If you have run out of space to conduct your business effectively, find yourself in an inconvenient or undesirable neighborhood, or simply want better digs or lower expenses, it may be time to consider moving your business.
We know moving a business is daunting, and that is why we have created a Relocation Guide to assist our clients with the necessary planning and preparation to make relocating a business a smooth transition for you, your employees, and your customers.
Along with finding the right new space, there are several pre-move efforts that are critical to things going successfully. We do not want you to rush this process and find yourself way over budget, losing valuable business, or wrestling with disgruntled employees. By taking the time and effort to carefully plan a realistic timeline, set an adequate budget, and communicate thoughtfully with your staff, you will prevent moving backlash from damaging your business.
Communicating with Staff
Moves are most often positive, but change is still difficult for many people. Being sure you have communicated your intentions and progress with employees will set their minds at ease, and make them feel part of the process. When people are uninformed they will begin to guess and make up consequences – this breeds rumor, gossip and complaining. Head off the potential for negativity by being as transparent as possible with your moving plans, and involving employees on a moving committee or task force can improve feelings of inclusiveness. Create an internal comprehensive communication strategy that consistently informs, updates, and manages the relocation process, and have it available to all employees.
Be sure you announce your plan to relocate as early as possible. You do not want employees feeling like they have been misled, kept in the dark, or left without adequate time to mentally prepare for the change. Company morale depends on staff clearly understanding the reasons for moving, and feeling they have some level of input or involvement. Staff meetings are a great time for discussion and questions about the impending move, and a field trip to visit the new location is also a great idea. Remember that changing your employees’ workplace location may have employment law implications, so check with your HR director and/or payroll company to see what might be involved.
Our Relocation Guide provides an outline regarding your communication strategy and how to deal with questions involving employee concerns that you will want to be able to answer before making a move.
Set a Realistic Timeline
Relocating your business is NOT something to rush! This can be a costly mistake, and one that can take years to recuperate from. A small business should plan a minimum of three months to prepare for a move, and larger businesses a minimum of six to eight months. Businesses involving manufacturing or special design/layout requirements to conduct business often require even longer time frames.
Have an Adequate Budget
Moves are often made to resolve cost issues, but relocating your business creates many expenses as well. There are the direct costs of hiring movers and buying new office furnishings, as well as the costs of business downtime. Know that your business isn’t going to operate anywhere near what is considered “normal” in the days leading up to your move, and as you settle in after moving day. Consequently, employee productivity and your revenue will also take a dip, so plan your budget accordingly.
For your employees, if you are moving to another geographic area, they may experience their own relocation expenses, or certainly a change in their commuting costs. Additionally, for your business there may be tax implications when moving to another town or state. Think through all the potential costs as you prepare your moving budget.
Moves are major events in a business, but with the right planning, and anticipating all the associated costs, your new space can feel like home in no time! As always, we’re happy to help you relocate when you’re ready. Call us at 207-774-7715.