HOW TO MOVE A BUSINESS TO A NEW LOCATION: 12 STEPS TO TAKE
Moving your business without losing productivity can be a formidable quest.
Nevertheless, with proper planning and execution, you will move and still make a profit with it. Moving creates a fresh opportunity for advancement and improvement.
One of the ways that you might want to do this, is by branching out. Maybe you want to think about moving out into an office that’s perfect for the next stages?
Of course, you hope that you can make it work in a certain way, or you hope that things might be successful, but sometimes, you don’t always know exactly how things will pan out.
Despite all these uncertainties, one thing is for sure.
You’ll want to consider exactly how you can grow your business in a way that suits you the most. Or, in a way that gets you results.
There are three stages to moving your business.
The pre-move stage, the moving stage, and the post-move stage.
There is no clear line to differentiate each stage; they tend to overlap and can be different for individual businesses. Also, these stages are not absolute, you can run two or all of the stages concurrently.
The pre-move stage is when you plan the things that need to be done before you start moving at all. Activities in this stage involve getting the right reason to move, locating the right place to move to, planning what to move and how best to move them.
The moving stage involves the actual movement. This involves packing, transportation and unpacking the items you have moved. It should be noted that packing in advance can be placed under the pre-move stage.
The post-move stage comprises arranging your new location and creating awareness at the new location. It also involves setting up your new workspace.
This is certainly the case when you’ve been working from home for a long time!
Here are a few things you need to put in place to ensure you move efficiently. I will not dwell on the why but on the how.
Without doubts, the location of your business can also contribute to its success.
Here’s how you can do it.
1. Plan Your Movement
The first thing you need to put in place to ensure a successful movement is to plan.
It’s one thing to plan, it is another to plan to succeed. One important step that leads to success is planning well and execution according to the plan.
Your plan should include all the probable circumstances and leave little or no room for improbable situations.
Note that your plan should be capable of managing unforeseen situations should they come up. Your plan should eliminate or reduce the emergence of problems associated with moving your business.
When planning, plan as early as possible in the movement process. You should start planning from the very first day you know you want to move.
Also, ensure that all the parties involved in moving are included in the plans. These parties are your employees, your current and future landlord, your clients and the people that will aid your movement.
2. Look For The Best Place For Your Business
To start with, you’ll want to know what you need, and what kind of place you’re looking for.
As you’re doing that, you’ll want to consider the kind of places you can rent – such as a maintained office, or just a stand space for yourself.
Finding a good location to move your business to is a severe process. You have to be thorough so that you get a better place than where you are currently.
Better does not necessarily mean it has to be bigger in space, it might just be that it is cheaper for the same thing or well-positioned.
Generally, your location choice should be based on proximity to your input or output.
Your inputs are raw materials, labour, and other resources. You might need to move to a location which is close to the quarry or a warehouse of a particular commodity so you can reduce the cost of procurement.
Your proximity to your potential customers should also be considered when choosing a new location. You should move to the student area if your business deals in materials for students or you could move close to hospitals if you sell pharmaceutical products.
Furthermore, put in mind the opportunities you will have in your new location before you make your decision. Different places offer different opportunities.
This always starts with a property search.
Would you like properties with gardens or a plain area?
You just have to pick the ones most relevant to your business. Growth of your business must be taken into account too. You don’t want to move to a place where you will experience dwindling profits.
If you know searching for the new location will be a daunting task for you, you can employ a real estate agent or a broker to help you. Their findings will be based on the specifications you give to them and it will be subject to your approval.
Take a look at what’s currently available around you to help you find a place. Do you work with the internet, you will surely need a new location with good connectivity.
3. Prepare a Catalog
Either you call it a list or you call it an inventory, just make sure you have a concrete record of what you are moving and not moving.
To make sure you do not miss any of your equipment, you should list all the equipment in the general inventory. To avoid mix-ups, you can sort the list according to offices and departments of each individual.
If you are disposing of some of your equipment either for an upgrade or your new location might not need it, listing them out makes it easy for you to act on it.
For instance, you might not need standing fans in your new location because you want AC pre-installed. The list for the new equipment should be noted.
Taking a list also helps you to plan how and when to move items. Some items can be grouped so that you can move them together.
Another importance of listing is that it helps you keep track of what you have packed and what goes where when you are unpacking at your new location.
4. Have A Schedule
You will need to create a timeline to work with.
This will be the agenda you will follow as you move. Your schedule will tell you what you should do and when you should do them. You will need to keep track of your progress this way.
This helps you to know if you are lagging behind or if there is any bottleneck that requires adjustment.
5. Plan For Transportation
This is the means you want to employ to transport your wares from your old office to the new one. This may include the choice of route, mode of transport either railway, road, or air.
For instance, will you use a semi-truck or a trailer, or a mixture of transport modes? Do you want it express or standard shipping for mailed items?
Questions like these should be answered depending on your business’ need.
Priorities must be set right to ensure there is a seamless transition from your current location to your future location. You know what is essential to your business and what is less essential.
While the less essential things can be moved anytime, you must ensure the most essential are moved quickly according to your preset plan. For offices that rely on the internet for operation, you can’t allow the server to be down for long.
