#11 – Forgetting to Interview department heads
Schedule a meeting with all your department heads. Ask them about their current office/warehouse space and discuss the challenges that they are currently experiencing, if any. It is very important to have them provide their input at this time so encourage them to speak up and have their voice heard by management.
It is in this meeting that they should be able to express to you/management that they need more office space for file cabinets, for desk space, for warehouse space or that maybe their furniture prohibits them from being as productive as they could be.
Here is a great example: During a recent meeting we determined that Beth was not properly located near all the equipment she needs access to. Because of this she is constantly leaving her office space for long periods of time. This was addressed at the new location by arranging staff closer to the resources that they most frequently use.
#10 – Overlooking your infrastructure
The IT Infrastructure is commonly overlooked during relocation. Rarely does management consider the age of the equipment, logistics involved in moving it or the impact it will have while being transported between locations.
If you’re moving a small office (under 10 people) then you may not have a Server to think about but all the Data on those systems are the LIFE BLOOD of your business. If any one of these were to be dropped or damaged in any way, you could be dealing with LIFE ALTERING issues! If the moving company is insured then the equipment would be replaced but the equipment means nothing if it doesn’t have your data on it! What happens when you have No More Customer Records? No More Accounting Records? You don’t know who owes you, who you owe or how to contact them! So what is the moral of the story? Backup your systems data COMPLETELY! And maybe back it up twice if you’re paranoid like me! But don’t stop there. Test the backup! A backup is also useless if you cannot restore it!
Let’s not overlook the Phone System. If you run an office with a large phone system then remember that taking it down means that NO ONE is answering your business line! Even if it is over a weekend and you sent messages to everyone in your database, someone important could still call! Simply forward your Main number to someone’s cell phone.
Or another common solution is prior to relocating companies are moving to hosted phone systems. These systems are loaded with all the latest features and functionality. There is no need for a Telephone system to be mounted in the Server room anymore. Your Telephone system is now in the cloud! This means that when you disconnect your office phone from your desk and box it up that when you get to the new office and connect it then it will immediately work (as long as your internet is working)! This means no more need for a Phone guy to move your equipment and your phone system will still be working even when your phone is not connect! That’s another cost savings!
There are a million more infrastructure issues to address but I can’t turn this blog article into a book. Consult with your IT Professional.
#9 – Planning the Pre-Move but mishandling the “During-Move” process
During the move can be a chaotic time, people coming and going at both locations. Be sure that there is ALWAYS someone with the full game plan at both locations. Someone should even be assigned the task of bringing these people lunch and drinks so that they don’t have to leave their designated location.
#8 – Missing the opportunity to use the relocation as a Sell’s Tool
I would say that between 80-90% of the time companies overlook their relocation as an opportunity to increase sales. This is one of the topics I bring up in my book Relocating Your Business.
If your’s is the type of business in which you can invite customers, prospects and vendors into then you should! Throw a monster blow out with food and drinks and promotional material galore! If the event after the relocation is executed successfully then you can pay for the entire relocations process with the new orders you’ll be getting from the party! Drink up, its going to be a great year!
#7 – Moving junk with you
This one should be self explanatory, but in the event that it isn’t think about this… How many years have you been in your office/warehouse space now? 10 years? 20 years? People tend to keep things a bit too long and then over time forget about them.
If you haven’t used it in over 18 months, chances are you’re not going to. I’m talking about that box, ya you know the one(s), that has been in the same place in your office/warehouse for years. Its covered in dust and dirt and I can almost GUARANTEE you that 9 out of 10 of your employees couldn’t tell you what it is or why it’s even still there.
Purge People! Either that or get yourself on an episode of Hoarders.
#6 – Hiring Vendors based on lowest bid
I see this all the time. A company goes out and gets two maybe three bids and instead of looking into the vendors they just say, “Hey XYZ Company is cheaper, let’s hire them!” Money should never be the only deciding factor. I’d recommend hiring a specialist over the lowest price any day! Sure there are other factors to consider as well. Are they Licensed (if that applies)? Are they insured? If they are insured have you read the fine print? Insured for what? How much?
Vetting out vendors is very important and can also be time consuming.
#5 – Planning your relocation like you would your home
I’m sure everyone reading this has moved before. Maybe out of your parents house. Maybe even out of your first or even second home. Moving from house to house is a walk in the park compared to relocating your business. For your home it’s like… Call DirecTV, your utility companies and your movers. Maybe a cleaning service if you want to be thorough. That’s it.
