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Tips To Relocate Your Small Business

It’s Time To Move

Helpful move checklist from

Your business is growing and expanding to a new location, it’s the time to plan before your movers come. Now is an excellent time to part with old technology such as phones, copiers, printers, computers. Think about and review your new space, do you need all of your old office furniture, supplies, which you may or may not use now?  Don’t pay to move items you don’t need. It’s better to recycle them and get a tax break when you donate to a registered charity.

If You Move Yourself Start, Pack Early

Don’t wait until the last minute.  If you plan to move your own business, start packing items you don’t  regularly use as soon as possible.  Most business owners and managers severely underestimate the time it takes to pack.  If you have a large inventory of items to go through add days, if not weeks to how long you believe it will take to your company items.

If you’ll need new furniture or a sign, order it now so that it has plenty of time to arrive and be arranged before your business makes the move.

If you move without a moving company and rent a truck – opt-in for insurance coverage.  Many private insurance policies may cover rental car damage very few cover damages if you get into an accident in a rental truck (which are classified as “equipment.”) If you use a professional moving company, be sure to ask about insurance coverage options to protect your equipment. Your moving company should have proof of worker’s comp insurance. If you inadvertently hire day labor or the truck company does not carry insurance, you could be at least partially liable for moving related injuries to workers.

 If You Are Hiring A Moving Company

If you are plan to hire a mover, call at least one to two months in advance. Be sure to get several price quotes and ask for proof of insurance.  Ask for referrals from other business owners you know have moved in the last couple years. If the moving company is packing for you, remember that most moving companies do not make decisions for you – they pack everything.

 Mark And Number Your Boxes

Mark boxes and on the tops and sides so you can locate items quickly. If you just mark the tops, you will find it harder to locate items quickly.  Mark boxes on multiple sides. If you have hundreds of boxes, it pays to have a numbering system and a team member in charge the list.  This helps to avoid the loss of important items during your move. This is particularly important if you hire a moving company. If you number your boxes with a brief description of what is inside them, and the moving company loses any in the move, you will have an easier time making a claim.

Packing and Moving Electronics

Sounds simple? Just stow your printers in boxes, right? Printers are sensitive devices just like computers. Remove printer cartridges, tape down covers and scanner lids, and be sure to follow any specific instructions for moving FAX machines, copiers, and printers since improper moving may damage a device and void the warranty.

Moving Computers and Computer Monitors

Computer monitors should be wrapped individually with thick moving blankets or bubble wrap. They should never be placed in boxes and tape should not come into contact with the monitor itself.  Protect computers with heavy blankets wrapped in tape, never stack them on top of other items or stack items on top of computers. Backup your data, you don’t want to lose important data during your move. Consider using cloud services to back up your most important data.

Computer Cables

The best way to deal with moving computers is to start by removing all the computer cables from computers one at a time. Put cables in large plastic baggies, such as a zip-lock, and write on the bag to which computer it belongs.

Update Your Contact Information

Don’t forget to update your address on stationery, business cards, and your website. The most important thing to update first is your website. Like personal moves, you will need to notify the post office, your creditors, bank, etc. When you invoice clients, make sure to tell them to update your contact information in their payment system.

You don’t want to miss any important necessities when you arrive at your new office. Be sure to let your vendors know well in advance of your move so they can make the adjustments to your shipping and billing address.


The more you plan in advance, the better the chance you will have a successful move. Know that some things will go wrong, so be prepared.

