We could list many reasons why moving offices is complicated. For instance, the longer it takes, the less money you make; then, there’s the expensive equipment that’s also extremely fragile; not to mention the tiny office supplies that are unbelievably hard to organize and easy to lose. However, we aren’t going to focus on the negative. What we are going to do is help you survive this project and come out a winner. If a change of location is marked in your business calendar and this is your first time dealing with it, we have a short business relocation guide to help you out.
Give yourself and your team enough time
Doing things in a hurry leads to mistakes. Some can be harmless, others can cost you more than you imagine. The more time passes, the more tension builds up, and that’s your biggest enemy. Therefore, start planning on time. You’re moving in 6 months? Great, you can start already. With proper time management, any company project has a better chance of becoming a success.
Bear in mind that some commercial movers offer early bird discounts, while others are all booked months in advance. The key is to time business relocation for a period when you’re not busy, like off-hours or a weekend. You may not be able to get the date you want, or any date at all, unless you contact them on time. Which brings us to…
Hiring movers with a good reputation
Handling business relocation without professional assistance is a recipe for disaster. Hiring the first mover you find online is equally risky. When it comes to hiring movers for business relocation, research is vital.
First, you need a local company. For example, one of the benefits of living in Wilmington, NC is that you have great movers just around the corner. Why hire someone located across the country? – it doesn’t make sense. Furthermore, you need a company that has experience in this type of moves. New movers deserve a chance, but when it comes to something as delicate as moving an entire business, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Moving insurance is also a must because accidents happen to the best of movers. Finally, look for a company that won’t rip you off. Avoid the cheapest as well as the insanely expensive movers.
To find a mover that checks every box, do not skip any of the following steps:
- Ask other businesses for recommendations;
- Read online reviews on trustworthy review websites;
- Visit moving company websites to find out more about their business;
- Get free estimates from a few companies;
- Plan your business relocation budget accordingly;
- If possible, visit the movers’ office;
- Get an on-site estimate.
Once you have chosen ’’the winner’’ and set a date, you can move on to the next task.
Let your employees help with the business move
Whether you ask all of your employees to participate or form a relocation team, it is a good idea to include your own people. Whatever you decide, think of the best way to manage your team and delegate different tasks so that everyone has something to do.
One group can pack office supplies, one group can keep track of data backup, another group can notify everyone who needs to know that you’re moving offices, etc. Hold meetings regularly to check the progress of each group.
Prepare suitable packing supplies
Once it gets inside the moving truck, the future of your office furniture and equipment depends on how well it is wrapped and protected, even if the distance is not that long. Cardboard boxes, clear zip-locked bags, packing paper, moving blankets, markers for labelling, and tape are your essential packing supplies. Some companies sell all the necessary packing material, but you can get boxes, for example, for free at your local grocery store.
Follow the packing guidelines
A full-service moving company like MovingKingsNC will offer you their packing services. Still, if your budget is tight, you and your employees can take care of the packing yourselves. Packing is not the most amusing of moving tasks but is sure is important. A lot can go wrong when you fail in protecting your items, especially the fragile ones. Before you start, make sure everyone is familiar with the proper way of packing different items. Here are some tips.
- Use larger boxes to pack lighter items so they aren’t too heavy to carry.
- Never put heavier items on top of lighter ones. If you do, they will get smashed.
- Make sure all boxes are full so that nothing can move around.
- Disassemble office seating and other furniture whenever possible. Wrap the parts to prevent breakage. Tape the non-removable drawers shut so they cannot open during transport.
- Moving computers and other electronic devices improperly can result in damage. So, before you start, look for any specific instructions and warning labels.
- Tangled cables can add extra stress at the very end of the move. You can also lose them easily if you’re not careful. To prevent unnecessary frustration, remove all cables, put them in zip-locked bags and label them clearly. Before removing cables and disassembling electronics in general, it is a good idea to take photos, just in case you forget where things were.
- As you pack, write everything down on a piece of paper. Also, write on the boxes what is inside them. This way, no item will get lost, no matter how small. You can be creative with the labelling system. For example, you can assign different colors or numbers to different workstations.
Complete business relocation at the new office
Moving out is one half of the job. Moving in is the other one. Before the movers unload their truck at your new location, make sure you have everything measured and the new layout planned out. Just like you did with packing, approach unpacking strategically, room by room, removing the used supplies as you unpack. Remember to either save the boxes for the next move, return or recycle.