Moving offices is a big step for a business and it takes a lot of careful planning. Deciding to relocate the office while maintaining operations can cause a lot of stress for employees and customers. While there are many reasons to move the office: rapid growth, a better location, or to further the market reach, planning an office relocation is not a simple process.
Zip Moving & Storage eases the transition stress for office relocation. The following outline breaks down the steps of moving an office.
- Looking for a Suitable Location
- Determining the appropriate space size
- Ease of access for clients/employees
- Hiring a real estate agent
- Signing the Lease
- Hiring an attorney
- Reading through the contract
- Moving in
- Office relocation packing and transportation costs
- Timeline for moving
- Setting up Utilities
- Transfer Address with USPS
- Changing the Business Address on Web Maps and Websites
Looking for a Suitable Location
Before packing, the first step of the moving process is to draft the relocation plan. The relocation plan will create a checklist for the early stages and assist with the finer details during the actual move.
The particulars of the relocation plan will become clearer along the way, but it is important to have a general idea of what the business needs are and what priorities are paramount.
Real estate locations have vast differences, but two factors will greatly impact price and usability: the space size and accessibility.
New office spaces need to be congruent with the current infrastructure of the business. Moving offices is a timely and costly exercise and when a business is able to find a new location it makes sense to stay put for at least the next few years. There are basically two options when it comes to renting an office space:
Leasing a building – classically leased buildings will mean paying a monthly fee for the space. The lease is often a multi-year lease and the business is bound to that location for awhile. It is important to ensure the office space meets current needs as well as the predicted growth for the next few years.
Coworking Space – this trend has emerged during the past decade as a viable option for new companies and startups. The coworking space option allows a business to rent a space inside a larger facility which is shared between other companies, teams or freelancers. This option is lease-free and will let renters relocate the business without breaking an agreement. Possible downside of this option is the lack of privacy.
Although the rent for the space will be one of the first factors to consider there are many other details that will ensure the office is a good fit for the business. Firstly, the landlord should be able to prove they hold insurance on the new office.
Also, determine that any prospective office locations will be able to house all the employees/future employees comfortably. Parking/public transportation is also something to consider when deciding between potential new business locations.
Ample heating and cooling units built into the space will help employees work comfortably and prevent morale from tanking during weather extremes. Lastly, offices which include amenities such as a kitchen, communal space, and updated bathrooms will also assist in maintaining a healthy morale.
Ease of access
Consider ease of access and neighborhood safety for both clients and employees. Customer and employee satisfaction is a priority. Also, the neighborhood a business is headquartered in may influence the public perception of the brand
Hiring an agent
Tracking down suitable business locations without a professional is time consuming and may limit the options (some landlords prefer to work with real estate agents). Agents also assist business owners negotiate a better price and are much more familiar with desirable neighborhoods and local traffic patterns. Lastly, having a real estate agent prepare and review the necessary paperwork will definitely ease the burden of moving.
Signing the Lease
Hiring an Attorney
If the business has a lawyer on retainer it is advised to have that attorney present to go over the lease contract. If the business does not have a lawyer it is a good idea to find one for examining the lease agreement and alerting the business owner to any potential pitfalls for a long term lease.
Reading Through the Contract
Key words in the contract are: termination policy, early termination fees, security deposits and landlord rights. An attorney will illuminate the finer details and protect the interests for the business.
Before signing a lease, the business owner must provide the following documents:
- Proof of Identity
- Social Security Number
- Proof of Employment
- List of Previous Jobs
- List of Past Addresses
- List of References
- Check, Money Order of Cashier’s Check
- Vehicle Registration and Proof of Insurance
(The previous addresses/references list depends on the landlord; many landlords ask for these lists as proof that they are signing a contract with a responsible person.)
After the business has found a suitable location and agreed to the new lease terms it is time to begin the actual moving process. Inform the current landlord the expected move out date and inform employees of the expected timeline for moving day.
For office relocation, professional movers conduct an in-house estimate to make the best moving plan and provide an accurate price estimate.
