Moving your small business to a new office? That usually means you’re expanding and that’s a good thing. But planning and organising a move can be fraught with problems, especially to the understaffed small business. To help you avoid them, we’ve put together our seven deadly sins of moving offices in order to keep you on the right track.
1. Not Having a Plan
Your move is guaranteed not to go smoothly if you don’t have a clear plan. There are some things you need to get sorted from the start. These include why you want to move, are you looking for bigger premises? Something cheaper? A more central location? You also need to have a clear time scale for the move. Many companies choose to move over a long weekend so as to minimise disruption to the business but this needs to be planned well in advance.
2. A Weak Project Team
If your move is to run smoothly it’s vital to have a strong team to manage it. You need a senior manager or director in charge of the project. This person must be able to take time from their normal duties to organise the move and have enough authority to take decisions. You need to appoint a project manager as soon as you decide a move is needed. There’s a lot to plan and the sooner you start the better.
3. Too Little Too Late
The later you leave your planning for a move the worse things will be. Moving offices is a major undertaking and you still need to keep your business running in the meantime so planning for the move needs to be a priority at an early stage. If you leave it too late you’re setting yourself up for disaster.
4. Poor Budgeting
Moving offices will cost you money and it’s vital to keep tight control over this. Get quotes for everything from new cabling to run computers and phones to the cost of man and van professionals to complete the move. These prices need to be constantly monitored and revised throughout the project.
5. Trying to Cut Corners
You might think you can save money by trying to carry out some parts of the move yourself. This can be a false economy, hiring a professional company to handle things will ensure that the move runs smoothly and may well work out cheaper in the long run. If you try to do a move too cheaply it could end up costing you more.
6. Lack of Communication
Communication is vital to the smooth running of any project and particularly so when it comes to office moves. If you don’t have good communication with all of the internal and external parties involved then frustration and problems will result. There are people you need to consult at the planning stage and others that need to be kept informed throughout the process. You might want to think about producing a special newsletter to keep all your staff in touch with what’s happening.
7. Underestimating the Task
Moving offices is a major undertaking. There are specialist companies that make their business out of relocation planning so if you’re organising the move yourself it’s vital not to underestimate the task. Make sure that you understand everything that’s involved in the task. Make lists and consult with your colleagues to ensure that you haven’t missed anything out. Underestimating the task can lead to a major disaster on the day.
You’ll have realised by now that what all of these things have in common is the need to be prepared. This doesn’t mean recruiting a boy scout, but it does mean ensuring that you start your planning as soon as possible and putting as many resources as you can into ensuring the move goes smoothly.