After much deliberation, your company has made the momentous decision to relocate from your current site. It's an exciting time -- and in many respects, a potentially overwhelming one for management and employees alike. Here are four tips to help you achieve the easiest corporate move possible.
1. Put One Person in Charge
Corporate moving is just as big a project as any other project your business undertakes -- with the same need for clear planning, communication and implementation. You're likely to have too many cooks in this particular kitchen unless you designate a single team member as the "point man" or coordinator for the entire move. This person will issue instructions to the movers, make sure the various offices and departments are making the necessary preparations, and make certain everything happens on time and on budget.
Coordinating a move is no easy task, so make sure the person you appoint is a cool-headed veteran of many high-pressure situations with a clear talent for leadership. If you're moving a large site, consider naming a coordinator for each department, who in turn reports to the primary move coordinator.
2. Throw Away as Much as You Pack
How much downsizing of unnecessary stuff can you accomplish while packing for your move? If your offices or storage rooms are stuffed to the brim with obsolete supplies, never-used furnishings and broken equipment, it makes zero sense to pay commercial movers to carry all that garbage. Take this opportunity to throw out whatever items you don't need. Old but still operational computers and other equipment can always be donated to an organization that will put them to their best use. You'll not only reduce your moving expenses, but you'll also have more free space in your new location.
3. Get the Word Out
Nothing will cause more confusion among your customers, vendor partners, and the general public than failing to announce your move. For starters, your online marketing materials should all reflect your new location. Go public with the information as soon as you reasonably can by distributing a press release to the local media. Revise your website content as needed, but don't actually post the permanent changes until the move has been successfully completed. In the meantime, post a banner on your home page announcing the upcoming move date and new contact information.
Don't forget the need to update your hardcopy marketing as well, especially since this process usually takes longer than purely electronic revisions. Put your graphic designer and printer on the job as far in advance as possible. Have your new stationary, business cards and letterhead printed up long before the commercial movers start packing boxes onto their trucks -- and make your employees throw their old business cards out, instead of amateurishly scribbling their new contact information on the old cards.
4. Make Things Easier for Employees
Depending on far away your business is moving, this transition can prove traumatic or even impossible for some of your employees -- which means that you may lose some of them if you don't take steps to smooth the transition somewhat. For instance, if those employees are critical parts of your team, you may decide that it makes good financial sense in the long term to assist with their relocation logistics and expenses, from paying for long distance movers (have a peek here) to helping locate new housing in the destination city. In fact, this might be a good opportunity to evaluate the possibility of letting some of your employees telecommute.
If your corporate relocation simply won't work for an employee, that employee may simply have to stop working for you. But this can put you on some muddy legal ground if the employee refuses to quit, because you now have to find a legal recourse for termination. Talk to a business attorney about what kinds of clauses you might need to write into your new-hire contracts so you'll have an agreeable legal recourse for this situation going forward.
Planning carefully, simplifying the move logistics, and helping your employees move with you can all contribute to a trouble-free corporate move. Have a safe journey -- and enjoy this new chapter in the history of your business!