You have a successful business, your preferred suppliers, and your loyal customers. However, you’ve decided it’s time for a move. But how exactly do you move your business? If you are extremely puzzled by this question find out below...
1. Work out your budget
Moving to a new location is about more than whether you can afford the rent. You need to pay for:
- Altered marketing materials
- New stationery
- Utility cut off and reconnection fees
- Change of address form fees
- Recruitment costs (from hiring replacements for anyone who can’t make the move)
- The moving company fees
2. Start early
Just because you’re not making the physical move until the 15th doesn’t mean you should wait until the 10th to send out an email blast and print a big notice for the door. You’ll want to start at least a month early:
- If you communicate a lot by email, add a signature to your employees’ emails that acts as a reminder about the move.
- Put a sign on the door; if you’re moving somewhere close, consider including a small map. Ask if the landlord/next occupant wll let you leave it there for a while after you’ve gone.
- Put a clear announcement on the homepage of your website.
3. Have a move committee
Having a few employees as a move committee will mean two things: they will handle the details, so you don’t have to, and they will be the only employees distracted from their work. This committee may include people dealing with:
- Utilities: Gas, electricity, telephone and internet all need to be turned off in one place and turned on in the other. If possible, the telephone number should not be changed; otherwise a forwarding service should be set up.
- Marketing: Everything from the door-to-door leaflets and brochures to billboards and other signage needs to be changed; they may have a preliminary "we’re moving" announcement first.
- Stationery: Paper and form headers are just as important as business cards, stamps and even pens.
- Client liaison: Someone should contact your biggest and most loyal clients personally; it shows gratitude for their loyalty as well as making them feel appreciated.
- Colleague liaison: Just because there’s a committee doesn’t mean everyone else shouldn’t be kept updated on what’s happening and what’s expected of them.
4. Get the new place ready before you leave the old one
The same way people switching jobs are advised to have their new job lined up before they quit, you should have your new location set up before you leave the old one:
- Set up the phone lines and internet; you will find out if they work properly and avoid the disruption of them ever going offline.
- Send a trusted employee on ahead; they’ll see if there are any problems and deal with any walk-in clients.
- Have some deliveries start to go there before you move and give yourself a few less things to move.
5. Schedule your moving day sensibly
If you have a busiest period, then don’t move during it. Your loyal customers won’t appreciate the upheaval. Try to move during your quietest time, and preferably outside of business hours.
If you’re moving gradually, or it needs to be done during normal office hours, try to minimize distractions. Can everyone be moved into fewer offices so the rest can be used for the move? Is there space to put boxes by the exit? Can your customers use another entrance?
Moving a business is similar to moving house. Have the boxes marked as clearly as possible, put them in the right places when they arrive so they don’t need to be moved around too much and print useful information that you might want to access from that computer you just boxed..
6. The internet
In addition to your own website, you need to make sure anyone searching for you is finding the right information. Start by getting in touch with any partners you know have your information on their website, and then look at changing your listings in other places. Try conducting some searches yourself and focus on the top results being accurate.
7. The locals
You can’t trust that everyone will see the notice on your door. Make sure those old customers who have been used to you being there for years are aware that you’re moving, make sure that the business down the road that sends people to you knows they need to start sending them elsewhere.
8. The authorities
Remember that it isn’t just your customers and suppliers you need to be in touch with, but the government also needs to know where you are. There are just a few institutions you need to inform:
- The postal service. It’s a good idea to do this early, or have your post forwarded for a while before you move. You’ll still be there to see if you missed telling someone, and you can’t expect the next company to deal with it for you - if there even is a next company and it isn’t empty.
- The State where your business is located.
- The IRS.
- Financial institutions such as banks
9. Your payees
Bear in mind that changing your address may cause issues with any automatic payments you have going out. Make sure your address is changed correctly and that anyone who may be affected is warned in advance. The problem with automatic payments is that they can’t automatically read your mind when you decide to change something, and you’ll need to make sure you’re aware of every payment there is.
Have you ever moved your business? Have you ever been the customer of a business that’s moved and want to leave a comment praising what they got right or warning against what they did wrong? Let us know!