When you move your business from one location to another, you’ll want as little disruption in your business environment as possible. It sounds simple, but as move day closes in, it’s possible to miss all sorts of details.
By planning ahead, anticipating problems and finding solutions quickly, you can take a lot of stress out of the big day.
Relocating your business is a great time to create a task list to keep you organized, less forgetful and provide a clear idea of what you should be working on next, every day.
Avoid these 7 mistakes to ensure your business move goes as hassle-free as possible.
1. Don’t forget to tell your customers
This sounds obvious, but remember that not every customer accesses every communication touchpoint you use. Not every email blast gets opened, Facebook notoriously hides posts, and irregular customers may not be at your physical location (or on your website) often enough to see your “we’re moving” announcements.
The best approach is to communicate on all of your channels a few times prior to the move, and a few times after the move. Share what’s happening and where your customers can find you. There will probably still be a few stragglers, but the majority of your customers will get the message.
2. Don’t overlook moving insurance
Many movers carry insurance against their own damages, but there may be coverage limitations, or it may not be sufficient to fully cover your equipment, depending on what movers are transporting. When you book movers, ask about insurance, and find out whether what they carry is sufficient for your needs. If you need advice on where to get supplemental insurance, ask your movers! They should be able to point you in the right direction.
3. Don’t assume movers will move everything
If you have highly technical equipment, or paper files that include sensitive information, you may not want your movers to move it. Making detailed lists of what you will move independently, and what your movers will take care of, will help you stay organized, and ensure that if you need to rent your own van or truck, you do that in plenty of time.
If your movers tell you that they can’t move a particular item, listen to them. There are good reasons why movers can’t handle particular pieces, often because they won’t be able to protect it sufficiently or they are prohibited by state and local laws.
4. Don’t hire a moving company on price alone
Your business is your livelihood, and choosing a moving company based on price alone is a horrible idea. Consider reviews, reputation, the interactions you have with companies in person and on the phone, and what sort of availability they’re able to offer.
If you have two great companies to choose from, consider costs but don’t assume you can cut corners to save a buck and be okay. It’s not worth the risk.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions
On the subject of moving quotes … if you get one that seems substantially higher or lower than others, it’s a good idea to ask why the price is so different from the competition. Perhaps this company is calculating your weight or square footage differently, has a different level of insurance, or hires regular employees instead of day labor. Ask questions, and if the moving company is reluctant about answering questions, find another option.
6. Don’t move during Summer weekends
Summer weekends are when movers are in the highest demand, and prices are going to be much higher as a result. If you can schedule your move any other time, you’re going to be in a better position. In fact, if you know ahead of time that you’re going to be moving, ask the company if they can give you a discount depending on when your move happens.
7. Don’t pack things you don’t need
This sounds obvious, but if you leave packing to the last minute, you’re likely to throw everything you own into a box and figure that you’ll sort it out on the other end. This ends with you paying more for the cost of moving stuff you’re going to throw out.
Plan ahead. Purge paper that isn’t needed, sell office furniture that has passed its effectiveness on Craigslist, and take only what you absolutely need with you. Your moving bill, and your clean new office, will thank you. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made when you are relocating your business?
This article has been edited.
Margarita Hakobyan, founder and publisher of Solopreneurs.co, is a serial entrepreneur, creator and a business consultant. She is a business woman, wife and mother of two with bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah with a concentration in International Studies and a Masters Degree also from the University of Utah with a degree in International business. Connect with @margahakobyan on Twitter.