A three step guide to moving your business

Managing a business move – from communications to carpet tiles and everything in between

We thought that making the decision to move our business was going to be the hardest thing we’d ever done. We were wrong! As we face the final countdown to a move into our new 47,000 sq. ft. facility I’ve been reflecting on some of the many decisions we’ve had to make as a business to get to this point. Hopefully some of the things we’ve learnt along the way will help businesses in a similar position:

1) Military operation – the whole move needs to be planned to perfection. Once the contract on the building was signed we brought in an experienced consultant to act as project manager. This was absolutely key to us getting things right. 

2) Think of everything! – Our first ‘to do’ list consisted of about 20 items. By the time we finished it there were over 100 items on it. Obvious things such as furniture and IT were top of the priority list. Also, we distribute hundreds of parcels every night so motorway access was crucial. But the small things all add up and getting them right is just as important. 

Devising the seating plans, deciding which entrance staff should come in and where deliveries should go, making it an aesthetically and environmentally good place to be are all vitally important. Don’t underestimate the time it takes to decide where your plants should go and which carpet tiles will look the best!

3) Build a steering group –we brought together a team of people from across the business – HR, sales, finance, operations, warehousing, procurement etc. This group meets weekly to report back on action items and make decisions collectively. Anything that can possibly cause an issue is raised and dealt with during those meetings.

4) Put your employees first – moving to new premises signifies growth and success for the management team but not all employees will necessarily see it that way. Staff that have been with you for a long time in particular will be used to their existing commute and working environment. 

Making sure that employees could get to work easily was a big priority when looking at locations. Our managing director parked at the local bus and train stations and timed his walk to the office. This meant we were able to give staff an accurate estimate of their journey to work. We have also helped to find rental accommodation for staff who want to move closer to the new premises and have arranged several familiarisation visits to the site.

5) Communicate throughout –Everyone within the organisation should feel confident and involved. Our steering committee has been essential in making this happen both internally and as we get closer to the move date, to customers and suppliers.

Moving to a new location is a milestone in any company’s history. But remember, without having everyone on board, the move won’t work however exciting it appears on paper.

Page three: When moving day comes…

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