Moving offices can be complex. Even worse, many people in charge of an office move have never managed one before. And downtime costs small- and medium-sized companies hundreds of dollars per hour. There’s a lot that can go wrong. But with these 7 office removals hacks, you can help ensure your relocation happens on time and on budget.
1. Find a good project manager to take ownership of the move
An office move is an important project. One that has a major impact on the bottom line, with one day of disruption possibly costing you as much as £250,000, or more. You need someone who can take the reins for you and do a good job.
Pick someone who’s good at setting budgets, setting and hitting deadlines, and motivating people to get things done. This is probably the single most important hack if you want your move to go smoothly.
2. Get the right people involved
Now you have a project leader, you need input from HR, marketing, finance and IT. That way, you’ll be able to work out the key needs of the business – and get buy in from the departments involved.
This will help you work out the kind of office space to look for, plus the office design, layout, equipment and furniture you might need. You’ll know what’s involved in moving your IT equipment and servers to the new office.
Get the key people involved at the beginning and this cuts the risk of making the wrong decisions – or leaving anyone out!
3. Get multiple quotes for all the services you need
Once you’ve worked out what the business needs from the move, you can decide on the specialist services you need. Maybe that’s a property agent, a commercial property solicitor or an office furniture supplier. Certainly it will include an experienced office removals firm and IT relocation specialist.
Now get multiple quotes from companies in each area. When it comes to your office removals company, ask them about what extra services they offer. Most good ones have partnerships with IT relocation specialists, or even employ them in-house, for example. They can also help your project manager plan the move.
4. Ask for recommendations from previous clients
So you’ve had quotes from multiple service providers. The prices are similar. They all look professional and trustworthy. So how do you choose between them?
The quickest way is to ask for the contact details of recent happy clients who are similar to you. Any good provider will be more than happy to do this, and it offers great peace of mind.
5. Move overnight
When it’s time for your relocation, there are a number of factors that can slow you down. Busy traffic, access restrictions at your new office building, lifts and staircases being in use by others in the building, and parking restrictions… all of these can lead to the move taking longer and going over time and budget.
The easiest way to get around this is to hire your removal company to move you overnight – if your new building is accessible. That way, there are fewer obstacles and even the traffic should be clearer. Fewer obstacles mean a faster move. Then all you have to do is unlock the door to your new office the next morning, with everything moved, unpacked and set up for you. This hack also cuts the potential business disruption to an absolute minimum.
6. Get your staff to label all their stuff before the move
You don’t really want your staff to waste time packing during work hours. But if you can get them to label everything clearly before the move, then this is a great help to your office removal company.
If they do this, you’ll ensure all their files, paperwork, monitors, stationary, chair and anything else are all in the right place once the move is done.
7. Tell your customers you’re moving
This last hack is not really about making sure the move goes well. But it is important for two reasons.
First, you inform all your customers about the change, in case they need to get in touch with you. That’s good for general housekeeping and customer service.
Second, you can use this as a marketing or upselling opportunity. It’s a great excuse to reach out to old customers or clients you might not have been in touch with for a while. It’s a nice way of telling people how fast the company is growing, without coming across as boastful or salesy. And you can use it as a reason to make a special offer to your customers – “To celebrate our relocation, we’d like to make you this great one-off offer”…
Who knows – following these 7 hacks, not only can you reduce the expense and disruption of your move, but you might even be able to get more sales out of it. And that’s got to be a no-brainer.
Article by Susan Spencer Price, Lifehack