9 Critical Steps For Planning Your Office Relocation

Regardless of your company's size or the distances involved, relocating your office is a major undertaking, requiring extensive advance planning and tactical management. It's important to have a clear and comprehensive strategy in place to help you minimize the potentially disruptive impact of relocation on your critical business operations. The following nine steps will help you organize your upcoming office move into manageable stages, avoiding the costs and confusion of poor planning throughout this important transition.

  1. Start Early -- Don't wait until the last minute to start planning your office move. There's a lot to do and the sooner you begin, the smoother your company's transition will be. A successful business move starts 12-18 months before the moving trucks arrive. This should provide enough lead-time for you and your team to evaluate every available option, plan your new space and minimize company costs.

  2. Create A Budget -- Creating a realistic budget for your business relocation is essential, providing you with a framework to help you gauge and manage your company's moving costs every step of the way, door to door.

  3. Evaluate Your Needs -- What is the purpose of your company's relocation (e.g. location, expansion, lease expiration, infrastructure, etc.)? In order to begin planning for your new space and determine the best methods of executing your move, it's important to take your company's current requirements and long-term growth goals into consideration. Establishing a clear understanding of your strategic and operational needs with your team will help you streamline the entire process, avoid incurring any unnecessary costs or delays and, most importantly, find the perfect base of operations for your business.

  4. Professional Relocation Consultants -- A well-planned work environment is key for productivity and profitability. By contracting with professional consultants who specialize in balancing considerations like function, space and aesthetics, you will be better prepared to take full advantage of your new location. By carefully planning your new office prior to your move, you will get the most out of every square foot of space, stimulate employee output and increase company morale. Hiring the right professional consultants is essential for any company considering relocation. These professionals will guide you through the entire process, saving you money and helping to avoid critical mistakes or oversights.

  5. Assemble An Office Relocation Team -- The collaborative input and efforts of your employees is essential for a successful relocation. The right relocation team, composed of both outside consultants and members of your workforce, will help you plan and facilitate all aspects of your upcoming move. Start by choosing a project leader capable of delegating and coordinating the efforts of this dynamic group and be sure to allow adequate time in his or her schedule to accommodate this new responsibility. Plan regular meetings into the schedules of all task force members to make sure your move remains on target. Establish clear and consistent communication between your team members and all outside consultants (space planners, interior designers, leasing agents, etc.) to help streamline the entire process and ensure a successful relocation.

  6. Develop Your Facility Plan -- Working closely with your interior designer and space planner, your task force should solicit staff input and design a facility plan that answers your company's current needs and addresses any existing operational problems, helping you optimize the layout and design of your new location.

  7. Upgrading & Downsizing -- Moving time is the perfect time to upgrade your company's hardware and office equipment, avoiding the hassle of employee downtime that these improvements might otherwise incur in the course of normal business hours. Now is also a perfect time to clear out old files and purge all storage areas of unnecessary items. The less you take with you to your new location, the more you can save on moving costs and storage space. Just remember to dispose of any unwanted files safely and securely.

  8. Execution -- About two months prior to your relocation, select a moving company who specializes in business moves and schedule their services according to your lease requirements and company needs. In order to minimize office downtime, choose a mover who is willing to coordinate your relocation around your business hours. Contact local service providers (utilities, phone, internet, etc.) to schedule any necessary installations or service transfers. Now is also the perfect time to order office supplies like business cards, stationery and signage for your new location. Be sure to notify your clients of the move. Seek newspaper coverage and consider designing a mailing or other strategic advertising tactics to announce your new location to the public.

  9. Grand Opening Celebration -- Once you've settled into your new location and all the finishing touches are in place, plan a grand opening celebration for your clients, employees and members of the public. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to your new business community, improve company morale and show off your new facilities.

For more helpful tips to improve your move, visit Anchor Moving Systems online or call 1-800-558-MOVE to speak with your very own Chief Moving Officer.