There is nothing small about the scale of business relocations taking place up and down the country.
Countless businesses move their premises each year for a variety of reasons. It could simply be out of a desire to expand and evolve, or that rental prices have become too expensive. Other, complex reasons can also be behind the decision; the politically-charged Brexit vote has seen many businesses either move, or consider moving, away from Britain.
But office relocation, is not for the faint-hearted. Moving is thought to be one of life’s biggest stressors, right up there with losing your job and getting divorced. This can be said of those moving homes; people only managing themselves or a family. Imagine the implications and stress that can occur when relocating an office or business; numerous pieces of expensive equipment, valuable customer data, a host of people and more.
Before you collapse into your chair, dreading the implications of business relocation, take a breath. Office relocation can be tough, sure, but it does not have to be. If you take the right approach, you can avoid many of the stressors and pitfalls that occur.
I know I’ve got your attention now, so where do we start?
Successful Relocation Depends on Knowing Your Moving Goals
What will relocation offer you?
It’s a simple question, but one that is all too easy to only look at from a surface level. To avoid problems and get the most out of relocation, we need to look deeper.
Let’s say your primary reason for relocating your business is that you are expanding and you need more space. So you find a place that fits that need, but before you sign the lease, make sure you analyse its benefits against the other requirements of your business.
A new place may offer a solution for one problem, such as an inability to hire and increase revenue, but moving without proper thought can open up other, previously unproblematic issues.
Look at all aspects of your business and how it is affected by your current location. Make sure your moving destination offers to match or exceed the benefits. You don’t want to find you’ve moved to increase the staff roster, only to move away from your audience and find that your sales drop.
Make a Comprehensive Moving Plan
When the Allies planned the D-Day landing, their understanding of the invasion was so comprehensive that every single detail, every single potential outcome was mapped out. They knew everything, right down to the exact details of the terrain the soldiers would be clambering over; a total of 125 million maps were used and examined to be sure nothing was left to chance.
It’s an extreme analogy, but it makes the point well.
The Allies claimed victory in that day, but only because of the careful planning that went into the operation. If things hadn’t been so well thought out, failure would have been all but certain.
You need to plan your relocation in great detail. You need to know the ins and outs of everything that is happening; from timelines and budgets to how the process of moving in will work. Arriving at your new office only to find the moving truck can’t park outside sounds like a comedy sketch, but when you’ve got clients waiting and money burning, it is no laughing matter.
The devil is truly in the details. Be aware of every aspect of your move, identify potential problems and adjust/make backup plans accordingly, and you’ll be set for a smooth relocation process.
Hire Corporate Relocation Companies
Moving a business is not like moving house.
Business relocation often requires specialist equipment, a different skill set and unique expertise; things that can only be attributed to those who work in the business of moving other businesses.
Hiring movers who are unequipped to deal with your business relocation needs is a surefire way to create unnecessary problems.
Those who work in the industry and offer tailored office relocation services know exactly how to approach and support your business relocation. They have the tools to complete the job and the know-how to do it effectively. Ask a home mover how to move your office computer servers or priceless paper archives and you are bound for trouble.
Advise Clients of an Upcoming Relocation
Businesses live and die by the customer, so customers should be advised of your upcoming move.
There is no getting around it: relocation is going to reduce your work output. However, if you advise the clients of your upcoming move, you can begin to dial down operations, making sure major projects are complete or stable and refusing to take on tough, tight deadline work until the move is complete.
By doing this, you ensure you aren’t left with unsatisfied customers who expected 100% from a business that cannot provide it. One of the greatest stresses of a move is knowing your customers are expecting you to be working when you aren’t. If everyone is on the same page, you’ll avoid nasty client conversations.
Be sure to advise well in advance of your move, however, so that the client can prepare for such an event if your services are integral to their business. It may also allow the two of you to work out a strategy that allows for maximum effectiveness during your relocation period. For example, if you work in marketing, aim to start a low-key campaign during this period that can be rolled out without major supervision.
Use Off-Site Storage Facilities to Reduce Pressure
Clutter is the bane of any office relocation. Unfortunately, when you move a business, there is a lot of it to move.
Businesses are built of a great many pieces. Some are absolutely vital, some not so much. They all contribute to the operation of your company, but when you are moving, it’s advisable to keep things simple until your essentials are in place.
Consider you are moving into a new building. You’ve got IT to sort, desks and chairs to incorporate, wiring to set up and plenty more. The last thing you need is your records from 2002 taking up space or the table you use for job interviews. You need focus; you need to be concentrating on getting the important stuff installed.
This is where off-site storage comes in handy. By putting your interview table, old archives, office ficus, decorations and other non-essentials into storage, you ensure a laser-focus on getting the vital equipment for company operations setup and ready to resume work as usual.
The other stuff — the little bits and clutter that would have got in the way — can then be moved in and found a place for gradually, instead of stealing attention or taking up important floor space.
Written by Heather Darby