Relocating a business can be tough, yet every year, hundreds of companies do it. It may be for reasons of growth and expansion, lucrative tax breaks in the new city, or lower cost of doing business. Whatever the reason, one thing remains true for each move: It is not an easy decision to make and can present some difficult challenges both large and small businesses.
So what can you do as a business owner or leader in your organization to make sure your company is not negatively affected by the move? We at Varay have you covered! Here are some of the things you should consider before you make the big move, so your relocation can go as seamlessly as possible.
Apart from the purchase or lease of your new office space or company building and the one-time expense of transporting your office equipment, you may be looking at several other costs: cleaning costs, broker fees, additional insurance coverage, PR costs (in case you need to announce your move), decreased productivity, and more.
One good rule of thumb is to get an estimated figure of the total moving cost and then double it. This helps you avoid getting blindsided by unexpected costs and have more than enough to cover every eventuality.
2. Your employees
As the heart of your business, your employees’ needs are one of the most significant factors to consider. Will they be willing to move (if the distance between the new office and the old space is significant)? Can you afford to move all of your employees or just the key ones?
And if you are only relocating your core employees, you’ll need to consider hiring new ones for the open positions ahead of the move. Does the new location have the labor pool to support your organization’s needs now, as well as long term?
When relocating a business, it’s a good idea to research whether the place you are moving to is accessible to both your employees and clients. From a commuting perspective, the business location should be somewhere people can travel from their homes in 30 minutes or less. No one wants to spend all of their time traveling or stuck in traffic. And if you have clients that fly in to visit, finding somewhere that’s not too far from the airport is ideal.
Some businesses don’t factor parking space into their moving plans, but it’s something to think about, particularly if people have to walk for blocks to your office. You can build the parking area yourself or lease it if there’s one near you.
Your business’s technology needs have to be supported as well. It’s vital that you map out them out ahead of time to ensure that there are no interruptions to the services that you provide.
a. The internet service
Many companies rely on the internet for communication, information, and marketing, so it’s one of the most important things to set up in the new place before relocating a business. Fiber optic offers impressive speed compared to cable or DSL, but it also causes the most trouble to set up. Lead time usually ranges from 30 to 90 days but may take more due to other factors.
What takes up so much time?
- A fiber connection for a building must meet the approval of the incumbent local exchange carrier or ILEC. This means that internet service providers (ISPs) must work with these carriers to fulfill your service request. It also means that your application has to pass through several individuals and departments before it can be approved.
- Your proximity to a fiber line is another factor. If the fiber is some distance away, you could be in for a long wait time, in which case, it might be best to consider another connection option.
- If your company is located near a busy route (like a highway) or a historical site, you may have difficulty getting a permit to extend the wired network underneath the area.
b. Wiring and structure
When relocating a business, you also need to examine the structure and wiring that is in place in the new property and if it is sufficient for your needs. Check if the building is up to modern data-capable standards, or if it needs to be retrofitted. A scheduled on-site visit by a Varay Managed IT professional will help you find out, saving you from plenty of headaches later on.
During the visit, you may need to map out the ideal location of each workspace and office as well as where the network cabling points, power sockets, and plugs are to be placed. Other questions to think through: Should I add more power outlets? How many cable lines do I need?
c. Computer and server hardware
Network infrastructure units and servers store all of the data your company has and are essential to keep your operations flowing smoothly. If you are using in-house servers (physical servers that are located within the company), you may need to check if there’s an allocated space—and it must be in a cool area— in the new property to store all your equipment.
A relocation is also the best time to see if you need to upgrade and buy new equipment or switch over to a cloud-based server instead. Each has its pros and cons, and you’ll have to weigh each carefully to figure out what suits your business’s needs the best. And if you’re contemplating whether it’s time for a tech upgrade, read more about what to consider here.
Don’t forget to back up all of your data. Make several copies of each file and make sure that should anything happen, a full recovery is possible.
d. The company’s telecommunication needs
Don’t forget telecommunication. It not only allows you to communicate effectively with your clients, but it is also a crucial element to teamwork. Questions to ask should include:
- How many phone lines do I need?
- Does this new property have all the structure to support all my communication needs in place?
- Is the communication between my teams becoming inefficient with the current software? Would it be better to migrate to a central communication center (e.g., Office 365)?
- Are these software and equipment enough to accommodate my projected growth and expansion for the next three to five years?
This is also the time to decide whether a KSU (key system unit), PBX (or private branch exchange system), or VoIP (voice over internet protocol) business phone system will work best for you. A KSU is the most basic phone system and has a limit on the number of phone lines integrated into it. A PBX is more automated and allows auto-routing of incoming calls A VoIP enables people in different countries to speak with each other over the internet with all functionalities accessible from a computer.
Don’t let your relocation overwhelm you!
Relocating a business can be a laborious process, but Varay will make it much more manageable. We’re here to make your move as hassle-free and seamless as possible with our extensive range of custom IT services.