Determining how to move a business without losing productivity can be a daunting challenge.
However, with the right plan and the right tools, you can move a business without making a major dent in your company’s productivity. You can even find a lot of the essential tools you’ll need to move your business at your local Staples.
Below are tips and important considerations when you move a business.
How to Move a Business Efficiently – and Effectively
Create a Plan
As early as possible, start to develop a plan to ensure minimal disruption to operations.
Meet with key team members and make lists — lots of lists. Outline what has to be organized, coordinated and physically moved.
Take a Visual Inventory
You can start the planning process by physically moving through the space and taking visual “stock” of everything that needs to be moved to your new business location:
- How much product and inventory needs to be moved?
- What about office furniture and equipment? Large items need special consideration.
- Don’t forget manuals, file folders and contents of individual work stations.
- Cubicle panels may need to be broken down and reassembled at the new office.
- What about electronic equipment, including computers, telephone equipment and wall monitors?
Consider Replacing Old With New
It’s also important to strategically decide what you don’t plan to move. Moving is an opportunity to declutter — saving time and money (less volume to move, lower moving cost).
Moving also is an opportunity to innovate or upgrade. For instance, it might be an opportunity to replace old, uncomfortable office chairs. New furniture may not involve much more expense than moving older furniture. Added benefit: your employees get a motivation boost with new furniture.
When it comes to office equipment, older items may require more maintenance and not offer the features of newer models. This could be an opportunity to replace obsolete equipment such as clunky old printers and gain the productivity benefits of newer models.
Buying new can make it easier to coordinate a move, also. If you can set up in advance in the new premises, moving day is less hectic.
Consider donating items you’re replacing, for a possible charitable deduction.
Track Your Move Inventory in a Spreadsheet
Make a list or spreadsheet of everything you plan to move. A thorough list is essential.
Once you have a clear idea of what needs to be moved, you can then start organizing for the move. You’ll be better able to judge how many and what types of packing materials you need, how large a moving truck to arrange for, and how long the move itself will take.
A thorough list also helps ensure items aren’t misplaced during the moving process.
Create a Timeline and Moving Schedule
Come up with a realistic timeline and schedule for your move:
- How much time do you have before you need to be out of your current location?
- How much overlap is there between when you can access your new location and when you need to be out of the old one?
- If you go through the process gradually, it’s easier for you and your team to keep up with the daily tasks of running the business.
Regardless, you’ll need to make sure that you schedule yourself and your team enough time to get everything sorted and packed before the moving date.
Pack in Advance if You Can
If you have things that can be stored in boxes for awhile without any need for them in the daily business, spread out the workload by packing early.
Get the Right Packing Supplies
When it comes to the actual packing process, here are some supplies to help you get the job done properly:
- Rolls of bubble wrap and/or packing paper
- Packing peanuts
- A variety of different sized boxes intended for various packing purposes
- Packing tape and dispensers
- Sharpie pens
- Moving blankets
- Shrink wrap
- Furniture movers and sliders
Use Special Purpose and Different Sized Boxes
Of course you’ll need boxes, and those are readily available  at retailers such as Staples. Take stock of how many you’ll need, what sizes you’ll need, and any special purpose boxes that may be needed for fragile or heavy items.
Don’t purchase only large boxes. Small and medium sized boxes are easier to lift and carry. Bankers boxes are an ideal size for file folders because papers tend to be heavy.
Label all boxes. This makes the unpacking process faster and easier. Some people use color coded labels to identify where things go in the new location.
It’s much more expensive to replace valuables than it is to pack them properly when you move a business.
Bubble roll and packing peanuts provide real protection for your most valuable items. Packing paper is an economical option, too.
Use heavy duty boxes for breakables and heavy items so the box itself doesn’t get crushed or tear open.
Electronics such as computers, monitors and TVs should be bubble wrapped and placed in special boxes such as flat screen TV boxes.
Furniture should be covered with moving blankets and stretch-wrapped to avoid dings and dirt.
Use packing tape to seal all boxes and label the box contents
Coordinate Your Network and Communications Systems
Plan not only for the move of physical equipment, but for the switch-over of your communications and electronic systems. When and how will that happen? Can you avoid or minimize downtime?
Consider your computer servers, Internet connectivity, company network and the phone system. Security systems, time clocks and card entry systems also need to be considered.
Notify Customers and the Public
When you move a business, always put up professional signage at your old location so that customers know what to expect when — and where to find you after the move. Plus, a sign in advance is a reassuring signal to customers that you’re well organized.
Of course, put up signage at your new location that’s easy for customers to spot. You may need temporary signs in addition to the building sign.
Staples Print and Marketing Services has what you need to get professional banners and signs  printed quickly and cost effectively.
Send change-of-address cards to customers and suppliers. You can create great looking postcards inexpensively at Staples using pre-made templates or your own design.
Oh, and don’t forget to notify the post office and change any subscriptions.
Plan Day of Move Activities
Some companies move a business over the weekend, to avoid day-of-move disruption. But if moving on a regular business day is the feasible choice, if possible make sure your phone system is manned during regular business hours. Either leave the customer service staff behind until the very end of the day or make other arrangements for phone coverage.
Proper planning and supplies are absolutely essential when you move a business. Staples can help and offers all of the supplies you’ll need.
Sign and Box Images via Staples