A relocation checklist can be a huge asset when moving a business to a new location.
It’s not easy relocating a company, employees, equipment and supplies from one place to another — regardless if its 2 miles or three states away! If you don’t stay organized, it could mean a loss of profits, customers, staff and overall company reputation.
In 2016, we moved our Totally Promotional office about 6 miles away to be closer to our production facility in Coldwater, Ohio. It wasn’t easy relocating dozens of people and everything that goes along with a growing company, but keeping a checklist helped make the transition much smoother.
Here is a handy relocation checklist to ensure you have a great moving experience!
Business moving checklist
Inform your employees and vendors
Keeping everyone in the loop will remove a lot of stress and encourage a positive attitude toward the relocation.
Send out a company-wide memo to employees explaining the decision for the move, the address of the new location and a tentative date. More in-depth information can — and should — follow as the moving date approaches. The content of your memos is key to building excitement and cooperation.
Let your vendors and other business associates know your plans, particularly the timing of the move to ensure the flow of products/services to your customers. Be sure to have direct contact numbers for vendors who make deliveries to avoid any issues the week of the move.
Establish a relocation plan committee
Choose a planning committee to oversee the many details involved with relocating. Committee members should draft a plan along with a timeline to guide certain tasks such as hiring a moving company, setting up new phone lines, and implementing a change of address.
Your planning team should consist of motivated members who have access to details of the relocation. It’s wise to allow them to tour the new facility as soon as possible so they can more accurately answer the inevitable questions employees will have.
Create a preliminary budget
Moving a family is a lot different than moving an entire business from one location to another. Be generous when establishing a budget for your move. Take into consideration the planning committee’s hours, the cost of advertising your new location, loss of production during the move, hiring moving help/truck rental, and the loss of employees if moving a great distance.
You will probably encounter unforeseen expenses related to the new location, regardless of how well you plan. Keep that in mind when calculating a realistic budget.
Advertise the move
How do you let customers know you are moving? Signage. You have a lot of options but some can be quite expensive. Customized banners and retractable banner stands can get the word out without busting your budget. Simply include your company name and logo, the new address, date of the move and contact information. It also never hurts to apologize for any inconvenience. Here are a few ideas for signage placement:
- Hang a banner over the main entranceway of your current building and your future building, if allowed.
- Place a banner near the street or highway that borders your old and new business location.
- Set up a retractable banner stand in your current lobby.
- If you are or will be located inside a mall or near a high traffic area, place a retractable banner stand just outside your front entrance.
Don’t forget to update your website, social media channels, letterheads, business cards, forms and any other place where your address is currently listed. Local online news sources, radio stations and newspapers also can help inform the public of your move, often at no charge. Ask each to add your business relocation information to their community news section.
Obtain adequate IT support
If your IT department is confident they can handle the mountain of work required to move a company’s computers, network system, etc., then consider yourself lucky! Just be sure there is a plan in place so downtime is kept to a minimum.
If your IT team needs help, begin interviewing ASAP to get the people and expertise you’ll need for the transition. Not having adequate tech abilities or online access for even a short time — particularly for an e-commerce site — could greatly affect sales and your companies’ reputation.
Manage obligations for existing building
Be sure to meet any lease requirements or other stipulations spelled out in your current landlord contract, if applicable. Often there are restoration agreements such as cleaning tasks that must be completed before the tenant leaves.
If you are the owner of the building where you currently reside, develop a plan for future maintenance and selling/leasing the property. Discuss and confirm your new address, if necessary, with insurance, property tax agents and anyone else with an interest in the real estate.
Celebrate your move!
When the dust settles and you are ready to open your doors for business, celebrate the occasion! This is the perfect opportunity to thank everyone for their patience and introduce yourself to the community. Host an open house, give tours and let people know how you can serve their needs.
Distributing free items printed with your name and logo is an effective way to attract future customers. (It worked for us!). Order customized promotional products that align with your brand or the audience you seek to attract. Select colors that match your company logo and theme.
People who receive promotional items generally keep them for at least six months. That puts your name in front of potential clients for a much longer time than any other form of advertising. It’s a great value for companies of any size.