If you're thinking of moving your business, spring may be the best time to take action. Generally speaking the weather is amenable, and with some advance planning, it's possible to keep the time, effort and expense of your move reasonable. Here are five steps to help you prepare for the big move:
1. Map Out a Time Frame
The first thing to do is map out a realistic schedule for your relocation plans. Determine the amount of time you need for packing and moving, coordinating between leaving your current location and taking possession of your new place. The schedule works best if you make a firm decision on the day you officially depart the old premises and work backward from there.
Assembling a comprehensive spreadsheet will help you stay organized. Focus on cataloging all of your furniture, office supplies and other belongings in order to decide what will accompany you to the new property and what might be sold or donated.
2. Involve Your Employees
Moving your business affects each of your employees, so it's wise to alert them of your plans well ahead of time and then involve them in the relocation process. Put together a relocation team and invite team members to help compile a thorough list of move-related tasks. Assign these tasks to the right individuals, but be sure to give them time during the workday to attend to these assignments. They will feel more incentive to pitch in if they're not overly stressed by additional responsibilities. It's also a good idea to cater lunch and snacks during the process to keep morale and productivity high.
3. Get the Right Packing Supplies
After you take inventory, work off the spreadsheet to start purchasing the right packing and moving supplies — everything from rolls of bubble wrap to tape dispensers, markers and boxes (lots of boxes). Obtaining only large boxes is counterproductive, since it's easier to pack and carry small and medium-sized boxes. Be sure to label all boxes in order to make unpacking more efficient, and remember to purchase a utility knife or two to open the boxes more easily when you get to your new location.
4. Alert Your Customers and the Public at Large
At both the location you're departing and your new place of business, prominently display signs and banners announcing the grand move. If possible, include specific information for both closing and opening dates; this reassures any concerned customers, while also sending the message that the relocation is organized and moving ahead smoothly.
Distributing change-of-address cards to vendors and customers is also a good idea. Your goal is to keep everyone informed who needs to be informed. A good move has no surprises.
5. Update Your Online Contact Information
In our digital era, this last step is crucial. Assign a team member to update contact information on your website, as well as on all of your social media platforms. As so many current and prospective customers check out your site and social media pages, the information should be completely up to date. You can also create some social media buzz by tweeting and/or blogging about the relocation throughout the process. Don't be shy about including photos and videos highlighting your team in action.
Moving your business is a big deal, but by planning in advance and staying organized, you can make the transition with minimal disruption to operations — and no disruption to your customers.