If you are in the process of business relocation, you may be doing everything right; finding and following moving tips and strategies, learning the best ways to pack up your office so that your valuable business equipment will make the journey in one piece, stocking up on the best boxes and packing materials to keep your supplies safe and organized. These are all important steps to be taking, so the process goes as smoothly and as cost-effective as possible.
But be sure to keep in mind that there’s more to business relocation than the actual packing and transportation of your office; it’s not the same as moving a home, where you simply box up your belongings and unpack them at the other end. When in business, you also have to consider your customer base, and how to maintain productivity and accommodate them during your transition. Regardless of how loyal a customer may be, some simply cannot afford to ‘wait it out’ while you get your business re-situated, and you could easily lose those customers to competitors if you keep them waiting during your transition.
It’s a balancing act, but it can be done.
Business Relocation – What Else You Should Know
Communication: Your project plan should address specific delegation of tasks milestones, responsibilities, and contingencies for in-house personnel in advance, so that all staff and management know exactly who will be responsible for what. On the ‘front end’, appoint a specific communications person to address concerns of your customers, vendors, contractors and other outside persons associated with your business.
Equipment: The need to keep your computer systems up and running throughout the move can be complicated. Any outdated equipment should be donated out, (which may mean tax credits for your business) and updated equipment delivered to your new location. Items being moved from one location to the next will need to be handled with utmost care. Consider consulting a reputable I.T. relocation consultant to assist in navigating this tricky process.
Storage: if you’re in a situation where you must leave your old location before the new one will be available, you may have to consider a storage facility for many of your supplies. If this is the case, make sure to store only those items which are not critical to keeping your business activities up and running. Anything critical to keeping business operations running should remain on hand in a temporary location to facilitate an “our doors are still open” message to your customers.
Scheduling: Set a very specific task list for personnel, and make each of them aware of exactly what will be expected of them during the move. Schedule exact dates and times for what should be packed, in which order, on what dates, as well as when each person is expected to be fully up and running in the new location. Impress upon your staff that this is not a time to slack off on duties, but rather to be extra diligent in getting the job completed.
Communications: Phone and internet service will likely be the most important factors to keeping your business ‘in action’ during your move. It is critical that these services be up and running throughout the business relocation process. Plan ahead with service providers to make sure services overlap at the old and new locations, and if possible, move this equipment during ‘off times’ when customers are least likely to contact you, so your clientele will experience little or no ‘radio silence’ during your transition. Also TEST your equipment to ensure that new services are up and running properly.
Support: unforeseen circumstances are pretty much a given during business relocation – but you don’t have to be caught off guard. Be prepared for any circumstance by ensuring that you have support staff available on short notice for items like computer & network configurations/repairs, phone service connections, utilities mishaps, etc.
Mapping: Plan out your new office layout in advance to ensure that everyone and everything in the old office has a place in the new one. Making and distributing a map for all personnel and movers will help everyone know exactly where they and their equipment will need to go, and will help avoid a lot of shuffling around after the move.
Security: Highly confidential or sensitive documents and other valuables should be moved separately, in the care of a trusted assignee within the company. Moving companies don’t generally take responsibility for the loss of high risk items, so take it upon yourself to secure these in-house, with a responsible and reliable staff member or manager. For expensive equipment which must be transferred by movers, be sure to purchase sufficient insurance to cover any losses that may be incurred.
Marketing: One way to maintain rapport with customers while notifying them of your business relocation is to send eye-catching oversized post cards to all of your contacts and clientele. The cards should not contain advertising content, but rather, a friendly courtesy notification and an opportunity to express appreciation for all of those who helped to make your company a success. This will help to establish a friendly connection while providing useful information.
Opening: Host spectacular grand opening events to draw attention your business in the new location. Give the surrounding community a reason to stop in and take advantage of special savings, fun events and free refreshments. This will be a great opportunity to get to know your future clientele, and for them to get to know, like and trust you.
Networking: Notify local business networking groups about your move, and take some time to get to know other business owners in the vicinity. Find out which nearby businesses may be complementary to your own services or products, and seek out ways that you and other business owners may be of benefit to one another through referrals and joint ventures opportunities.
Following these tips will help to ensure that you still have a business, by the time your business relocation is complete.
At ETC International, we have a distinctive advantage over regular movers. We have an in-house team of packaging/crating/loading specialists, so rather than contracting out these services, we perform them all. Additionally, you can access our on-site loading services with our expert packers. Our facilities feature ramp and dock-high warehouses. We provide short or long-term warehousing, thereby eliminating third-party storage or added trucking expenses, communications & delays.
Let us take care of the moving while you take care of your customers! Get a free, fast online rate quote for service and see how cost-effective it can be to hire our professional business relocation experts.