Moving your business is stressful — especially when planning around a commercial lease. There are a million things to do, and a million possible things that can go wrong. The movers don’t show up. You can’t connect to the internet. Items get lost or damaged in the move.
The stress increases exponentially with commercial office moves. You’re not just responsible for your family of four and the dog — you need to move potentially hundreds of people and thousands of dollars worth of equipment efficiently and quickly.
It’s not just the move either. Delays and missing equipment can interrupt your workflow and prevent employees from getting back to work quickly, disrupting productivity and hurting your revenue.
Here are a few things to consider when preparing for an office move.
How to Prepare for an Office Move
Step 1: Create an Office Move Checklist
The first thing you need to do is sit down and make a list. That should include:
- Key people in charge of the move
- Moving timeline
- Materials required
- Employee and customer communication plan
- Moving day schedule and plan
Step 2: Schedule Your Movers
Next, you need to figure out how you’re going to move everything.
Are you going to rent a truck and move everything yourself? Hire movers on the weekend? Or during a workday?
Each one of these decisions impacts your company, budget and work in different ways. If you’re moving, you may need to recruit employees to help, which cuts into work time. Or, you’ll need to account for moving costs in your budget.
If you decide to go with professional movers, schedule them as soon as you know your moving dates to ensure they’re available when you need them to be.
There are also relocation management companies that will handle your entire move for you. They act as a project manager and oversee the whole process. They control the contracting and oversight of your move.
In our experience, this service is worth every penny. Relocation managers typically charge a percentage of the total move as their fee. If you negotiated a moving allowance in your lease, a relocation manager is an excellent way to use your moving allowance.
Step 3: Set Up Your IT & Telecommunications
Your priority should be getting the new space outfitted for your employees as quickly as possible. That translates to internet and phone systems for most companies.
Does your new space have internet and telecommunications services already installed? The previous tenant may have removed all of the data cabling during their move out. As the new tenant, you may need to run new wiring throughout your space. Depending on your bandwidth needs, you may also need to upgrade your current system.
Confirm the internet speeds you need are available in the space you’re leasing. If your business requires a specific internet speed, confirm that the provider has that available in the location. If you already have an account set up, you can typically transfer your current contract to your new site.
Step 4: Update Your Insurance
Does your insurance carrier know about your move? It’s crucial for a couple of reasons. First, your insurance may not cover you at your new location without the new address on file. Landlords also typically require a certificate of insurance with the new address listed before they hand over your keys.
Step 5: Plan for the New Space
Once you sign your lease, the first thing you need to tackle is space planning.
Will your current furniture fit in your new space? Do you know where existing furniture is going? Do you have enough furniture to outfit your entire space?
Space planners are available and can put together a rough draft of how your existing furniture will look in your new space. They can also work with you to identify new furniture as needed.
Some landlords offer space planning services for free. If your landlord does not provide space planning, you may be able to work with a furniture vendor who can help with your space plan. You can also find free tools online to help you plan your space.
Step 6: Create and Execute an Employee and Customer Communication Plan
Do your employees, customers, and vendors know about your move?
Create a communications plan to inform your employees, customers and any vendors about your upcoming move. It may be helpful to hold a town hall meeting at your company to go through the moving day plan, logistics and answer any questions.
Looking for your next commercial space? Contact WindWater Real Estate today to find the best commercial properties in Orange County.