Business Relocation Checklist

  • Select a move committee. This is typically made of representatives from IT, HR, Operations and other interested and qualified people.
  • Establish a preliminary relocation budget.
  • Determine whether the move warrants hiring a third-party move management consultant. If so, interview and hire third-party partner.
  • Coordinate moving of servers with IT provider/support.
  • Contact telecommunications/data provider to schedule a cut-over date.
  • Contact telephone provider to get new numbers or move existing.
  • Order data circuits and/or specialty circuits (check for lead times).
  • Order phone lines for elevator, security and any other item that may require a phone line.
  • Confirm your long distance carrier or change it.
  • Determine if any equipment requires specialized or approved vendors to move it. This could include copiers, lab equipment, certain electronics or manufacturing equipment.
  • Check existing lease for restoration requirements/conditions for returning current space to the landlord.
  • Reserve the building elevator (existing for move out, new for move in).
  • Order keys from the building.
  • Contact the building to confirm locations of signage.
  • Hire signage vendor to plan, get approval for, and install new signage.
  • Obtain a qualified mover by interviewing 2-4 companies, depending on the size of job.
  • Order new letterhead, business cards, forms, and other printed marketing materials.
  • Coordinate updates to your website, email signatures, and any place else where your address appears so they can be implemented on the day of your move.
  • Notify your clients of change of address.
  • Contact the post office for a change of address.
  • Contact your bank for change of address.
  • Notify vendors of change of address (coffee service, vending machines, etc.).
  • Contact the IRS for a change of address.
  • Change address with any publications that are delivered to the office.
  • Notify insurance carrier of change of address and new office’s requirements. Obtain certificates of insurance for the landlord, and any entities required by the lease.
  • Contact the Franchise Tax Board for a change of address.
  • Contact the Employment Development Department for a change of address.
  • Contact the Secretary of State for a change of address.

1 Month Prior to business Move:

  • Assign move numbers/labeling/tagging scheme – prepare floor plans/layouts.
  • Create employee move packets and instructions on how to move.
  • Prepare agenda for an employee move orientation meeting.
  • Create public relations campaign with press releases to highlight new location and/or office-warming party.
  • Secure off-site storage location for old files
  • Discuss and agree on move insurance needs with the company.
  • Modify new space to meet equipment demands as necessary (coordinate with users).
  • Determine security procedures for the move.
  • Coordinate to add your listing to lobby directory at new site
  • Fine tune move schedule.

2 Weeks Prior to business Move:

  • Finalize move schedule.
  • Hold employee move orientation meeting.
  • Distribute employee move packets.
  • Schedule packing material and label delivery.
  • Prepare employee welcome packet to the new space (restrooms, gyms, break rooms, copy rooms, etc.).
  • Move team preparation for move – channels for communication, change requests, etc.
  • Schedule move day on-site help.
  • Create a list of emergency contacts, cell phone numbers, and vendors which include moving company, building management, utilities, telecommunications, etc.
  • Identify ‘lost and found’ at both origin and destination.
  • Identify move command central – for mover and employee inquiries.
  • Select cleaning vendor for post-move.

Move Week:

  • Schedule additional packing material and label delivery.
  • Tag and label destination site – room numbering and equipment IDs.
  • Mount ‘You are here’ floor plans and color-coding instructions.
  • Schedule training for all emergency procedures at new location.
  • Distribute contact lists for emergency/on-site/on-call lists.
  • Review and finalize all move sequences/schedules – distribute to move team.
  • Prep building for move – surface protection, corner guards, etc.
  • Distribute new security ID card key entry badges.
  • As close as possible to moving day – change locks and access codes at new location.

Move Day(s):

  • Assign origin and destination move liaisons.
  • On-site help to coordinate move-related questions, etc.
  • Complete job walks each day of move of schedule/completion/damage, etc.
  • Prepare ‘honey-do’ lists.
  • Allocate keys and/or access cards for new location.
  • Distribute employee welcome packets at their new destinations.

Post Move Support:

  • Move central command post – support employee inquiries lost & found, honey-do lists, etc.
  • Dispatch appropriate team(s) for post move support – hang whiteboards, equipment fit up, etc.
  • Collect all access items including security cards, keys and parking passes for old location and confirm the return of deposits held by the landlord for items.
  • Survey for damage – prepare and submit reports.
  • Distribute new contact list and layout of department locations.
  • Prepare move punch list and action items – coordinate with appropriate contractors, etc.
  • Review final invoices against contracts.

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