Every year, the grass on the other side of the fence looks greener to many entrepreneurs, and a change of place looks like the most promising path to growth. So they pull up stakes and head for a new home, where they hope to find better odds for business success than they had in their previous location. Businesses move for lots of reasons, to accommodate growth, save money, get closer to customers or vendors, maybe just enjoy a nicer neighborhood or better office space. And they’re in good company. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that approximately 40 million Americans relocate each year, and the U.S. Postal Service processes about 38 million change-of-address forms annually. Although no one keeps a similar count of business moves, given the multitude of valid reasons for making one, almost any entrepreneur will, at some time, consider relocating as a way to expand. Moving can be a big change but it may also be the perfect time to implement improved design ideas and incorporate new interior decor, like those new ergonomic desk chairs you’ve been eyeballing (for your psychotic sciatic); Or that fancy Italian espresso machine for the break room because everyone loves a caffeine boost! Perhaps this new office has great natural lighting and is just screaming for the addition of some plants and flowers to liven up the space. If you didn’t know already, adding greenery into your work environment not only improves the physical and mental health of you and your employees but it also increases productivity levels by a lot. To read more about that, click here. Now, we know what you’re thinking: How in tarnation are you supposed to orchestrate a large scale corporate move, with all its intricacies and still have the time (and sanity) left to call that plantscaping company about greening up the new office? Don’t worry, we’ll help.
TIPS FOR A SMOOTH MOVE:
- Begin planning as early as you possibly can. Some great things in life can and will come together, last minute. But an office move isn’t one of them. The more time you and your employees have to process and prepare, the better.
- If you are brave, crazy, or budget-conscious and moving your own business, start packing items you do not use on a regular basis, as soon as possible. Most people severely underestimate the time it takes to pack by several days or weeks, if you’re dealing with a large inventory.
- If you are planning on hiring a mover, call at least one to two months in advance. Be sure to get several price quotes and ask for proof of insurance. If the moving company is packing for you, remember that most of them do not make decisions on your behalf they pack everything including trash cans with trash in them and refrigerators with food inside. Be sure to take care of all perishable items yourself, or you could end up with rotting food and packed garbage. No employee wants to be in charge of unpacking those items, no matter how many paid vacation days are offered up in exchange!
- As a business, your number one priority should be to protect your data, If you can “park” your computer’s hard drive – do it. But this will not guarantee your data will be preserved if your computer is bumped around during the move. The best way to keep all that information safe is to purchase a removable hard drive or use an online cloud service to copy files from all computers BEFORE you move them. Back, back, back it up!
- Whether you have one or a dozen computers, the best way to deal with moving them is to start by removing all the cables, one at a time. Unplug them to avoid damage (or loss if they come loose) and to keep ports and pins from being bent. Put the cables in large zip-locked baggies and write on the baggie which computer they belong to, so you can avoid the world’s most frustrating guessing game. Monitors should be wrapped, individually, in thick moving blankets or bubble wrap and taped – but don’t tape the monitor directly and don’t put monitors in boxes, because they WILL tip over. Protect computers with heavy blankets wrapped in tape (so the blankets don’t come off) but never stack them on top of other items (or stack items on top of computers.). Got that? Lots of blankets, lots of tape.
- Show equal amounts of care and caution to your remaining electronic devices, as they are just as sensitive as computers. Remove printer cartridges, tape down covers and scanner lids, and be sure to follow any specific instructions for moving FAX machines, copiers, and printers since improper moving may damage a device and void the warranty. Which is basically like a death sentence for your machinery. Avoid this scenario at all costs!
- Donate office equipment you don’t use and supplies you don’t need. Why pay to have all that extra junk lugged across town when you can recycle it and get a tax break for donating to a registered charity. People helping people!
- Start advertising your move a least a month in advance. If your business has a lot of customer foot traffic, in-store signs and flyers are useful. Also, announcements on websites and social media can help spread the word. Update your address on stationery and business cards. As with personal moves, you will need to notify the post office, your creditors, bank, etc. If you bill clients, be sure to tell them clearly to update their contact information for you, so you can collect that money! Consider searching for your business online by name – you may find it’s listed in referral directories that will show old contact information needing to be updated, too. Google deep dive time!
- C.Y.O.A. – Cover your own assets. If you rent a truck, opt for the insurance coverage. Although many private insurance policies might cover rental car damage, very few cover damages if you get into an accident in a rental truck (which are classified as “equipment.”) If you use a moving company, be sure to ask about insurance coverage options to protect your belongings. You should also ask to see the moving company’s proof or worker’s comp insurance. If you inadvertently hire day labor, or the truck company does not carry insurance, you could be, at least, partially liable for moving related injuries to workers.
- Post move consult an interior decorator or professional art hanger for assistance unpacking artwork, academic credentials, etc. A trained eye is a great asset to have when considering the layout and design of your office furniture, fixtures and accessories. Contact an accredited plantscaping company (ahem…) to spruce up your interior with living elements. Whether it’s a shell space, ready to customize with living walls, green roof container gardens and other substantial installations, or a 2nd generation space, needing only minor renovations and some smartly placed potted arrangements, Plant Escape’s team will work with you to incorporate the right amount of foliage to suit your needs.