Guide to preparing your office for relocation
Relocating an office to another location can be a very challenging process, one that may also include quite a bit of stress. Therefore, it is important to create a comprehensive plan ahead of time. The earlier you can start, the better. You will need to tackle numerous challenges, from finding one of the top-rated moving companies to help you relocate, to decluttering and organizing all your equipment. In this guide, we will walk you through preparing your office for relocation and provide you with some tips and tricks to make it easier.
Preparing your office for relocation – what to do before the move
Most of the office relocation tasks take time before the actual moving day arrives. Your professional movers will do most of the work for you but that does not mean that there is not a lot of planning to do. One of the reasons to hire professional movers is the fact that you can leave the actual relocation process in their capable hands but that only means that your workload will be lessened. You will still need to:
- Create a timeline
- Pay a visit to your new office
- Start updating the business address
- Create a comprehensive inventory list
- Declutter and organize
- Hire professional movers
- Prepare the new office for your equipment
- Notify the clients about the move
Depending on the size of the office, these tasks can take anywhere from a single day to several weeks. You may also want to inform your employees on time and create a “moving committee” if you are running a large office. The distance between the two offices also plays a large role in the relocation process. You can read our nationwide moving tips if you want to make the state-to-state relocation process a lot easier. The main difference between an office relocation and a residential one, when it comes to nationwide moving, is the fact that you will also have to deal with the relocation of some of your employees.
Each office relocation step requires your time and attention. By knowing what each step involves, you will be able to figure out how best to allocate time and resources.
Creating a timeline
To develop a timeline for your office relocation, you will need to pay attention to the following things:
- Important company dates
- Property lease
- Landlord-specific considerations
First, you will want to make sure that the date of the relocation does not coincide with any important company events. For example, you do not want to be in the middle of the relocation if you need to talk to very important clients or need to attend a big conference. You want to be planning your long distance moving process when there are no such events anywhere near the moving date. The best thing to do is to choose a relocation date that is at least a few weeks away from any important company dates.
Property lease and landlord considerations
Your property lease will also influence your relocation timeline. If you want to minimize the relocation costs while preparing your office for relocation, the best thing to do is choose a moving date that will allow for both the relocation and making sure that your old premises are “up to snuff”. Most leases will require you to get the premises into their original condition, which might take some time depending on the changes. It is best to assess if any repairs are required before you start making the timeline.
Lastly, you may want to verify that your landlord is alright with you terminating your lease. In fact, this is the first thing you should do, as every lease is different. This is also the time to review the entire contract to make sure that you don’t miss important things that are required of you. And while you are reviewing the contract, you may also want to ensure that you know how to avoid the common moving scams as well. Ask your landlord about their experiences with the local moving companies and have them provide you with a referral if possible.
Visiting your new office
Moving into a new office means that your new space needs to be properly prepared first. To make sure that your new office is ready to accept all your equipment and personnel, you will need to visit it at least once prior to the relocation. Once there, you will be able to assess any modifications, improvements, or repairs that might be necessary. As well as hire the proper professionals for the associated jobs.
For example, if you need to paint your new space you will also need to search for a professional painter. Painting an office is something that is not strictly necessary but it is advisable. You want your new office to be a brand new chapter in your business history, after all, and a fresh coat of paint goes a long way toward making a great first impression.
But painting your office is only the first step. In almost every case, your new office space is going to be significantly different than your old one. This means that you will want to take precise measurements before the moving day arrives. While you can get these measurements sent to you, it is preferable if you take them in person.
The last part is to assess whether your new office space requires any repairs. While you are there, create a list of all the damaged or broken areas and talk them over with your landlord. The landlord might choose to do the repairs on their own or they might offer you a reduced lease if you handle the repairs. This is also the time to talk about any alterations to your new office space and hire contractors if necessary. All of these tasks, including finishing the repair/alteration work need to be over by the time your equipment arrives.
