Once you’ve found the just-right office space and signed on the dotted line, it’s time to start planning. Here are the first steps along the way.
Set a Deadline
Your estimated move date will affect every other part of your planning, from when to update your online presence to when to schedule movers and contractors. If at all possible, build in some flexibility by choosing a move date that’s two to three weeks before your absolute deadline to be in the new space, so that any last-minute surprise doesn’t turn into a crisis.
Identify Critical Tasks
Identify the tasks that could have the biggest impact on meeting your deadline and tackle them first. These may include buildout tasks such as construction, painting, and installing new carpet and furniture. IT tasks include changing telecom or Internet services, prepping your systems for the move, and installing new cabling and outlets. If you’re not planning to move your office yourself, you’ll also need to find and
schedule professional movers.
Contact your IT services provider to give them your estimated move date and ask them to help evaluate your needs. Ask your business contacts for referrals and look at online ratings and reviews for movers, general contractors, cabling contractors and electricians. Once you’ve found these vendors, get in touch to discuss your deadline, the details of the move and the layout of both your old and new offices. If possible, get several quotes – ideally based on a walk-through – keeping in mind that the lowest bid may not be the best one. Finally, schedule and confirm installation and moving dates.
Get the Word Out Within Your Business
Moving is exciting, but it can also raise questions and leave employees feeling uncertain and even left out. By involving your employees in the process, you can not only enlist their help, but also get their ideas about what could be improved or done differently in the new space. Let employees know the schedule and what their responsibilities will be as early as you can, and keep in communication throughout the process.
Get the Word Out to Everyone Else (and in Plenty of Time)
Naturally, you’ll need to update your website with your new contact information. What may be less obvious is that you need to update all relevant social media and business listing sites in time for it to show up by your move date. Update your contact information for Facebook and LinkedIn to Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Yahoo, Bing and Foursquare.
While it takes just a few moments to update your website contact page, it may take a few weeks before business listings and search engines start to display new information. To help compensate for this delay, we posted about our move multiple times, and also changed the wallpaper on all of our social pages to a map of our new location.
In addition, be sure to directly notify clients about two weeks prior to your move, and consider sending them another reminder the day before. Create a standard email signature for all employees that includes the move announcement, and update any software such as MailChimp or HubSpot that automatically adds your address to emails or newsletters.
Finally, update all print and digital marketing materials from envelopes to ebooks, and plan appropriately to make sure all your clients and vendors can reach you during the critical time right before and after the move.
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Bill McCharen, COO
Our goal for this blog is to answer the questions you ask. If you have any questions about moving in Austin or any other topic please email me at [email protected]. To learn more about IT subscribe to our blog.