As you soon as you pack it, transport and reinstall it immediately at your new place.
That is the essence of giving higher priority to departments that majorly affects other departments because once they are not working, every other department won’t work too.
As soon as you get to your new location, you have to set up crucial departments first. More attention and resources should be dedicated to this crucial once so that others can get to work as they settle in.
7. Get Some Packing Tools & Skills
Part of the planning includes having the correct provisions at the time of need.
Some tools for packing and moving include pens and markers, boxes, labels and stickers, seals, furniture sliders, file jacket, packing tapes and other packaging tools.
Having these provisions handy will make moving easier and you will reduce the chances of mix-ups.
Also, utmost care must be taken at the stage of moving because you cannot move everything the same way. The group of delicate and fragile objects should be handled with care.
You should get the proper box sizes for the different sizes of items you have. For breakables, you will need bubble roll so the items do not break, for heavy objects, heavy-duty boxes should be used.
When arranging, heavy boxes should be placed at the base of the load and not where they can crush the light objects.
Breakables should be placed in such a way that they do not carry excess loads and are not prone to fall.
8. Consider Your Budget
You’ll also want to make sure that you know what kind of budget you’re working with here too.
What’s your budget bracket?
Before you embark on your project to move, you must consider the cost. Have an estimate of how much resources it will cost you. The resources you will spend include money, time and labour.
You must make sure that all these resources are available for use.
The costs you will incur are lease for your office space, payment for transportation (either for Transport Company or In-House Transportation), and interior decorators for your new space.
It’s so important for you to make sure that you have an office budget for day to day activities such as electricity, telephone, water or other office supplies.
You should know what you can afford and plan accordingly. That way, it’s easier to find the right place.
9. Notify Your Environment
One of the impacts of moving business is that you might be withdrawn from the market of the current location. This also means you are being introduced to a new location.
So to reduce the adverse effect of the former, inform your clients about the movement to build trust with them & increase your chances of having them patronize you in your new location.
You must let the general public know that you are moving or have moved. You could hold a press conference, radio and TV broadcast, and newspaper publication.
Put a “we have moved” sign at your previous location indicating your new address and contact. At your new location, ensure you put signages at strategic locations so that people can notice and locate your business with ease.
Ensure you update your address on your social media platforms and your website.
Apart from your clients and the general public, you will need to officially notify your banks, post office, Tax commission and the organizations you subscribed to their publications for a change of address.
10. Move Your Operations
When you’ve made your choices and you’re ready to settle in, you need to actually go through the moving process.
It is not time for you to pack all things. There are two processes of packing. The first is packing in advance and the other is packing as at when due.
For the equipment and, material that you will not need for work during the movement should be packed in advance.
Affected are the likes of old files, and equipment that you do not use for day to day activities. For the equipment and materials you use daily, you will pack those on the day you are moving.
This will ensure your packing is spread over time and it will be easy to move. So the items you have packed in advance can be arranged in the new location before the rest are moved.
Additional, you should pack related things together.
As with the group listing, when packing, ensure items that are related are packed together.
You could pack pens, stapler, and pins in the stationery box, then files and paper into a different box.
To make the packing easier, let your employee pack their table or workspace. When they are done, their package should be labelled accordingly.
The label should also include their department or section need. For example, a label could be “Operations Department/Abc/Stationery” or “HRM-Miscellaneous.”
This means that you’ll need to get everything organized and arranged ahead of time.
You might also need to look into van hire if you don’t have one. Or maybe you want to get the movers in if you have a lot of stuff to move. Just make sure that you’re ready to get in on the day your lease starts.
You don’t want to pay for space you haven’t started using.
11. Reduce Downtimes
Finally, you then also need to make sure that you’re going to be able to get set up and running properly.
You should plan and execute your moving to reduce or eliminate downtime if possible. Some physical object may affect your online presence.
For servers now, moving them may cause some downtime, so you should plan to move them at times the downtime would be minimal. Moving should be planned toward the off-peak time when there is less to do e.g. holidays, weekend or night.
Because moving offices can be quite a lot of work. And you may not be able to afford any downtime during the move.
If you can do so in a quiet period, this is often best.
But at the same time, you may find that you need to get everything in place and organized as soon as possible so you can work.
This means you need your plans and designs together. You also need to get your employees, support staff and freelancers to get ready for the new change, so you can just get to work ASAP!
12. Clean Up!
Get cleanup crew both for your new place and your old place.
The crew may be your in-house employees or professional cleaners. Most of us just clean the place we want to get in and leave the old place unkept. The cleaning crew would make your new office conducive and fit for use.
They will get rid of dirt in and around the office. For the old place, they will help you clear out stuff that you didn’t take along with you to your new place. They might help to recover missed items too.
Congratulations! you have gone a long way to be here.
You may not always be able to find out the best ways to enjoy your successes, nor when to start making changes in terms of direction.
When you first start out a business of your own, you won’t always know which new location you’re going to take it.
But like human beings, businesses move too. There are loads of reason why a business move from one location to another.
Whatever your reasons are, I hope you found these tips helpful. Having read this, I hope you will take all this into account when you move.
Let me know what you think.