There are few things that can breathe new life into a business like moving to new premises. The new space – possibly bigger and better than the previous one – can potentially bring new energy, new ideas, possibly even new clients and stakeholders. The change of location can be enough to revitalize your business, whether it needs it or not. Of course, moving can also be a time-consuming and messy exercise if it isn’t planned right. Haphazard moves will always take more time than is necessary, stretch your resources and unsettle your staff and clients. If you want to make the most of your move and get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible, you need to prepare for it properly. This is not difficult to do. It just requires a little systematic thought and a plan that you draw up well in advance of the move – and stick to. Highland Moving Systems has been doing corporate moves for decades and, therefore, we know very well what is needed to pull one off with the least possible hassle. Follow this 11-point systematized checklist, and you should be able to execute an office move in the shortest possible time and with the highest efficiency.
It is very unlikely that your move will happen at a time when you have no important deadlines, meetings or other appointments and deliverables. Chances are you’re going to have to do a bit of juggling. This is okay though, and what you can do is create a schedule that takes all your business goals into account and works both around and with them. You may also be able to reschedule a few things to make the load a little easier. Take a look at your schedule well in advance and see how you can arrange your resources around the move. Inform all your stakeholders of the move – your staff, suppliers and clients – and make them well aware of the dates and times. Instruct your staff to rearrange their schedules accordingly and make your clients aware of possible changes and setbacks in delivery schedules, all while highlighting how the move will improve your service to them in the long run. Once you’ve assessed what needs to happen, and when, set up a schedule and stick to it.
Together with the appropriate staff members (as well as professional office furnishers and designers, if you plan to use their services) visit the new space and take stock of what needs to be done in order to have the office up and running as soon as possible after the move. Does the place need a new paint job, new wiring, gas or water installations? Perhaps you’re outfitting it with new furniture or need to get a carpenter or building contractor in for improvements? Provided the space is going to be available, get these jobs done as soon as possible; hopefully a week or two before the move. This will minimize the list of things you need to do on moving day. If all goes well, you and your staff could possibly just move right in.
Get your marketing and IT people to change all business cards, website details, email signatures, ads, listings and any other promotional materials, so that they reflect the new address. Announce the change on all your marketing platforms and make it clear what date it will be effective from.
Take this opportunity to go through the entire office and decide what you really need to take with you. Have your staff examine their work areas and do the same. There is always plenty of clutter that has built up over the years, and now is your chance to dispose of everything non-essential. Move all the things you plan to throw out to one side and make arrangements for them to be removed, recycled, sold or given away.
Now that you know exactly what you’re keeping, draw up a comprehensive inventory of the company’s assets. All furniture, electronics, tools and other belongings should be carefully listed. Keep a copy of this and distribute it to all the necessary people. You will need to check it again once the move has been completed.
Do your research and find the best movers for the job within your budget. It is best not to go with a basic driver and truck combo. With office moves, even more so than with a house relocation, it is important that you have professional, experienced movers do the job. You need someone who will protect your inventory and move it with care, and who are trained and registered to carry out relocations. Book them well beforehand and check in with them once or twice, as the move draws nearer, to confirm your appointment.
You need to ensure that the movers will have access to all necessary entrances and exits in both buildings. Check your existing building as well as the new one for the location of the loading bays. Make arrangements with the respective building managers to ensure that these will be open and accessible on the appropriate day. You may also need to talk to your neighbouring businesses to let them know that you’re moving. Notify them in advance if there is a possibility that certain entrances may be blocked.
If you won’t be around to instruct the movers when they are loading and unloading, create a system that tells them where everything needs to go. One idea is to try colour-coding the furniture in each room, using stickers, and then match those colours with each room. For example, all items marked with green stickers need to be moved to Room X, while those with yellow ones need to go to Room A. Create office plans with your coding systems and put them up in the new offices for movers to see. Brief your movers beforehand so that they know how to interpret and execute your system.
Moving day can be quite chaotic, with the items being moved from place to place, possibly being left outside the moving truck for a minute or two before moved, or even left standing in a lobby. Entrances need to left propped open and things will be unattended for brief periods. Hire or appoint a security person to keep a close watch on everything – especially sensitive and valuable items – at the most important points of collection and transfer (such as entrances, at the truck, in the office building when there’s nobody there, and so on). Make sure the security guard also has a list of all authorized personnel, both from your company and the movers, so that they know who to let come and go as the doors stand open, and the constant back-and-forth movement continues.
Once the movers have set off for the new location, go through the old office to make sure that everything has been cleared or appoint a staff member to do so. Check each and every room carefully and ensure that nothing has been left behind. Depending on the arrangements you have made with the building managers or the new occupants, you may now need to hand over keys and access cards, and the like. Arrange to do this now so that there will be no need to come back later. Go through the entire handover process after checking that everything has been moved, and then bid the old office a final goodbye.
Work out in advance what your staff is going to be doing in the midst of the move. Will they be involved? If they are, give everyone a specific role that will aid and facilitate the moving process. You could assign each individual to oversee the moving and setting up of their particular workspace, for example. Otherwise, rather have them keep out of the way until the move is done. Perhaps some of them can work remotely until the relocation is completed, while others may take the opportunity to schedule out-of-office meetings with clients or suppliers. Have at least one staff member at the office to oversee the offloading and arranging of furniture and other items. Together with the moving system you set up to assist the movers, have this staff member, who should also be familiar with the system, be there to watch that everything is going according to plan. Whoever this job has been delegated to can then liaise with the leader of the moving crew and sign the necessary documentation once the truck has been offloaded. Then it’s time to run through the inventory list you made earlier and check that everything has been moved as planned. Highland Moving Systems is one of the longest established movers in Ontario. With our collective decades of experience, we can make even the biggest and most complicated office relocation easy and hitch-free. Contact us to arrange your short- or long-distance business relocation, and let us be a part of this important chapter in your company’s history.