For any small or medium-sized business, moving to new premises is both an exciting and challenging time. There will be a huge number of things to think about in order to ensure you can get up and running quickly from your new location. So here's a few essential things to keep in mind if you want to ensure minimal disruption for your business and your customers.
1. Put the right plan in place
Planning an office move isn't something you can expect to throw together in a week before the big day. A good plan needs to start weeks, if not months, in advance to make sure you have enough time to check off everything on your list. For the smoothest move, you should probably start measuring every aspect of your new premises and any furniture you intend to take around six weeks in advance to give you enough time to make adjustments should any problems arise.
Top tip: Use a planning or to-do list app such as Wunderlist to see at a glance what you've done and still need to do.
2. Sort out your communications
Ensuring you'll be able to connect with customers as soon as you arrive at the new premises is vital. Make sure you confirm with your supplier that phone and internet connections will be up and running straight away, as a lack of communications could end up costing the business a small fortune in lost revenue.
It's also important to check that the service you'll receive in your new location meets your needs. Broadband speeds vary by location due to a number of factors, including how close you are to the nearest telephone exchange. The move may also be a good opportunity to explore an upgrade to faster speeds with Fibre Broadband or Ethernet.
Top tip: Use an online speed checker like this one to determine which speeds your new office should be able to receive, using its postcode and phone number.
3. Get your facilities in place
Taking care of power, water and other utilities is also a key part of a move, but as well as ensuring that suppliers have been informed, businesses need to make sure they have all the equipment they will need at their new location, as well as enough electrical and data points to connect to.
Business equipment does not just mean essentials such as PCs, printers and fax machines, but also things such as kitchen goods. No-one wants to come in for work on their first day in the new office to find there's no fridge to store their lunch, or kettle for that all-important cup of tea. But with all the focus on mission-critical operations, it's easy to overlook the essential staff facilities that every workplace needs.
Top tip: Sites like Quidco can offer cash back on small business utilities deals, so take a look if you're planning to change suppliers when you move.
4. Make the best use of space
Whether you're expanding or downsizing, an office move is a great time to re-evaluate how you use your facilities. For example, it's a perfect opportunity to declutter and get rid of the various bits and pieces that all companies build up over time - instead of carting them to the new office, sort out early what can be got rid of.
You should already have determined well before the move exactly where furniture is going to go and what areas of the new space should be allocated to what purpose. Having a clear idea of where all your important equipment will be will save a lot of time when it comes to setting up and getting connected.
Top tip: Apps such as Gumtree make it easy to sell your old office supplies, rather than simply binning them.
5. Get the word out
Finally, you need to make sure you tell people you've moved to a new location. While for a restaurant or retail store, this will be hugely obvious, it's less so for businesses that have less direct face-to-face contact with their customers. However, it's still important as it doesn't look good for any business if a prospective customer looks them up only to receive outdated information. Make sure your online business listings, website and even stationery are updated as quickly as possible.
Top tip: Take advantage of sites like Scoot to get your business brand out there and make sure customers can still find you. TalkTalk Business customers can get a free priority listing with Scoot through our MyOffers programme.
If you would like a no-obligation consultation on your internet or phone needs, one of our UK-based business specialists would be happy to chat. Call us on 0800 996 1342.