How to make your small business office relocation easy
There are many reasons businesses choose to move office. Growing companies often need extra space, and unfortunately, companies sometimes need to downsize too.
Better locations with more amenities become available, and leases come to an end. Whatever the reason, while relocating can be an exciting time, it can also be very stressful, both for the employers and their employees. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right planning and actions, moving office can be an easy and smooth experience. If you’re thinking of relocating your small business office – here’s what you need to do.
Before you sit down and make any concrete plans, you have got to be clear on what you can spend. Consider what you can commit to financially and think long term. Leases can be long and if you start to struggle with payments, your entire operation can be put at risk. The office move itself can be an expensive process, and there can be a lot of unexpected costs. Remain realistic at all times; budget accordingly and allow adequate funds to account for any surprises.
Make a plan
As they say – fail to prepare, prepare to fail! No office move should be contemplated without putting a carefully considered, in-depth plan in place, covering all necessary angles. Think about how much space you need right now - but think ahead too. If you believe your company is going to grow, and you’re going to need more people, then it’s no good moving to a new office without the space to accommodate them. Spend plenty of time in the new location, measure up diligently (a floor plan is a must) and check they have all the amenities and facilities you need. Creating a list of everything you can’t do without, and everything you would like to have will be very helpful. Make sure everything is in place so all your phone and internet lines can easily be plumbed in.
Engaging and involving your staff is a must for any office move. Relocating can be an unsettling process and even if you are moving for the most positive of reasons, the changes can cause productivity levels to drop. You must ensure staff are kept updated at all times – unsubstantiated rumours and gossip can be very damaging to morale. Speak to employees about the move and discuss any concerns or difficulties they might have. Remember, while you might be excited, they might be worried. Listen carefully and address concerns reasonably where possible. Also make sure they are aware of what they need to prepare for the move – decluttering, clearing desks, informing clients etc. And share responsibility and tasks for the relocation with your senior staff – it’s a lot to take on for one person!
Out with the old, in with the new
Relocating is a new chapter for your business, and you should start off as you mean to go. If your office is one of the many with cupboards packed with old hard copy files, ledgers and other paperwork, then now’s the time to bin it. Go through everything and be ruthless – if it’s out of date, shred it and ship it out. Similarly, all those old fax machines, phones and broken chairs gathering dust should go to the recyclers or the charity shop. If your budget allows, you should take this opportunity to upgrade your office furniture, hardware and software. Nothing like shiny new stuff to motivate staff and make them more productive!
Let everyone know
Firstly, make sure your clients are aware of your move. If you’re relocating for a positive reason, then it’s great PR, don’t miss the opportunity of telling them. If it’s a less positive story, communicate with them sensitively and reassuringly. They’ll also need to know the date of the move, so they understand that your team will be out of the business for a few hours and don’t get upset when their calls go answered. Speak to them in good time and send regular email reminders as moving day approaches. You’ll also need to let all your suppliers and partners know – banks, postal services, internet and software providers etc. And make sure that you change registered business address, it is absolutely essential part of the moving process but easily overlooked. Finally, ensure your address details on Google and any online business directories are updated.
Call the professionals
No matter how well you plan, when it comes to moving day, if you haven’t got the right people moving your furniture and equipment, it’s likely to go very wrong. It’s liable to cause a huge amount of stress, not to mention the potential loss of business from the delay in getting up and running. You’re already going to be losing a day’s business, so getting the move done smoothly and quickly is essential. Appoint a reputable, experienced removals company early on – they’ll work closely with you, advise you and make sure your business relocates as easily as possible.
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