It is all but inevitable that a business will find themselves needing to relocate their offices at some point during their existence. Much like moving home, moving offices is always going to be a little bit stressful. There’s just so much stuff to organise, and once you have everything lined up, you still have to pack up and move all your furniture.
Many businesses are understandably nervous about the process of packing up their offices, their equipment, and their furniture, and shipping it to a new home. One of the biggest worries is that important items will be damaged or lost during the transition period. Because of these worries, many businesses end up spending unnecessarily on their office moves.
It’s not only on the packing and transportation of their stuff that office managers and businesses tend to overspend. Another common source of needless spending on an office move is a lack of planning beforehand. Sometimes, when circumstances conspire against you, you might find yourself needing to move your office in a hurry. This could potentially mean that you physically don’t have enough time to make the ideal arrangements.
We have collected together some of the best advice we have been able to find from around the internet. From entrepreneurs to office managers to small business owners, these tips will help you to save money on your next office move, regardless of the specific circumstances surrounding it. Whether you will be carefully planning the move, or you are having to think on your feet and work as quickly as possible, this guide will see you through.
Tap Your Network
One of the most vital assets that any business has is their networks. Each individual within a business will have their own network of individual contacts, many of whom may be useful to you. When you are preparing to relocate your offices, you should run through your list of contacts and see if there are any who you think will be able to help you with the transition.
There are a whole host of small, individual tasks involved in moving your office, as well as some bigger logistical challenges. All of these things might be easier and cheaper if you can get some help with them from people who you already have a professional relationship with. That’s not to say you should be banking on your associates providing you with their services for free, but sometimes they’ll be happy to offer you mates rates.
If you’re lucky, you will have a team of other people helping to oversee your move. For example, if you are a manager of a branch of a larger business, you will likely have a manager of your own who will help you with logistics. If this is the case, while your own network might prove to be helpful, your bosses should already have a pretty good idea of what will be involved and will hopefully give you lots of time to prepare.
However, if you are going to be taking the lead on this one more or less solo, you are going to need some help! This is where your network will really come into play. Assuming that you have a reasonable amount of time in which to prepare for the move, you should begin by mapping out the process as you intend to conduct it. This will give you a clearer picture of exactly what will be involved, and the kind of assistance that will be helpful for you.
Choose Your New Office Space Carefully
You should never underestimate the difference that motivation makes in business. One of the most important tasks for any business leader on a day-to-day basis is to ensure that their employees are motivated. The process of moving to a new office can be stressful for your workers as well, so anything you can do to make it easier for them will go a long way.
In that spirit, you should involve your team in the process as much as possible. In particular, you should seek their input and feedback on the new office space you plan on moving in to. Any good business owner understands the difference that the working environment they provide makes to the efficiency of their operations. If your workers don’t feel relaxed, or even excited about moving to the new offices, they will be much less enthusiastic about everything involved.
When it comes to choosing the right office for you and your employees, there are a number of things to consider. For example, you want to choose a space which aligns with your corporate branding and message. You need to look beyond the office itself. While the office space is clearly very important, you also need to make sure that the local area, in general, is one in which your business can thrive and succeed.
Of course, if you are looking to undertake your move without putting too big a dent in your finances, you will need to carefully consider your location from a financial perspective as well. Finding new office space that meets all of your ideal criteria, while also satisfying your need to keep costs down, isn’t going to be easy. But securing the best possible working environment for your business will pay off in the long run.
The key to not overspending on the property that you ultimately choose is to take the time beforehand to carefully research your available options. Once you have drawn up a shortlist of potential locations, you can then compare them in more detail, paying particular attention to the financial costs and benefits of each.
Donate Any Unneeded Equipment
One of the most significant costs and logistical challenges involved in relocating an office is the cost of transporting all that bulky furniture and equipment. The less stuff you need to transport with you, the easier, and cheaper, your move will be. Over time, even the most organized office ends up accumulating a host of obsolete and broken equipment, so a move is a perfect opportunity to rid yourself of these burdens (a great way to do this would be by recycling or donating them).
Of course, if you think that your office equipment might be worth something, and it is in a sellable condition, then it might be worth recouping some of your losses by selling it. However, anything that you don’t sell is essentially adding to the cost of your move. You shouldn’t hang on to items just for the sake of it.
Ensure Continuity Of Service
One of the most effective ways that you can reduce the overall financial impact of your office move is to ensure that you are able to continue operations and generate revenue for the duration of the move. If not having access to your usual office premises while moving will prevent you from bringing in the same level of income as you usually would, you will need to put arrangements in place to ensure that service can continue uninterrupted.
Even if you are able to move into your new offices and begin working straight away, there will be an unavoidable period where you are in the process of transferring from one location to the other. During this period, you will likely face some kind of break in service, even if it is a short one. The best you can do in this case is to minimize the downtime and try and move into your new offices as soon as possible.
If you are facing a transitional period, during which you currently don’t have any office space lined up, you should consider whether it is worth investing in steel buildings. Steel structures offer an incredible amount of versatility in terms of what they can be used for. A quick look at the range of buildings available from businesses like Smart Space demonstrates the depth of this versatility. Not only do they offer the kind of prefabricated steel buildings for storage and office use which we are used to, they have recently undertaken some more ambitious projects like a temporary coffee lounge for Pret-a-Manger.
A temporary structure from which you can run your business while you wait to move into a more permanent location could make a lot of financial sense, especially once you consider the revenue you will now be able to generate that otherwise would have been lost altogether. Even a steel building can be connected to the internet, power network, etc. Meaning that you and your workers should be able to enjoy all the perks and amenities you are used to in more permanent digs.
Moving offices can be a very stressful experience if you approach it the wrong way. On the other hand, if you take the time to properly plan and prepare for your move, it’s possible for the whole thing to go off without a hitch, leaving your business in a better position than ever before. Most importantly, taking your time to execute your move properly will greatly reduce the financial burden of moving.
Photo credits: eOffice