Maybe you're upgrading to better offices. Maybe you're downsizing as a way to cut costs. Whatever your reasons for relocating your business, you'll need to be careful about certain things in order to ensure a safe, speedy move. Here are just a few tips for getting it done.
1. Clean Out the Closets Moving is a great opportunity to trash or donate old supplies and machines that you don't need anymore. What's the use in packing up clutter and paying to have it delivered somewhere else? Go ahead and do some spring cleaning while you have the chance. Free your business from those ugly file cabinets, and say goodbye to those outdated copiers that have been replaced by your multi-function printing devices.
2. Label Everything Moving to a new office isn't like moving to a new house. If it takes you awhile to find the spare sheets in a mountain of boxes, that's not really a big deal; if you can't find sensitive documents about multi-million dollar clients, however, that will be more of an issue. Make sure to label everything that you're taking with you. Use a numbering system if that makes it easier to keep track of things.
3. Hire a Professional Moving Company Look for someone local and reputable. For example, if you live in Austin, try to find good Austin movers with top-notch reviews and a history of high customer satisfaction. Some companies will even pack boxes and disassemble furniture for you, but don't take these things as a given; ask the movers if they'll provide them during your initial consultation. You'll want to know the full scale of their services before you sign on the dotted line.
4. Inform Your Customers Even if you're running an online business, it's a good idea to let your customers know about your change of address. In addition to keeping them in the loop about your growth and progress as a company, it's also a viable excuse for contacting everyone on your mailing list. Who knows? You might remind someone that your brand exists, and they'll become a loyal customer once again.
5. Let There Be Light What day of the week will you be moving into your new offices? Make sure that you've alerted the power and water companies. You'll want everything turned off at your old location as soon as you're gone, and you'll need everything to be ready as soon as you arrive at your new digs. It would be the stuff of nightmares to walk into a cold, dark building when you have clients to meet and work to be done.
6. Move During Off-Peak Hours Speaking of clients, you should always consider the potential impact that your move will have on them. You don't want to disrupt their service or be unavailable to take their calls because you're elbow-deep in packing tape! If you can, schedule your move over the weekend or during a business holiday. Making your transition during off-peak hours can help you limit both interruptions and distractions.
7. Empty All Containers This is especially important if you're hiring a moving company. Unless instructed otherwise, they might pack up wastebaskets full of garbage and refrigerators full of food. They aren't meant to make executive decisions about what you transport to your new location; they simply move what they've been told to move. Make sure to clean out all of your containers before the movers arrive.
8. Unplug Your Cords and Cables Never transport your electronics with cables still plugged into them. You run the risk of bending, scratching, tangling and otherwise damaging all of the wires and ports. Instead, remove your cables and put them into individual baggies with clear labels. You might also want to take a picture of everything before you unplug it; this will help you reassemble it later.
9. Back Up Your Data Last but certainly not least, back up all of your data before you start moving computers and hard drives. Even if you're being careful with your devices, you never know when an unexpected bump in the road will damage your most precious cargo. Besides, you should be backing up your files on a regular basis anyway.
Consider your move a chance to stop procrastinating about it! These are just a few tips for moving your business. Whether you're expanding into bigger offices or simply relocating your headquarters, use these tips to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.