Updating the business address
Once you are sure that your new office space is sorted out, the next step in preparing your office for relocation is to start updating your business address. The reason why you did not want to do this sooner is the fact that you might have changed your mind after seeing the new office in person. But after you are satisfied, it is safe to start updating the address. Updating a business address is quite different than updating a residential address. You need to make sure that all the relevant authorities get updated. As well as update all the less relevant (but still important) parties.
While there are literally hundreds of different updates that you will need to make, some are more important than others. For example, the first thing to do is notify the US Post Office about your relocation. That will ensure that your business mail gets forwarded to the right address. Note that mail forwarding has a duration of one year. During that time, you need to manually update anyone that does not get the update from the post office itself.
Google My Business
These days, almost every company participates in the Google My Business program. If you still do not have a GMB account, you will want to get one as soon as possible. Having one is a great way to engage with your customer base and provide them with updates. But if you have a GMB account, make sure that you update the address as soon as possible.
Filling an IRS Form 8822-B is mandatory for all U.S. businesses that wish to change their address. While filling out this form is usually rather straightforward, sometimes you may want to contact the IRS for further clarification. The reason is that some business types may require additional forms to be filled out, as well as the 8822-B. Additionally, LLCs may need to update the address with their state governments.
Preparing your office for relocation – Creating an inventory list
Regardless of the fact whether you hired professional movers or not, you will need to compile an office inventory list. This list needs to contain all your office equipment (you can skip inventorying small office items such as pads and markers) and will help you avoid misplacing any of them throughout the moving process. Some of the items that you will definitely want to include are decorations, filing cabinets, electronic appliances, kitchen appliances, as well as any other office furniture and electronics.
An office inventory list will also make it easier to organize and declutter, which is the next step in preparing your office for relocation.
Decluttering and organizing
With the inventory list in hand, you will be able to note all of the items that are cluttering the office. One of the excellent money-saving tips when hiring movers is to reduce the weight of your shipment. Instead of simply relocating absolutely everything, take some time to figure out the items that don’t need to be relocated. You don’t want to move clutter from one office to another, after all.
Once you are certain which items will be making the trip, you will want to organize them properly. To do this, you will want to label all of the moving boxes by the department and make it easy to place them in their corresponding locations in the new office. For maximum efficiency, combine the decluttering, packing, and organizing processes into one.
Hiring professional movers
Almost every office relocation requires professional moving assistance. The reason for it is that professional moving companies are always insured, providing your office relocation with much-needed security. To ensure that you are working with quality movers, you should take your time to research and compare moving companies. There is no shortage of professional movers, and they are all unique. This means that careful consideration has the potential to significantly cut down on office relocation costs.
Not only that but choosing experienced office movers will make the entire endeavor much smoother and more reliable. The worst thing you can do is hire a cheap moving company only to realize that you will have to deal with delays and damaged items. While it may be in your best interest to try and minimize the relocation costs, you should almost never sacrifice the reliability and safety that comes with hiring one of the top movers.
Preparing the new space
To make sure that your new office is “up and running” in the shortest amount of time, you will need to do some preparations. Firstly, you will want to contact the utility companies. Make sure that your utilities will be transferred before the relocation actually happens. It is a good idea to allow for some “overlap”, too. A few days are usually sufficient.
Next, you will want to contact the new building manager and ensure that your moving crew will have proper access. Specifically, access to loading/unloading zones. Talk to your movers, see what kind of permissions they require and then take it up with the building manager. You may also need to secure adequate parking spots and additional key cards for the relocation process.
Preparing your office for relocation – Notifying your clients and customers
Notifying the customers about the relocation is one of those things that sometimes gets forgotten. But it is a very necessary part of the entire process. Luckily, there are numerous ways in which you notify your clients about the move. However, the best (and easiest) way is to set up an email campaign. A good email campaign will have at least three notifications. The email needs to include the fact that you will be moving, as well as provide the new address. It also needs to provide any additional information such as the move-in date.
While it may not be exactly preparing your office for relocation, informing your customers of the move might be as important as the relocation itself. You don’t want to lose a single customer if you can prevent it, after all.
You can find all the best moving companies right here, in the Consumer Opinion Guide. We can also provide you with all the tips and tricks you may need to make moving easier!