How to Save Time and Money During a Small Business Move

Learn how to streamline your small business office move so you can get up and running in your new location quickly.

Small businesses move locations to upgrade their office space, expand for business growth or save on rent. The average IT portion of an office move — without any upgrades or last-minute contingencies — will cost a 30-person small business $5,000 to $10,000.

The wear and tear that this huge undertaking will have on your small company has a lot to do with how organized you are. Use the following tips to help manage this task.

Be Ruthless About Your Move

Productive moving starts before you leave your current location. Sorting, donating and disposing of as much as possible before you start putting items in boxes will save your small business time and money. The fewer things you move, the less you will spend.

Shred documents and donate furniture, lighting and other items you don’t use or that won’t fit in your new space. Look into giving your old office items to organizations that distribute them to needy companies or families. You can also list items on sites like The Freecycle Network, bring items to your city recycling center or see if your supply vendor offers a recycling program.

Book Moving Services Ahead of Time

Moving truck rentals, internet service provider appointments and computer technician slots get booked up early. Waiting to arrange these services may mean higher prices and a delay in quickly getting to work in your new space.

As part of your planning, also get a jump on purchasing new items that will help with office organization or productivity in your new location. The right storage units, good lighting, comfortable chairs or new dividers are potentially productivity-boosting additions to a workspace. If you make these purchases when you move, they can be delivered directly to your new office, saving money on movers.

Create a Labeling System

Once you arrive at your new space, movers will unload items more quickly than you’ll be able to track. To avoid having movers dump boxes or items in one place and making you move things around later, designate each destination with a clear differentiated name (e.g., Jane’s office, conference room, kitchen, waiting area, etc.). Purchase large, easy-to-read labels and pens, and put labels on all areas in the new location to enable movers to deposit items in the right places.

Buy Enough Moving Supplies

Most of us underestimate how many boxes and packing supplies we’ll need for a move. If you run out mid-move, you may need to rely on the convenient, but pricey, supplies provided by some movers. To avoid this, use an online calculator to determine how many boxes you’ll need. Consider buying moving kits that cluster moving items together.

Minimize the chance of items breaking during the move by considering the different types of packing fill that are available, including bubble wrap, peanuts and other options.

Stagger Your Move

Make a staged move that sets up your technology foundation — phone, internet and other necessary items — first. The location of routers, outlets and phone jacks may impact where you put desks, shelving and conference tables. Knowing about this before you have movers place heavy items will cut down on the need to rearrange later.

How you stagger your move will impact how the moving truck is packed as well. Request that desks and other items that will need reassembly be loaded last, so they can come out first and be assembled before other items are moved in. Boxes of small items that will go in cupboards or on desks can be brought in last so they aren’t cluttering up the space you need for quick setup.

Help Your Employees and Customers

To help your employees to weather a move and stay productive, give each person a moving supplies kit for their office items. Pre-label boxes to be sure that labeling is consistent and items end up in the correct location.

Arrange a remote work plan for the days when the move will take place, since having employees underfoot will slow down movers. If possible, avoid big deadlines, busy schedules and high-pressure work meetings immediately following your move. While you want to get back to peak efficiency quickly, post-move days typically have some tech or other glitches, no matter how well the move is planned.

Additionally, make sure you update your customers on your new location so they know where to find you. Spread the word by sending out an email, posting on your social media channels and putting up a notification on your website. It’s also a good idea — both before and after your move — to give customers a heads up when you speak with them in-person or over the phone.

Finally, keep in mind that moves are dirty, so build in time for a thorough office cleaning once you get settled. Packing and unpacking kicks up dust, movers track in dirt and technological installation can leave paint and other materials exposed. Arrange for a team to come in early the following morning, before your employees arrive, to make sure your new space is ready to go.