After choosing the most suitable space for your company among the commercial properties for sale, it is time to plan for the move.
Whether you intend to expand your reach or venture into a different market location, moving your office is a major step that requires thorough preparation.
In this article, you’ll find a complete list of the things you will need to accomplish – from logistics planning to prepare your new office – that would make your relocation smooth and stress-free.
Planning the Logistics
In every move, logistical preparations are one of the first things you need to take care of.
When planning this aspect of the relocation, there are several things you need to consider. To help you out, here are some tasks you can accomplish as early as six months before the date of your office relocation:
● Assign the main point of contact or project manager for the move.
To make the planning and execution of the relocation more efficient, you need to assign a focal person to oversee it.
This person will still need to delegate tasks to others. But like any business project, having one individual responsible for the key aspects of the move (e.g., planning, budget, and communication) will make it more organized.
● Come up with a budget.
A budget is crucial in the relocation because it determines the extent of third-party services you can use for the project. It is also helpful in preventing overspending, especially in areas where you could easily scale back on.
To create a budget, your project manager should have a general idea of the overall expenses of the move. Among the costs to account for in an office move include:
- Moving and transport services
- Packing supplies
- Service fees for equipment installation, repairs, and deep cleaning (applicable for both the old and new office)
- Additional assets (e.g., furniture and equipment for the new office)
- Penalties or fees for contract termination (e.g., early lease termination, utility contracts, etc.)
Pro Tip: It’s better to overestimate than underestimate relocation expenditures to give the company some wiggle room to cover minor detours and unexpected expenses.
● Establish a timeframe.
Aside from allocating a budget, you also need a timeframe for the relocation project. This is vital before you can book a date with a moving company and make any arrangements necessary for the relocation.
A reasonable timeframe outlines the deadlines clearly. It should also contain the names of project members responsible for specific tasks.
Aside from creating one, your team should also follow this schedule strictly. Avoid missing any deadlines as much as possible to make moving day less stressful.
● Look for a moving company.
Don’t think that just because you have employees, you can already DIY the relocation of your entire office. Office removalists offer skills, experience, and expertise that even dozens of inexperienced hands cannot replicate.
When choosing a moving company, consider their fit in your budget and location. If you’re moving abroad, it would be best to hire a service provider with lots of experience in international relocations.
Make a list of prospects, compare their rates, and narrow it down to a final three companies.
Once you’ve signed a contract with the best candidate you could find, open communication lines for when you’re ready to finalize your moving plans (around two to four weeks before the move). Make it as detailed as possible, and don’t forget to include any information on your business operations.
Inspecting the New Space
There are plenty of possible reasons for every office removal. And with every business having its own unique objectives, it can be challenging to predict what tasks should be included on an office relocation checklist.
However, some things apply to almost every office move in any business, particularly when it comes to inspecting the new office.
● Determine the office capacity versus your headcount.
The office you pick out should be just the right size to accommodate all employees and their equipment to ensure productivity and smooth operations.
This is also the perfect time to plan for any workforce changes, both recruitment, and lay-offs. You should also consider accounting for any remote work setup as employees working from home may take up less space in the new office.
● Plan the office layout.
When it comes to the office layout, primary tasks you need to prepare for include:
- An inventory of existing and usable desks, chairs, and other furniture from the old office (if any)
- Planning for new furniture procurement
- Purchase of new equipment, if necessary
- Segregation of every department within the building
- Assigning common areas
- Office fit-out design or style based on your brand
Packing and Tying Up Loose Ends
Once you’ve finalized the setup in your new commercial space, it’s time to pack up and tie any loose ends.
● Communicate the move internally and externally.
Communication is vital to the move. So, if you haven’t done so, be sure to let all your employees know about it while setting expectations of their responsibilities (e.g., packing their own office supplies).
Besides internal communication, you also need to tell affiliates, local partners, and suppliers about your move. If operations aren’t immediately affected by the relocation, you may tell clients and customers about it later.
● Finalize the inventory of equipment and start packing.
When packing, be sure to take an inventory of your equipment, furniture, and supplies. Don’t forget to tag and label all boxes.
Pack items in an organized and logical manner. Be systematic about it. You can color-code boxes based on the item category or the department or section they will go into in your new office. This will make unpacking much easier later.
● Arrange for the transfer of your address for utilities.
If you’re moving nearby, you can arrange for a transfer of services for certain utilities. If that is not possible, set a cancellation date for the old office and apply for a new connection in the new one.
● Check your current lease.
If your current office is on a lease, you need to check its status to time your move right. Reviewing the contract will also help you plan for possible extra expenses you might incur during the move, such as:
- Deposit forfeiture or fees for breaking the lease prematurely
- Property damage incurred during the move
● Handle old space management.
Before bidding your old office farewell, you must first check for damages that may come out of your deposit for the lease.
Don’t forget to remove old signage and put up a sign about your address change to notify walk-in clients. Have space deep cleaned and return all keys and access cards to the landlord.
● Tell people about your change in address.
At this point, you should be ready to communicate the change of your office address to those who aren’t immediately affected. This can be done via email or snail mail.
You can also put up a sign in your old office bearing your new address.
Besides clients, you may also need to update your address in the following:
- Company website
- Business accounts
- Social media accounts
- Banks and financial institutions
- Newspaper and magazine subscriptions
- Yelp, Google, and other review listings
Relocating to a new office – regardless of the reason – is a chance to start anew. Make your fresh start stress-free by planning the move using this complete moving checklist.