Reliable movers will provide the business owner options for protection plans. These insurance options will protect the business from potential loss or damage that occurs during the move. Many options exist and the plans vary; business owners may request information from the moving company’s coordinator. Experts packers will take time to wrap and secure delicate office equipment before loading furniture into the moving truck. Zip Moving and Storage is able to provide secure storage services for businesses needing temporary storage.
Office Relocation Costs
Office relocation estimates are dependent on the size of the move. Variables for office relocation costs include: the total square feet of office space to move, the number of movers required, the number of truckloads to ferry, and the packing materials utilized.
The following chart provides rough estimates based on previous moves considering the single variable of office space square feet. Please note: these are ballpark numbers- moving an office depends on more than just office space size. The amount of furniture, truckloads needed, and movers on the job are a big part of determining the moving costs.
Office relocations based on truckloads go from $500 to $1,500, on average. The price depends on the loading time, the difficulty of the move and the number of movers on the job.
|Square Feet||Price Range|
|1,500||$750 – $4,500|
|3,000||$1,500 – $9,000|
|10,000||$5,000 – $30,000|
*Ranges shown are very rough estimates
How long does an office relocation take?
When considering the necessary time for an office relocation, there are two factors – the time to load and the time to unload furnishings and equipment.
Time to Load (Per Vehicle)
- Tractor/Trailer – Average – 30-40 minutes
- Tractor/Trailer – Difficult Conditions – 45 – 60 minutes
- Straight Truck – Average- 20-25 minutes
- Straight Truck – Difficult Conditions – 30-40 minutes
Time to Unload (Per Vehicle)
- Trailer/Tractor – Average – 30-40 minutes
- Trailer/Tractor – Difficult Conditions – 30-40 minutes
- Straight Truck – Average – 20-25 minutes
- Straight Truck – Difficult Conditions – 30-40 minutes
Any situation that prevents the vehicles from accessing the loading point will cause difficult conditions. These conditions may include recessed docks, long pushes, stairs or slow elevators.
Setting up Utilities
Create a spreadsheet for the important task of setting up utilities. Consider electricity, gas, water, sewer, Internet, telephone, cable TV, security systems, and trash collection before doing business at the new location. If the new office space is being rented out the landlord will assist with beginning the utility services.
Call the local utility company or visit their website if questions arise regarding proper set up procedure. Reach out to update the new address for business credit cards, banks, and shareholders.
Transferring utility services based with the same company is usually a simpler process than the shut off/connect of new utilities. Speak with the local utility company and they will transfer services to the new offices and keep the same account open. Be sure to have the move-in date established before contacting these utilities.
- Average Costs of Utilities
- Energy Bill – $156.76 per month
- Phone Bill – $167.10 per month
- Gas – $2.75 a gallon
Forwarding Address with USPS
Business owners may wish to change the forwarding address sooner rather than later. When important mail arrives on a regular basis changing the address on time is paramount. It is an easy, but important task to change the address with USPS and UPS/other mail handlers. Update business cards, letterheads, and return labels. Reach out to update the new address for business credit cards, banks, and shareholders.
Update Address for Online Mapping Services
Google My Business
Change the address on mapping apps to ease the transition for customers. First of all, update the address on Google.
To add or edit your business address, follow these steps:
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
- From the menu, click Info.
- Click the address field .
- Enter your address following the guidelines above, then click Apply.
- If we can’t find your address, you’ll see a red Set marker location button appear over a map of your city on the right side of the window. Click Set marker location.
- A map will appear with a red pin on your business location. You can drag this pin on the map. Place the pin at the center of your location. (For example, if you manage a store that’s located in a strip mall, place the pin in the center of it inside the mall.) To zoom in and out, use zoom in and zoom out at the right of the screen.
- After you pinpoint the center of your location, click Apply. We may review your edits for quality before they’re published.
Update tne business address on Yelp:
- Go to Yelp and select the business
- Click Edit and when asked if you are the business owner, click Yes
- Check the box for Business Closed or Moved
- Use the Additional Context field to explain why the business is moving
- Click Submit
At the end...
Hopefully, the ultimate guide to relocating an office has made the daunting task of moving seem more manageable. Contact a representative from Zip Moving & Storage for more personalized assistance in preparing to move and safely transporting the business to a new home!