Moving your business sounds simple, right? Just hire a company and go to the new location!

Slow down just a minute! Planning ahead is going to make a big difference in making this go more smoothly. Let’s look at some common relocating mistakes and how to avoid them.

Plan ahead

This sounds pretty obvious, but if you wait until just a few days before your move-out date to take on basic tasks, like packing up your office and researching a moving company, you are not going to have a pleasant moving experience.

Instead, start as soon as you know that you’re moving. Create a timeline of what will be moved when, figure out what will and will not move with you, and look at reviews of local movers. Hire a moving company well before your move date, and confirm a few weeks out that they’re still available on the date in question.

Don’t DIY a business move

We’ve all had those apartment moves where you throw everything together at the last minute, pay some friends in pizza for helping get you moved, and then live with boxes and clutter for weeks (or years) until you get around to finishing the unpacking.

That’s an acceptable way to move as an individual, but it’s no way to move as a business. You’re not going to close your business down for multiple days to accommodate your move, and your customers aren’t going to put up with you saying “I’m sorry, I’ll have to find that and get back to you, we’re in the middle of a move,” for more than a few hours.

Hire a moving company that has good reviews, positive recommendations, and has sufficient staff available on your move date. Prep everything possible in your new location so that you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

There are some things that moving companies can’t transport. Ask your moving company for their can’t-move list, and if you have any of these items, make other arrangements. Don’t expect them to break the rules for you.

Plan for sensitive material

When you think about business losses in a move, you tend to worry about computers and desks getting broken (and they make insurance for that, which you should have). What about your sensitive files? This includes protected client information, payment records, and your cash or safe. Certain information, such as HIPAA information, is required to be kept safe at all times. Credit card information has different rules, but also must be kept safe. Plan to move any relevant data with authorized personnel.

Plan for things to go wrong

You know the saying “Hope for the best but plan for the worst?” This is never truer than when you’re planning anything with your business. Hope that your business relocation is going to be the smoothest thing to ever happen, but plan for things to go horribly awry.

  • Have a storage space picked out in case you aren’t able to move in on your anticipated date.
  • Have a plan for how customers will be served if you’re between spaces, and how you will communicate changing expectations to them.
  • Have insurance for things that get broken or damaged during transit.
  • Know which equipment or electronics the moving company can’t transport, and make plans to transport it.

Don’t move everything you own

Moving is a great time to evaluate what you own and determine what is no longer working for you or your space. Furniture that won’t work for your new space can be sold on Craig’s List; equipment like copiers or printers that aren’t serving your needs can be sold or returned to vendors for updated models. Trash can be simply thrown out.

When you’re moving from one location to another, this is also a great opportunity to re-evaluate your business as a whole. How well do things work under times of high stress, like a move? Which employees really shine in terms of motivation and direction? Who can you count on when things get tight?

You can also take a hard look at how well your company serves customers. Does everything fall apart, or do your customers continue to get the great service that they expect?

Moving is a rough time for a company, but it’s also a great opportunity to expand and refine your business. Enjoy the process for what it is!

Featured photo credit: rioncm via flickr.com

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