[ by Amanda Hopkins, CORT ]

If you’re seeing a lot of moving trucks these days, it’s no accident. May is National Moving Month and marks the beginning of the peak moving season in the U.S., stretching from May through August.

While you may be thinking of household moves when you spot those moving trucks, many startups move from one office to another during the summer. Moving mistakes are easy to make for startups (and consumers). In honor of National Moving Month, here’s how you can plan a successful office transition for your startup.

Pack Strategically
As you start assessing your old workspace, it’s important to decide what stays and what goes. This is a crucial step for startups, which need to conserve cash. The more you move, the more it costs, so a move to a new office is a great opportunity to evaluate what you need to bring with you—and what can be sacrificed. Pack up your office with this in mind.

Remember that furniture, equipment or files that you need but can’t use right away might add clutter to your new office and limit the efficiency of your workplace. Consider temporary self-storage for these must-keep items.

Coordinate with Service Providers
Before you move, be certain that customers will be able to contact you at your new digs. Make sure phone, Internet and utility services are available before you sign your new lease, and arrange for those services to be activated as soon you move in. Ideally, you should do this at least 60 days in advance.

It may help to set up a Google Voice account in case something goes awry during the move. That way, customers still can contact you while you’re getting settled in.

Be Wary of Moving Fraud
If you decide to hire a moving company, you easily can fall victim to moving fraud. Fortunately, the signs of fraud can be simple to spot if you’re familiar with them.

A few tips:

  • Research moving companies online to confirm they’re on the up-and-up.
  • Be sure any moving company you’re considering will provide an in-office estimate.
  • Never pay for the move upfront.
  • Be careful with any documents you’re signing, whether online or on paper. Scrutinize every box that you check and every line that you sign. Fraudulent moving companies may have you check extra boxes or sign blank documents.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence between your company and the moving company.

Time Your Move Well

Moving on a weekend or at the end of a workday is most likely the best way to move without causing great disruption to your business. Set up a moving schedule to make the effort as efficient as possible.

Organize Your New Office
Once you’ve emptied out your old office, it’s time to set up your new one. A little planning can go a long way toward simplifying this process. Furniture rental can be helpful in this process, as a suite of rented office furniture can let you spend money on critical needs rather than on permanent fixtures.

Tell Your Customers
It’s important that customers know where your new office is. Why? The more accessible you are, the more business your startup can generate. Be sure to update the contact information on your company’s website; on all social media channels; on websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Yahoo!, Google+ and Bing; and in your email signatures. If you can swing it, post announcements and pictures about your move on your company’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Images courtesy of blog.startupprofessionals.com and odddogmedia.com