Moving anywhere in New York City can bring with it a host of obstacles to overcome. Add the often-daunting prospect of maintaining the day-to-day operations of a business while relocating an office, and most would agree it can seem insurmountable.
It’s crucial to lay out a timeline, detailing the steps involved and corresponding deadlines to aim for. Having a key point person in charge of each division or department at the company is helpful in coordinating the big picture, as is holding regular staff meetings to keep employees up to date on the progression of the process.
Just as vital are those clients or customers relying on your business’s products or services. As such, consistent efforts should be made to keep them apprised of the transition, and address any minor interruptions that may occur during it. Once a new location is established, this information should be communicated en masse, through multiple channels, to ensure that everyone is brought into the loop.
While some offices may elect to go it alone, it is strongly recommended that you enlist the help of an experienced moving company to facilitate the move itself, as well as any packing services you may also need assistance with. When obtaining estimates, be sure to compare at least three companies, and consider what the quote includes, any hidden fees that may exist, and how conditions such as added weight or distance may factor in down the line.
A commercial moving company should have a documented track record in this field, and be able to answer questions regarding its experience relocating businesses. Forms of payment should be readily available—cash-only is a red flag to avoid—and deposits may be refundable in some instances. Additionally, you should clarify what the breakage or missing policy is in the event any unforeseen circumstances arise during the transition.
Budgeting such a costly process is obviously integral to ensuring a business is able to operate seamlessly throughout the duration of the move, making it important to have a full understanding of all the factors that may come into play. Creating a template to track these expenses is recommended, and you should begin by adding the highest of the estimates you receive to this document.
Additional charges may include supplemental services such as packing, disconnecting and reconnecting computer systems, as well as fees for transportation, which typically run higher during weekends and holiday periods. Depending upon the nature of the relocation, there may be a need to account for repairs to the old office, remodeling at the new locale, or even penalties for early lease termination. To top it off, there will of course be rent and security to absorb, new furniture and equipment, and more than likely, revamped marketing materials.
When it comes to the packing process, it’s best to leave things like furniture and office equipment in the hands of the professionals, so you can focus on organizing paperwork and important documents, cleaning out individual workspaces, and maintaining the flow of daily business. By putting together an inventory list of items, it will make it easier to determine if downsizing is an option, as well as who should be responsible for overseeing the organization of what remains.
If the new office is smaller than the original, it will be crucial to take measurements and assess how to lay out the floor plan in a manner that best maximizes space. Those items that don’t fit can be sold or donated to a nonprofit. Likewise, larger pieces of furniture may be able to be taken apart and reassembled in a more ideal manner, yet another reason why having a professional moving company on hand to safeguard fragile items and safely transport furniture is integral.
Perhaps the largest cause for concern during a corporate relocation is how to properly move technical equipment such as computers, copiers, and other sensitive material. Professional movers should be well-schooled in stabilizing systems, backing up, and securing data, to ensure that nothing is lost. All equipment cables and power cords should be tracked and labeled individually, as well as monitors, keyboards and mouses.
All of this should be coordinated with an IT provider or support network to make the transition seamless. If equipment is set to be discarded, be sure to scrub hard drives, following any state, federal, or industry regulations that may apply. Once files are adequately deleted, the machinery can be destroyed or sold without worry.
The goal with a commercial office move is to minimize this for the business owner, employees, and any clients. By enlisting the aid of a professional, and sticking to a strict timeline, any obstacles that may come up along the way can be alleviated.
Plan out the process in small steps, allowing for as much preparation as possible, ideally during an “off” season or over a weekend, to avoid unnecessary disruptions to workflow. With a bit of added consideration for those affected, there’s no reason that this potentially positive change should have a negative impact.