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April 1, 2014 at 12:00 am

Moving 101: Your Guide to Corporate Relocation

Corporate relocation should be fun and exciting, as it often means your firm has hit an important milestone – but it often feels far from it. Make your move a bit less painful with these tips.

Don’t delay.

Starting the process early will provide a greater chance of smooth transition to a new space that you enjoy and of which you are proud. There’s a lot to do, so it is impossible to plan too far in advance. Many start at least 9 months, if not 18 months, in advance of a potential lease expiration.

Be realistic.

Moving is expensive and time consuming. Come to terms with that fact sooner than later – and plan accordingly –so you’re not blindsided by cost or timeline overruns.

Conduct a gut check.

What is your motivation for the move? Is your current lease expiring or are you breaking it? Is your company growing or contracting? Properly shape your new lease to ensure that you meet all expectations around any notice period proscribed in the lease, as well as current obligations and liabilities. Some initial considerations:

  • What are your business objectives that the move must satisfy (growth plan, merger, scale down)?
  • To where would you like to move (state, city, town, block, floor)?
  • How much space do you need?
  • By when do you have to be in?
  • What time and length of lease would you like?

Engage the professionals

Meet with key partners early and often to assure that the assumptions you’re making about the space, timeline, budget, and other factors are correct.  The initial investment for these folks is likely to save you a lot of money – and aggravation – in the long run.

In particular, an attorney and real estate broker will be key partners to ensure that your new and existing space, and related lease or other agreements, are arranged and positioned with your best interests in mind.

Similarly, moving professionals will be valuable members of your team; they have “done this” a million times and will guide you through the process, setting the template for the process, and considering items that you might not anticipate, thereby avoiding critical mistakes.

Formalize your project team.

A top notch team is key to success. Typical selections include senior members from your operations, marketing, and IT departments. The moving company representative and a practitioner (someone in your firm who does the work for which you are known) are also must-haves.

From this group, select a project leader who has plenty of time, the trust of all senior management, authority to act on behalf of the company, experience setting and working with budgets, a knack for working with others, and, most importantly, experience with project management.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Change can be unsettling – and that’s certainly the case with an office move. That said, an office move is also a great time to shift a few internal paradigms – whether that means increased performance, morale, or momentum. Externally, there are many moving parts. If you keep the lines of communication open, you’ll have a much better chance at success.

Make the most of the opportunity.

There are many tertiary things you can nuance during an office move.

  • Spring cleaning: Purge old files, equipment, and storage areas of unneeded items.
  • Make use of the cloud: Consider scanning any documents no longer needed in hard copy. This is a safe and cost-effective solution to free up office space and streamline processes. Many moving companies offer this service as an additional feature.
  • Modernize: Consider more newer office furniture or other equipment, which will not only look good, but also save space and improve morale. Many moving companies specialize in office redesign and furniture procurement for this very purpose.
  • Vendor relationships: An office move provides opportunity for renegotiating, terminating, or otherwise finessing relationships with existing vendors and contractors on favorable terms; don’t lose sight of that lucrative option in the process.
  • Publicity: A move is a great trigger to update company image and/or logo – and to tell the story about how your company is changing and expanding.

Congratulations on your upcoming move! You will, at one point or another, grow weary of the process – but it’ll be worth it in the end.

About Bisson: Bisson Moving & Storage has been moving families and businesses for 95 years. Bisson specializes in office relocation and residential moving and storage. With three locations across Maine, Bisson meets customers where they are and gets them where they need to be – from down the street to across the world.  Bisson Moving & Storage is an authorized agent of Atlas Van Lines. For additional information, please visit www.movebisson.com or find us on Facebook. 

Categories: Maine Real Estate Insider