Being a business owner necessitates making big decisions. One of those decisions, at some point, will likely be moving company offices to a new location. This is a decision that can end up hurting a company if not made tactfully. As with any big decision, it should be made carefully. With that in mind, here are some tips that can help ensure that your office relocation goes as smoothly as possible.
Start planning early
With regards to something as significant as relocating your company’s offices, you should start planning as early as possible. A good rule of thumb is to start the process four to six months before you actually physically transition to the new space.
This will give you enough time to make sure all the details have been attended to. On the other hand, not giving your company enough time may result in being burdened by the ordeal. It can result in a significant interruption in business and very frustrating errors that you’ll be forced to live with.
You should also remember that your employees that are making the move with you will have to readjust their lives accordingly in anticipation. Announcing the move early will make it much easier for them and their families.
Hire a moving company early
Something else that should be done early is hiring a moving company. Do so about three months before the move will take place. Waiting too long could mean not getting a good deal. Movers, like any business, can book up. This is especially the case during the summer.
Moving an office of course requires a lot of work. There is a lot of equipment and details that must be addressed. Make sure you get a complete estimate for everything before you make an agreement. You don’t want to be surprised by additional charges you were not anticipating.
You also shouldn’t hire the same company that helped you move to your new house. Instead, make sure the company you contract deals specifically with commercial clients and has a high standard of professionalism. You may even want to get recommendations from business partners for good commercial movers. NYC, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, and just about every big business city will usually have excellent local commercial movers, so all you have to do is some light research to find them.
Don’t forget IT
One very sensitive part of relocating an office is the IT component. These days, every office does its work on computers, and company servers hold information on sales and customers that can provide a significant competitive advantage. If you bungle the IT component of your move, it could mean losing extremely valuable data and seriously interrupting your employees’ workflow. In general, the IT department should start preparing for the move three months beforehand.
There are many technical aspects regarding an office move that your IT department will have to attend to. For example, the new office space will have to be assessed to see if technical upgrades to the existing infrastructure will be required to replicate the set up of you company network and computer systems. Details regarding hardware, internet service plans, phone lines and more will have to be dealt with.
Use the relocation as a chance to do some serious cleaning
Relocating an office is a chance for a fresh start. As such, you shouldn’t bring any junk with you. If there is some ancient office furniture sitting around that looks very used, throw it in the dumpster. If there are outmoded computers and equipment you no longer have a use for, donate them. If there are old paper documents that have been converted into digital files, shred them.
Overall, get rid of all the junk and stuff you don’t really need. Also remember that anything you donate can be used as a tax write-off.
Create and stay within a budget
As with any big business investment, you should create and stay within a budget. You should keep in mind that office relocations are often one of the worst decisions made by company executives. There is no shortage of companies where moves to huge, luxurious offices in the most expensive part of town are looked back at as one of the first big mistakes for failed companies.
Instead, choose a space that that will meet all your current and future expected needs and be a comfortable place for your team to do their work. It really does not have to be more complicated than that.