Taking Care of Business: How to Keep Productivity Up and Disruptions Down During a Business Move
Moving your business may be an exciting opportunity, but it’s certainly not a simple process. From creating a timeline to executing the move itself, there are all kinds of working gears to keep track of. That’s why PhoneOne has put together this guide to help you move your business, all while keeping productivity up and reducing disruption.
Create a Timeline and Budget
Every great endeavor begins with a plan, and in this case, a timeline. Think of it as a checklist with a calendar. It will help you stay organized and on top of all the tasks that need to be completed throughout the process. You’ll want to plan for the following:
- Creating a budget
- Mapping out the new building or office space, noting any changes you want to make (i.e., knocking out walls)
- Creating an inventory of supplies, especially from the IT department
- Coordinating and planning with a reputable moving company
- Moving employees to the new space
- Get set up to receive payments and streamline bookkeeping using an invoice maker
When it comes to a budget, you’ll need to factor in lease or mortgage payments for both of your new spaces, your regular fixed and variable expenses, and all the moving expenses you’ll incur. You may have to estimate certain numbers like your variable costs, so go off of averages when you must.
If you haven’t already, consider registering your business as a limited liability company, especially if you’re in a new state. This will allow you to have personal liability insurance in regards to the business: in other words, an individual can sue your business, but not you personally. Filing is relatively simple, and you can save big bucks on lawyer fees if you work through a formation service. Bear in mind that there are variations among states concerning the formation of an LLC. Do your research before forging ahead.
Map Out the New Place
Of course, you’re already familiar with the floorplan and layout of your new building, but it’s time to start getting specific. Consider the locations of each of the following:
- Office space
- Conference rooms
- Co-working areas
- Break areas
There may already be designated rooms, but if not, plan how you can block off one area from another and think about the locations carefully. For instance, putting the break area next to a conference room probably isn’t the best idea as there might end up being too much background noise during meetings.
Consult with other managers on this map. They may have insight into which areas should serve which role simply based on their day-to-day work. You want your new place of work to be as functional as possible, but you’ll need help from others to establish how to make that happen.
Taking Inventory and Purchasing Necessary Supplies and Equipment
Taking inventory is especially important because it will affect how easily your team is able to dive right in when moving to the new space. Pull out your last inventory list and compare it to what you actually have. Investigate any discrepancies; items may have been moved, and you don’t want to waste money needlessly replacing them.
Take note of whether any equipment needs repaired or replaced, and factor that into your budget. Some business owners like to start totally fresh with all new tools and equipment. This is a viable option if you have a large budget, but don’t feel obligated to replace anything that doesn’t need it.
This is another opportunity to consult with managers and other employees. If you work in a factory, for instance, talk to them about how well the machines are running. For example, you might look at a device and decide it’s too old and needs to be replaced, but your workers may tell you that it still works great. You’ll be surprised at how much money these kinds of consultations will save you.
Communicating With Your Employees
If your employees don’t already know about the move, Moving.com recommends informing them as soon as it’s appropriate: likely when you begin your search for a new workplace. Even after the initial announcement, it’s vital to keep up communications with workers. Let them know if and when equipment will be moved as well as any significant changes in office structure; this gives them time to prepare and plan.
Keeping everyone informed is also a great way to make them feel involved. There’s often so much out of their control, with most business decisions being made without them. Letting them know what’s going on, how the process is going, and what the future plans are make them feel like they really are part of the business.
Be prepared to answer questions regularly. You may want to designate a manager to field inquiries about the move so that you can concentrate on the actual process. You could even create a box specifically for questions about the move, then answer them during your regular updates to everyone. (Remember, much of this can be done via email.)
Let Everyone Else Know
It isn’t just your employees who need to be kept in the loop. Your suppliers, and, most importantly, your customers need to be updated ASAP.
Put a sign in the window, send postcards, or contact vendors and consumers through email. You’ll want to include the address and phone number of the new location and when the move is happening. You’ll also want to include this information on your phone answering system and voicemail. Employees can set up auto-response emails that will let customers and suppliers know about the move.
Don’t forget about your online presence. Update your website, making sure all information about the new location is included and visible. Your social media should dedicate a post to announce the move. When possible, pin this post to the top of the site so that it’s immediately visible to anyone looking.
Hiring a Reputable Moving Company
One of the more tedious tasks of the moving process is finding the right moving company. This may be the biggest element in your budget. Do your homework thoroughly when researching moving companies. Check references, online reviews, and even the company’s history with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB includes its own reviews for you to consult.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential movers, get quotes. Never accept the first estimate you receive; businesses will be competitive. Ask about any additional fees or charges you may incur. Keep in mind that some moving companies won’t move certain kinds of items or materials, so you’ll want to investigate that element as well.
When it comes to your technical equipment, you’ll want to hire a professional IT moving company. They’ll know the best items to move first as well as how to move them without damaging them. Again, check references and reviews. When it comes to your computers and other electrical equipment, you can’t be too careful.
Follow your gut when it comes to choosing a moving company. If one quote is less expensive but you got a weird vibe from the manager, opt to pay a little more to work with someone you’re more comfortable with.
Stagger the Moving Process
You can’t move your entire business in a single day; it’s just not possible. Stagger the process. Chicago Office Movers suggest starting with office décor like plants and paintings. Leave only the most necessary marketing up, including the sign about your move. Anything that doesn’t serve a utilitarian purpose should be the first to go to the new location.
Paper records are also easily moved first. You may want to hold onto those of the last few months, but move those filing cabinets full of years-old records to the new place as early as you can. Particularly vital paperwork, such as your new lease, LLC documents, moving company contract, and insurance paperwork, should be given and kept with a specific person. If it’s not you, ensure that it’s someone who is extremely dependable and well-organized. It will be up to them to keep these documents safe until the move is complete.
The last items to go should be the ones that will be moved by professionals: desks, chairs, office dividers, etc. At this point, your employees should have been working in a bare-bones office that will be relatively easy for the movers to pack up.
It isn’t ever going to be totally simple to move your entire business. It requires extensive planning, research, and communication. This guide will help keep your employees productive throughout the moving process and limit disruptions. Good luck with your move!
At PhoneOne, we offer flexible services to accommodate your needs, delivering the most reliable and affordable business voice services to help you and your company succeed. Call (833) 253-2786.