Sometimes, businesses need to change their location in order to survive. Other times, they feel they have outgrown their current premises and need to move on. And sometimes, they simply need a welcome change of pace. In any case, business relocations are a reality we have to accept and run with.
The real problem is, these times of turmoil and transition usually take a very deep cut at the businesses’ productivity virtually bringing them to a halt. Let’s see what you can do to avoid this outcome and make your next relocation as seamless as possible.
Plan the relocation months ahead
Business relocation is not something that should be done or it’s even possible to perform over the course of a week. Scouting the new location, renegotiating deals with vendors and service providers, and finally creating functional timetables and schedules all require a lot of effort and even more time on your behalf. Speaking in more concrete numbers, you shouldn’t get into this kind of adventure without at least three months at your disposal. Detailed to-do lists that cover even the most menial details will prove to be of tremendous help once all hell breaks loose.
Make packing plans that are tailored around the new premises
To put it simply, instead of trying to empty your current premises as efficiently as possible, you should try to make your new residence operational as fast as possible. A good idea would be to do a thorough inspection of the new space, check its flow and the number of available outlets, and instead of packing all related items together set up a couple of survival kits that will be able to utilize the more productive corners of your new premises.
As for the rest, do your best to get rid of the items that will be permanently stored in the new location first. This way, you will avoid excessive clutter and keep the slate clean for the packages with more “operational value.”
Bring your employees into the fold
This move goes way beyond being frugal and saving money for other costs you will most certainly face further down the road. The rationale is actually pretty simple – the more your employees are involved in the packing, the easier it will be for them to swim in the ensuing chaos.
Furthermore, this strategy will allow you much greater freedom in devising the schedules and timetables. If you choose services like Budget truck rental, you can also get the option to rent the truck on an hourly basis (as opposed to for an entire day) and use this newfound flexibility to an even greater extent. To cut a long story short, all the important relocation steps from packing to unpacking will be under your close control.
Relocate in stages
When we talked about packing, we already briefly mentioned that you need to set up a vanguard that will make your new premises operational as soon as possible. Ideally, though, your new base of operations should already be in full swing before you hang the “Closed” sign on your old location.
The best way to accomplish this is to plan your relocation in stages and move the next chunk of your workforce only after the previous one has already settled in. Sure, this option is certainly not the most cost-effective, but it is by far the most forgiving in terms of productivity. Also, each new team will be able to settle in more quickly, so you will easily eliminate the learning curve that comes with transitions of this scale.
Schedule “big moves” for weekends and after hours
Of course, even if you have the most punctual plan and you split the relocation into most manageable chunks, the sight of dusty boxes and hired labor around your premises will surely cause a certain level of disruption. That is why you should schedule all the big events (the occasions when you’ll move essential departments and pieces of equipment) for quiet times like weekends or after hours. This kind of arrangement may put a lot of pressure on your employees, but you can find a couple of ways to keep them happy and efficient once the dust settles.
Keep the customers up to the speed
Finally, let us not forget the last ingredient that keeps your business alive and well – the customers. As soon as you scout the new location, you should start marketing your new address. And as soon as your first vanguard teams have settled, you should start slowly redirecting the customers to their doors. The clients that are not too keen to follow you to the new location can be lured in with various incentives, and why not, even a nice grand opening party. This move will earn you a couple of points from the local customer base as well.
These six tips should help you pull off the relocation without any major disruptions or slowdowns. Sure, the upfront investments may be a bit higher than they would if you simply put all of your equipment on the truck and hoped for the best, but this is one of the occasions where long-term benefits and survival of your business must be the absolute priority.