Maybe you’ve outgrown your space. Maybe rent in your neighborhood has shot up. Or maybe you need to move to a different city for personal reasons.
Transferring the physical location of your business from one place to another can seem like an overwhelming feat, but the details of moving an office space doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are some common stress factors when moving, with tips for how to solve them.
Moving Fear: “What if my employees are unhappy about the move?”
Make sure to take the time to explain to employees why you’re moving locations. After all, the move will probably benefit them in some way, whether it’s a more open space to work in, a better kitchen, or a larger parking lot. Remind them this is a great time to declutter–maybe one or two neat freaks will come on board when you mention that they can purge old files that are no longer needed in hard copy. You can also mitigate this fear if you make a point of celebrating. Throw a welcome party at the new building and invite employees to bring their families. That will help get everyone as excited as you are.
Moving Fear: “How will I move all of this inventory?”
If you’re moving retail locations with backrooms full of inventory, take it slow. Moving the entirety of your inventory doesn’t have to be done in a day. Also, use your move as an opportunity for a promotional sale to clean out some of your stock. That can be a great way to start with a fresh feeling at your new location, and leave you with less to move. If you have employees who can help, by all means try to transport everything with your own vehicles. But if you sell something bulky or your stock is infinite, you’ll want to engage professionals (see below).
Moving Fear: “What if I have equipment that’s tricky to move?”
If you’re a restaurant or manufacturer, you may have large equipment that you can’t exactly throw in a box and into a moving van. Check in your area for movers who specialize in moving office equipment. If the company you find is unable to move specific pieces of your equipment, consider selling and buying new. It could lower the hassle and, if it was time to upgrade anyway, buying or leasing new equipment may be a smart investment.
Moving Fear: “How can I stay organized throughout the process?”
Draft schedules, spreadsheets, and checklists, and don’t lose them. Keep track of every element of the move, from the paperwork to the location of furniture. Create an accurate, consistent labelling system (colored tape can do wonders in helping differentiate brown cardboard boxes.) Moving is a long process, and depending on how you want to do it, can be done in a variety of time frames. If you’re hiring movers, it might make most sense to cram all of the moving into one weekend to save costs. If you’re moving things with just your employees, going slower is probably the better route.
Moving Fear: “What if this costs too much money?”
If you’re hiring movers, do your research on the lowest costs for the best services provided. Also inquire about any discounts or specials offered for offices. Moving is also a great time to re-evaluate contracts with vendors, such as for your phone, internet or cleaning services. Maybe there’s a company in your new area that has a more affordable rate, and maybe your old company will lower costs to meet it.
It’s also important to remember that moving may be an investment for long-term cost savings. If you’re moving to a building with cheaper rent, or a nicer building that will attract new employees, the move will pay for itself eventually. Take time to work the costs into your budgets so that you feel right about paying all the bills. Understanding where the money is coming from and going can reduce your worries about overpaying.
Moving Fear: “What if this eats up too much time?”
Selling extra inventory, tossing out old files, and hiring a professional moving company will all help you save some days, but at the end of the day, a move will certainly cost you a bit of time. However, as previously stated, moving is an investment—in both time and resources. The benefits of a move can vastly outweigh these downfalls when done for the right reason. Stick to a schedule, and adjust as quickly as you can to the new space. You’ll be feeling at home in no time.
Approach your moving fears head on, and you may find out that the details of your relocation aren’t as stress as you imagined.