Courtesy of CBRE | The Boulos Company
Relocating your business is a complicated process that requires planning, organization and diligence. At CBRE|The Boulos Company we strive to make those transitions for our clients as smooth as possible. Here are seven tried and true steps to make sure your relocation is successful.
1. PLAN AHEAD
Create a feasible time line that will allow for all the necessary stages of your move. For a small office, you’ll need at least three months to prepare and for a medium to large office, at least six to eight months. The key is to start as early as possible. Next, collect all information on the new space. Try to acquire blue prints or floor layouts so you can identify key components such as electrical outlets, storage space, etc. and most importantly, to determine the new office layout. Use your current office to compare; if there are areas that aren’t working, identify them so those issues can be resolved in your new space. Also, make a list of potential problems with the new space, such as a smaller reception area or less storage area or perhaps a larger open space that may require more cubicles or temporary walls. It may be necessary to hire carpenters or painters if walls need to be constructed or painted.
2. PROMOTE BUSINESS IDENTITY
Your business identity is key to keeping your customers informed about who and where you are. Put up signs in your current location, if you have one, about your upcoming move. Update all of your stationery, business cards, signage, and digital platforms before you move to reduce confusion once the move takes place. Make sure your new signage is easily seen from the street of your new location and have updated marketing materials ready at your new location. The stronger your business’ identity, the smoother the transition. 3.
3. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PEOPLE
An office relocation can bring out a multitude of changes for any organization. These changes need to be managed in a sensitive and empathetic way in order to encourage positive behavior and increased productivity within your workforce. When it comes to an office move, there’s an entire labyrinth of tasks to think about; including staff consultation, employment law, changes to employment contracts—as well as the need for a comprehensive internal communication strategy that informs, updates and manages the relocation correctly for staff. Not only is a relocation logistical, it’s emotional. Make sure your employees’ voices are heard by holding employee forums where they can ask questions and voice concerns. These forums are also a great way to inform and promote the new space to your staff, helping them feel part of the plan and the bigger picture.
4. MANAGE THE LOGISTICS
Now for the move itself. Whether you choose to manage the logistics of the move yourself or you hire a professional moving company, there are several things that should be done to facilitate a smooth move. Moving can actually require more work in your existing space than in your new space, including cleaning and discarding unnecessary items, shredding old files, labeling everything, and making sure the space is in good condition once empty. In the new location, it’s important that everyone knows where to go and where to put things. Enlarge copies of floor plans to use as guides for furniture arrangement and post directional signs to help movers and your staff navigate. It’s also helpful to arrange for exclusive use of any elevators, loading docks, or emergency doors during the scheduled move times. Make sure surrounding business are notified if entrances, driveways, or parking will be obstructed during the move.
5. TAILOR YOUR TECH
IT and Telecommunications—this incorporates the management of your entire communications infrastructure when you change your office location. Your new office may require new network cabling, additional phone and ISDN lines or even a dedicated server room. If you do not have the expertise within your staff you will need to hire professionals to make sure all your systems are re-connected and ready-to-go on that first morning in your new office. Printers are sensitive devices just like computers. Remove printer cartridges, tape down covers and scanner lids, and be sure to follow any specific instructions for moving FAX machines, copiers, and printers—improper moving may damage a device and void the warranty. For the move into the new space, make sure to know what equipment (phones, faxes, servers) will be up and running and when so nothing falls through the cracks.
6. ENSURE YOU’RE INSURED
If you rent a truck, opt for the insurance coverage. Although many private insurance policies might cover rental car damage very few cover damages if you get into an accident in a rental truck (which are classified as “equipment.”) If you use a moving company, be sure to ask about insurance coverage options to protect your belongings. You should also ask to see the moving company’s proof of worker’s comp insurance. If you inadvertently hire “day labor” or the truck company does not carry insurance, you could be at least partially liable for moving related injuries to workers.
7. CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS
Change of address is one of the most important pieces of information that needs to be shared in as many different ways as possible. First, make sure to tell all regularly-used vendors about your relocation so that no service is interrupted. Once that’s done, you can move on to everyone else. Along with the usual change-of-address protocols, like notifying the USPS, banking institutions, and insurance companies, you should also make a list of all your professional interactions and figure out the best way to notify them. You can print change-of-address cards for customers and stamp outgoing correspondence with “Note New Address.” Also, make sure to update all search engines and websites that list your address.
So what’s the takeaway here? When it comes to relocating, there’s no way to over-prepare and no way to over-communicate. The more you do of each, the easier your transition will be.
Looking for your next work space? Check out www.boulos.com for all our listings.
Original publication can be found here: April 30, 2018 – April Boulos Report: https://f.tlcollect.com/fr2/518/56516/7_Steps_to_Make_Your_Business_Relocation_a_Success.pdf