Planning and executing a change of address for your business can be daunting, but it is necessary to meet changing business requirements and ensure quality product and service delivery for clients. Below are five tips to help you plan a hassle-free and successful move:
1. Evaluation of objectives
Carefully evaluate your present and future needs and objectives in terms of your premises, considering both the short, medium and longer term. You should have clear reasons behind your office relocation, e.g. lease expiry, overhead reductions or business expansion or contraction.
At this time, gather all the facts about your current premise arrangements, liabilities and obligations, which will inform the planning stage coming afterwards.
Involve all key stakeholders and establish reasons and aims for the office relocation project. Below are key areas that must be addressed:
- Where the business should be moved to
- Amount of space required
- Any time constraints for the move, e.g. lease expiry
- Anticipated business growth objectives to be satisfied by the relocation
- Form and length of lease, e.g. operating or finance lease for x years
- Your budgetary allocation for business premises
3. Getting the team
Next, you need to assemble the right team to oversee the office relocation. Even for small businesses, a single person will not have the time, experience and/or skills to manage an office move by themselves; team effort is mandatory for success. Put together the internal and external team, including a qualified project leader to oversee every aspect of the move. This person will be the contact for internal as well as external parties.
The project leader should have a proven track and trust record in organization and management, with exceptional skills in communication, planning and logistical coordination. Consider reassigning their regular duties, allowing them to focus only on the move, especially towards the end.
4. Begin early
The bigger the business, the earlier you need to begin planning for your relocation. There's so much to be done, so begin planning between 9 and 18 months prior to the expiry of your lease. If you intend to acquire property and build your own premises, you will need to start much earlier.
Beginning early gives key stakeholders enough time to carry out a proper assessment of all options, including lease renewal, renegotiation and relocation, and considering the pros and cons of each option. As a result, the business will be able to find the most ideal premises with favorable terms on the lease.
5. Creating a budget
Once present and future business requirements have been outlined and suitable premises identified, you can now work on the budget for the actual office relocation process. At this stage, it is advisable to involve an experienced project manager with noteworthy experience in office relocations so that you make realistic estimates.
The budget is critical to planning, since you can get a picture of the costs and make necessary arrangements to source funds as well as manage expenses throughout the process. In addition, you will need to refer to the budget when evaluating the efficiency of the move on completion.