Last week I had the great pleasure of moving my home office to a new house (and thus new home office). And yes, that was a note of sarcasm you’re detecting because if there’s anything more fun that packing up and upsetting your home life, it’s packing up and upsetting your home life and your work life at the same time.
I wanted to write the below checklist for all of you potential business movers out there, because even if you’re basically a couple of desks and laptops and one cantankerous 3-in-one office machine like my business, you’re going to find out that there’s more to moving your business than you imagined.
Let’s get started:
Evaluate Your New Space – Give your space a thorough walkthrough, preferably a few weeks before you move in, and ask yourself:
- Is your house wired for cable internet?
- Are the power outlets where you need them to be?
- Are you going to bonk your head on some oddly placed cabinet every time you get up from the room you plan to use as your home office?
- Does the carpet make you sneeze?
- Are the colors, shapes, amount of sunlight, etc. conducive to your work environment or are you going to need to co-work for a while while you give your new workspace a touch up?
- Are there parking spaces for any permanent or seasonable employees you might hire? And are there enough keys for everybody?
- Is there security in place or do you need to arrange for it?
Keeping all this in mind can vastly improve your chances of uninterrupted working after the big move.
Mind Your Utilities – What type of internet access is available in your new digs? During a previous office move, I was in for a surprise when my building only supported DSL internet and I had to spring for an unanticipated phone line. Then be sure to set your utilities up at least two weeks in advance to cope with unforeseen logistical problems.
Insurance – Make sure to transfer your renter’s, homeowner’s and/or business insurance policy to your new address. Believe me, that cantankerous printer/fax/copier/coffee maker will choose to attack you when you’re between policies.
Evaluate Your Vendors – No matter what distance you’re moving, you may find it makes sense to change vendors. For example, a vendor who previously delivered before may not have your new house in her territory. Or you may be nearer to a new post office. If you need to shop around or map a new route, try to save yourself a headache and do so before the big moving day. (And don’t download iOS 6.)
Change Your Address… With Everybody– Do you have a standing office supply order? Make sure to change your address with vendors, or you’re order may end up like me wondering where your blue envelope from Shoeboxed is… for three months. Since I auto-pay some vendors, my go-to trick is to check my “Biggest Vendors” Graphs on the Reports Tab in Outright.com. Don’t forget vendors you may pay quarterly or annually.
Notify Clients and Vendors of your New Address – The first time I moved my business I just haphazardly changed the address on my invoices and wrote a tiny note in the corner of each one. Needless to say, half my clients didn’t notice that nice note and I waited weeks for Atlanta USPS to forward my mail. Be smart and email all of your client contacts a separate email or phone call. If they didn’t make the change, notify them again, or better yet, consider accepting payments online with a service like WePay.com.
Update the Address on your Collateral – Business cards, stationary, address stamps, your email signature – if any of it includes your old address, it’s time to update.
Find Networking Groups in your Area – Maybe you got stuck in a work, work, work rut at your old address, but now that you’re in a new area, it’s time to start networking again. Check out go to sites like Meetup.com, or check with your new area’s Chamber of Commerce. Consultants and very small companies can meet like-minded folks at a jelly (informal work-together meet up) or co-working space. Networking Pro Tip: Find where your target audience networks and meet them there.
Don’t Forget Social Media – Send out a smoke signal that you’re new to the area and looking to mingle (professionally, that is.) You may already have people in your social networks who live in your new zip code.
Photo Courtesy of phil_g on Flicker