by Justin Lee, The Square Foot (unaffiliated real estate startup)
So you’ve signed an office lease on a new hub for your business. Tip of the cap to you, because that’s no easy feat. Hopefully you didn’t procrastinate and went through the proper steps on your way to finding the perfect space for your business. Now comes the really fun part— moving. It’s universally considered one of the worst activities known to man, yet we all have to go through it, whether it’s to a new home or new place of business. We can’t tell you we can magically make relocating your business fun, but we can give you a few tips on how to make it as painless as possible. Follow these five basic tips to guarantee a smoother transition.
1. Set A Budget Moving is expensive. The cost of hiring movers in and of itself can be hefty, not to mention the possible working days lost when organizing and going through relocation. Then you have all of the various expenses that can add up like IT work, phones, signage, change of address costs and of course, the new furniture and equipment purchases that seem to always accompany a move. Everything together can put a serious dent in a company’s expenses, so budgeting ahead of time is paramount— especially for a small-to-medium-sized business and startups.
2. Take Advantage Of The Move To Assess What’s Expendable Before you begin packing up the old office, take inventory of all of the furniture and large equipment. This serves two purposes: 1) It’s always a good idea to have a current inventory and it helps to make sure everything has been successfully relocated after the move, and 2) This is a great way to figure out how much of the furniture and equipment in the current office needs to be relocated at all. In some cases, it may be time for a major recycling effort, where old and unused furniture is just taking up usable space. In others, it might make sense to place larger items in a storage unit that can be accessed when needed.
3. Plan The New Space Layout Before You Move Be sure to walk through and measure the new space several times before moving day to avoid any layout hiccups or surprises. You’ll want to not only measure the new offices and common areas, but also the existing vital furniture and equipment. Once the new space and existing equipment have been measured and tallied up, sketch out a few furniture/equipment layout options to play around with on a copy of the new suite’s floor plan— the landlord will be able to provide this. You’ll want to know what you gain and lose from a space perspective in office areas with several different furniture/equipment layout options, so that optimal layout and efficiency can be achieved. Use a pencil for this exercise; you’ll thank us later!
4. Assign Roles Business owners and operators are used to managing a team day-to-day. Use those skills to coordinate the move from start to finish and assign different responsibilities to different associates within the company. Make someone responsible for making sure everything IT-related is accounted for and up and running in the new office. Put someone in charge of office supplies and anything fragile. Give another the task of overseeing movers and directing them on where everything goes in the new suite. One person can’t seamlessly get a business relocated by him or herself, it takes several moving parts all simultaneously working according to a careful plan. Let your employees take ownership of a part of the office and ask their opinions as you coordinate the move.
5. Grin And Bare It Moving sucks. It’s nearly impossible to stay in a good mood throughout the moving process, but you’re running a business and it’s important to maintain professionalism. Don’t let customers know when/if relocating has affected anything within the organization. The same goes for your employees, as they will follow your lead. Stay positive, stay focused and stay smiling. Customers want to know a company is strong enough to maintain productivity in the midst of a relocation, so don’t let on if any of the day-to-day operations may have slowed down.
Justin Lee is the Co Founder of TheSquareFoot. For more information on leasing the perfect commercial space for your business, visit TheSquareFoot.com.