Moving your business to a new location? Whether it’s a small, home-based business without employees or a large business with numerous employees, relocating to a new office space is never without a few headaches or complications. However, with the right checklist, you can help streamline the process to ensure a smooth and worthwhile move. Here are 15 to-dos to keep in mind when moving your business to a new location.
Find a new office location
First thing’s first: you’ll need to find a new office location. Assuming your office isn’t a home-based business, it’ll be up to you and your HR department to work on finding a new office space. We recommend assigning the task to several employees by asking them to scout out potential locations. If no one in the company has experience locating a new office space, consider enlisting a professional real estate broker to help find the ideal working space for you and your business.
Consider location and ease for employees
Before moving your business, make sure to consider your business needs and that of your employees. After all, location can make or break a business – depending on the type of business you run. If your company relies on foot traffic or a certain demographic, then you’ll need to find a space best suited to meet those needs. It might also make sense for your business to be located near other likeminded businesses. For instance, a finance-focused business might want to consider opening an office in a city’s bustling business district. Finally, you may want to consider the needs of your employees. Is the new office space easily accessible? Is there parking available? Etc.
Assess your leasing options
If you plan to rent an office space, you’ll need to carefully consider the commercial lease’s terms and conditions before signing it. Assess your different leasing options with each landlord. Many landlords prefer to sign multi-year leases (a 3-year lease, for example). Make sure you are comfortable with a lease’s timeline before signing. For instance, if there’s a chance your company will add employees and outgrow the space before three years, then you’ll need to find a larger space.
Figure out your moving budget
In addition to the monthly payments, make sure your company is prepared to pay for all moving expenses and costs. This might include a moving company, moving supplies and storage needs. Work out a budget with your company before moving.
Inform employees and give them a heads-up
Avoid surprising your employees and coworkers with an office move. Instead, let them know ahead of time that the company has begun its search for a new office space. Giving employees a heads-up about the company’s future will not only make them feel a part of the process, but it will also help them plan for their own futures.
Coordinate a plan for moving all technical equipment
Have a plan in place for moving all technical equipment and servers. We recommend assembling a team of IT support professionals to plan out the move ahead of time. That way, they’ll be able to plan for what to move, what to get rid of and what to transfer over. In addition, your new office space may need more technical equipment (for instance, new computers, printers and copy machines). You’ll need to make sure these are ordered and scheduled for delivery once your lease begins.
Hire a reputable moving company
Have office equipment and furniture to move? You’re going to need a team of professional movers to safely transport all of your belongings. From office desks and chairs to conference room tables and large copy machines, a professional moving company should be able to handle the relocation. Make sure to obtain quotes from at least three different movers before hiring anyone. Check reviews and ratings as well.
Figure out storage needs
Are you planning to downsize the office? If so, you may need a storage unit to hold extra equipment, furniture and supplies. To ensure ease and convenience, make sure to secure a storage unit that is relatively close to your new office location. Here’s a guide to securing a storage unit that work for your needs.
Order new signage and any necessary furniture or equipment
Depending on the type of business you’re in, an attractive and effective sign can really help boost your company’s visibility. When moving to a new office space, you may need to order new signage prior to moving. Have a plan in place for how and when to install it. You’ll also want to evaluate the new space to see if you need new furniture or equipment for the office. Since this can take several weeks to several months to arrive, you may want to order these items ahead of the move.
Give clients or customers a heads-up about the move
As you see and/or speak to clients and customers, let them know about the upcoming move. That way, they won’t be confused or surprised when you make the move. If your company utilizes social media to announce news, consider making an official announcement about your future plans on Instagram or Facebook.
Order new letterhead, brochures and business cards
If your company’s letterhead, brochures, business cards and other marketing materials have the old address, be sure to update these with the new address as soon as you move. The last thing you want is your old, outdated address on your printed materials. Not only could this make your business look inept, but it could also confuse customers and clients.
Update your company website and email signatures
After you move, make sure to update the copy on your company’s website to reflect your new address. You may want to add a note, such as “We’ve Moved!”, to let customers and clients know you’ve moved to a new location. If employees typically include the business address in their email signatures, make sure everyone updates their signatures with the new address as soon as you move.
Let customers and clients know you have moved
Once you’ve officially moved, it’s important to get the word out as soon as possible. We suggest either emailing or phoning customers and clients to let them know you’ve moved. Make sure to include your new address in the message. You may also want to include easy-to-read directions.
Notify the IRS about your change of address
You’ll need to let the IRS know that your business has moved to a new location. For information about how to notify the IRS about your change of address, check here. Depending on where you live and the type of business license you carry, you may also need to let your local tax collector and zoning office know that you’ve moved. If the company is a home-based business, you may even need the zoning office to approve the change of address before moving.
Update your business insurance policy
According to Allstate Insurance Company, while a landlord may cover fire damage to a building, he or she may not cover your damaged goods, such as computers, furniture and employees belongings. Make sure to obtain business insurance from a reliable provider. Your landlord may even require that tenants carry business insurance in order to operate in their building.
After perusing potential office spaces, you’ve finally decided on a place for your business. Congrats! Now it’s time to start planning that move. Fortunately, our extensive network of reputable and reliable movers makes it easy to book the best moving company for the job. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!