7 Essential Steps To Take When Moving To Larger Offices
So you’ve made it past the first few tough early years and you’re considering weighing up whether you should move your firm from your small office into much larger offices.
Way to go, that’s great progress!
BUT before you move offices and set up a new shop somewhere else have you considered the steps to below to ensure everything goes smoothly?
1) Decide on and then stick to a budget when moving offices
Early in the process of moving offices, you’ll need to create a realistic budget and look to estimate some of the following costs that could be incurred when you move:
- Legal solicitor fees
- Building improvements
- New business phone system and data cabling
- New computer server or an adaptation of your existing I.T system
- new phone system
- New office furniture, chairs, meeting tables and cupboards
- New company stationery/marketing collateral to reflect your new office address
- New signage
- A commercial moving company – though unless you’ve a huge office at home this might not be needed!
- Disposal of unused office furnishings if you plan to convert your SOHO back into living space
Most people undervalue what they expect to be charged when it comes to moving to a new office so we recommend that you add 20% to any figure you end up with above. As with everything these days costs always seems to be more expensive than you think <Ed's note: other than Rainbow Zebra's office chairs, they're always great value :) >
2) Choose a Commercial Interior Designer (or at the very least an experienced Office Furniture Dealer)
You could just put in a new office table and some half-decent office chairs but we think if you are going to get more from your growing team it will pay to invest in an interior designer, experienced in creating breath-taking workspace environments.
If your budget doesn’t stretch as far then at least sit down with an Office Furniture Supplier who can help you with some serious space planning.
If you’re renting then it might be best to liaise with the landlord to ensure you don’t fall foul of any part of your contract. You'll want to ensure you get the timing right so as to move seamlessly and not face additional rental charges.
3) Create a floor plan
Map out how you plan your office to be laid out and ensure it is to scale. Doing this will ensure map out critical items such as furniture placement, electric wiring (you don't want cables trailing between desks), voice and data locations, where each employee will sit, and storage cupboard locations.
This should be your ‘go to’ document as you proceed through the office moving process.
4) Prepare your staff
Communication is key during an office move. Your business has to continue to serve customers at the same time as you move offices. Yes you can claim to move over a weekend but there will still be a settling in period for any employees you may have had working elsewhere.
The move is a great opportunity to affect positive change in your company like improving morale, and employee business performance and team cohesion. As there may be lots going on during a move we recommend you keep the lines of communication open with your staff. Ensure you take the right steps to regularly let everyone know what is going on.
5) Time to integrate new IT & computer systems
In our estimates many small UK businesses move roughly once every six to seven years and an office move is usually a good time to improve with new technology in both computing and communications. Talk to a local trusted IT firm to help review your systems and explore the latest technology that could better benefit you in your office. Sometime spending upfront can provide greater savings in the long run.
6) Archive, archive, archive and recycle too!
Chances are there is a tonne of excess papers, customer letters, printed emails etc that has built up in your office over the years. Use the office move as a golden opportunity to recycle or dispose of any outdated and unused company material. If you think you might have a need of any data or its just too sensitive to get rid then talk to a company who can help with secure data destruction and/or archive storage. It’s also very likely that you have quite a few pieces of office furniture that you consider useless or now hopeless out of date but talk to your office furniture supplier as they may know of a charity who could really benefit from your donation.
7) Create New Marketing Material— get those "Creative Crayons" out, it’s Time to Supercharge your Logo and Graphics!
With a new office coming up it’s a wonderful opportunity to lift employee morale and create a super environment for you to collaborate with staff and meet with clients.
Establish a theme and design your new office space to reflect your company’s image—perhaps integrating your company colours. As you will need to redo your stationary and business cards to update your change of address, why not use this opportunity to update your branding image as well?
Do you have any stories on office moves that went badly or well that you want to share with us to help others learn from??