People say practice makes perfect. Well, I've had plenty of this over the years when it comes to office moves. I can't say it's something I've wanted to become skilled at, as just like moving home, it's an incredibly stressful time - even more so when you are juggling keeping a business live and servicing customers while also making the move!
I've created this article with my 'top 10 tips' to help you breeze through your office move and make sure you don't fall in to any hidden pitfalls. Nothing better than learning from others
mistakes experience, right? Our gift to you, enjoy;
Tip 1 - Plan ahead
First things first - create a timeline and key milestones to achieve and pinpointing key resource such staff that will help you move, outsourced workforce and additional equipment. I'd suggest key milestones are; a) Pre-move b) Execution of move & c) Post-move. Tips 2 to 10 our good pointers you should consider to include in timeline. While Excel is more than good enough in creating timelines, you may want to consider something like SmartDraw to make a gantt chart.
And remember - don't forget to share the timeline taking note of specific dates/times people are required.
Tip 2 - Ending/Negotiating new utility contacts & other agreements
This is a key step you should do in good time prior to move. Before you sign on the dotted line of your new premises, make sure you know about all associated costs of the move, new building, business insurance, business rates of premises etc. that go with it. Utilise third party independent review websites for a quick trawl and compare quotes, but also remember to use independents to get a quote, if you have time.
Getting this step wrong could cause you quite a lot of unnecessary expense if you get it wrong. However, get it right and you can use this move as a good time to negotiate new rates, end old contract and look to streamline services, for example - do you really need that expensive phone line, or should you be looking to a VoIP teleconferencing service, like Meetupcall?
Tip 3 - Before you move - make the purge
Everyone feels better after a good tidy up/spring clean and there's nothing better than moving in to a new office block with a fresh start. So, before you move, use this as an opportunity to completely de-clutter. Unless it's your old account records that you must keep for HMRC reasons, you really, probably... definietely do NOT need that ScrewFix Direct catalogue from 10 years ago! Get rid, get rid now!
Remember to de-clutter anything of business or HR staffing sensitivity with a reputable third party confidential waste disposal business.
Tip 4 - Office planning, decorating & seating arrangements
Take great care in creating your new office environment. It could be what makes or breaks the team when first settling in. For more information view our basic office planning guide and see how office environment and seating plans change peoples attitudes.
Tip 5 - Update location details
Have business cards and other forms of offline print updated prior to the move and then make sure on moving in (if not just before), your website is updated as well as other online resources, like Yelp and Google+ Business page, for example. If you haven't already set up such third party location pages - now is the time!
Tip 6 - Downsizing/Upsizing office space?
Downsizing: When you're drawing back on your office space, while this is generally cheaper than going in to a large space where more office furniture is needed, the hassle can be far greater, just purely because you need to offload the old gear. Two great suggestions are; a) if you want to make some money back on old equipment and supplies, sell cheaply on eBay - but beware of after sales hassle and there's the potential it won't sell. b) our favorite - there's a growing number of charities that have their own furniture shops and they we'll happily come to your location to pick up old office furniture in bulk for resale. This is by far the least amount of hassle when you just need to get rid!
Upsizing: Great, you upsizing! Firstly, remember to take in to account tip 4. We cannot emphasis enough how important this is for the short and long term health of your business!
Make sure you kit out your office with quality office furniture that's going to last. Our range of desks, storage systems and office seating collections come with a 10 year guarantee, so you can be confident it's not going to fall apart on taking delivery! Furthermore, all deliveries are free and if you've left things until the last minute, don't worry - we have a huge range of next day desks and we also give great deals on bulk orders. Visit our homepage to begin browsing.
Tip 7 - When you move
There's not a great deal to say about this, but if you can, try and plan your move around at off-peak business times, be it a yearly, monthly, week or day off-peak time, make the most of it. You will make mistakes and remember that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, so give yourself extra breathing space by knowing that any negative impact on your business and brand will be minimised.
Tip 8 - How to execute the move
There are both pros and cons for 'doing it all' in-house or making use of a third party, but unless you are a huge corporation, you may want to think about using just internal resource. However - take in to account staff wages. If you have highly technical team that are on pop star wages, you may want to think twice before dragging them in over the weekend to complete the move as it could cost much more than using a professional service. Not to mention, it's not their day job, so don't expect huge amounts of enthusiasm.
Tip 9 - Look after your troops!
Let's face it, unless you're a sadist, you're not going to like the moving process. No, scratch that - not even a sadist would enjoy the moving office process. So remember, no one is doing this because they want to (other than the boss), but it's a job that needs doing. Pay for a meal (or more) for all staff, make sure there's a positive, none pushy atmosphere. Yes, moving costs the business money, but remember this; the staff members you flog to death today trying to rush the move will need to be happy about coming in to work the next day and back to their own job! Perhaps an incentive like an additional paid days leave for the year could be beneficial.
Tip 10 - Press releases
Now you've moved, make sure you shout and scream to the roof tops that your business has moved premises. There's nothing worse than being a customer and turning up at your old location finding it's closed. Oh, wait... there is - the worse thing is it's your business that has moved and your customers think you've gone bust!
Distribute press releases online, email and call (if that's viable to do so) all past/current customers.