easily identify who they belong to and where they’re supposed to go (color-coded labels are great for this), the less chance you’ll end up with lost or misplaced items after the move. You might be surprised how so much of the furniture and equipment you’ve been looking at every day can be hard to recognize once you take it out of its usual context, so use labels coded to floors, divisions, and so on to make sure everything ends up in its proper place.
Moving can be a hassle if you don’t take the time to do it properly, but a well-planned move can alleviate much of the stress and leave you to focus on the exciting aspects of taking your business to a new and better location. Start with a checklist and you can make a plan for a move that’s easier than you might think.