Relocating Your Business is a huge undertaking. I could write a book on all the ways that it differs, oh wait, I did! I’ll give you a FREE COPY for a limited time: Click Here
Now after reading that book you’ll be thinking one of two things. Either you’ll be thinking, “Yea, I got it now!” or “Holy Crap I don’t have time to handle all that!” Regardless of what your frame of thinking is, at least you’ll then be better prepared!
#4 – Not Checking vendor references
Seriously!? It’s 2015 and people still don’t check references? I’m not saying that people don’t have references or even that people lie… of wait, Yea I’m saying that exactly!
If you get your vendors from referral, then you just got them from a reference! If you picked a random company CHECK THE REFERENCES!! Check BBB as well. If there is nothing on them, that’s not a bad sign. However if there is negative feedback on them that could be a red flag. If you get vendors from places like Yelp becareful. There are a lot of negative people out there. Be sure to read multiple reviews, not just the bad ones.
Talk to your Commercial Real Estate broker as well. Many times they will at the very least have a few vendors that they can refer you to. Any good Broker will go the extra mile and have recommendations for you.
#3 – Not Creating a budget
Over nearly twenty years I’ve been involved in hundreds of Business Relocations. When the subject of budget is discuss I’ve gotten one of two responses. #1 – “We don’t have or need a budget, we have to move!” or #2 – “We have a really small budget”
The problem with this is they don’t think about how much this Relocation can really cost their company. There could be a hundred or more items that you need to budget for. Set up a section in the budget for Construction, another for equipment, a third for General and forth for event after the move.
In the Construction section you need to include the cost of the construction of your building. If you’re moving into existing space then it could be the funds that were negotiated for construction in your lease agreement. Make your office space or other space meet your needs first, then budget permitting add some luxuries. As a side note, please add Network Cabling, Audio/Video cabling and Video Surveillance cabling into your construction budget.
In the Equipment section you need to include the cost of any equipment that you need to replace or the costs associated with moving that equipment. Equipment could be Computers, Servers, Telephone System or it could be some of your line of business equipment for production. If that equipment is 20-30 years old it may benefit you and the company to upgrade to the newest model.
Now for the fun part! ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make a budget for the Post Move Event! If this event is setup and executed successfully then you will see an absolute surge of income coming in that you can track directly back to this event. This event is usually 2-4 weeks after you move in, due to letting to dust settle and everyone having time to put their files back where they belong and disposing of all the boxes. Be sure to hire a caterer as you don’t want to be doing all the work, you want to be mixing and mingling with clients and prospects!
#2 – Selecting a location without first checking the availability of Utilities
This is another section that I could probably write an entire book on, so for the sake of this blog article, I’ll try to give you the cliffnotes version.
Check the building/property you’ve either selected or are considering for internet providers. Not all buildings or areas of the city are equal. Some buildings have limited the number of providers allowed in the building. If your preferred vendor is not in the building then construction costs and delays could cause you issues. Cost is another issue. If you move into Building A and it only has Company X then you may be limited on bandwidth and rates. I see this happening all the time!
Also check on the other Utilities like Natural Gas and Electricity. Don’t just call Reliant Energy (well I guess they’re NRG now) and call it a day. You could be missing out on huge discounts and energy strategy plans they those massive companies will never discuss with you. There are dozens, even hundreds, of incentive programs out there that can help your business save a ton of cash!
#1 – Assigning someone within the company the task of managing this project
This is by far the #1 mistake that we see companies make. The owner seldom EVER will handle this task. They will delegate this it either an office manager or other low level employee. Rarely will a C-Level staff member be involved in anything more than budget or signing off on something. This is a huge mistake!
I understand wanting to save money and the DIY attitude that many of us have, yes me included. So before you assigned this massively important task to your office manager, ask them this question… “Have you ever managed a Relocation of a Business?” If they say no then you’re now paying them to make a ton of mistakes and learn on your dime. So now ask yourself this question…”Can I afford to take a chance on having someone completely inexperienced Relocating our Business?”
I’d love to hear from any of the readers of this article. If you have questions or comments please let me know. Don’t forget to check out my book Relocating Your Business either on my website or its also available on Amazon.com