7 Tips For Successfully Relocating Your Business

It’s rare that businesses operate in the same premises for their entire lifespan. Whether your business has outgrown it’s current headquarters or you’re ready for a new space, relocating your business can be a stressful time. In this article, we’ll provide some tips on how to ensure your move causes as little disruption as possible to your business.

1. Pick the right location

Picking the right location is important for every business, whether they’re moving or just starting out. You’ll want to choose a location which is easily accessible by your employees, suppliers and customers. Some other factors you should consider are:

  • The size of your business and how much space you’ll need
  • How much more you may want to expand (you don’t want to have to move again in the event you’ve picked somewhere too small).
  • Inventory space (if necessary).
  • What you can afford
  • The terms of the lease

Further, something not often thought of is the familiarity of your current area. The comfort of having been in the same location for some period of time means you are likely aware of the issues with it. For example, poor access for deliveries or bad traffic at certain times of the day. You don’t want to relocate somewhere that has the problems you’re trying to avoid. Do as much research on each scouted location on qualities you’re trying to avoid.

The best way to work out what location suits best is to make a list of the reasons for the move, and what you need most from a new space. Doing this will allow you to determine what you need to prioritise when searching.

2. Track what you pack

This is particularly important if you’re moving inventory as well as office equipment. When relocating an entire office it’s surprisingly easy to lose track of a computer monitor here or a coffee machine there. Take an inventory immediately before and after you relocate. The cost of hiring a relocation crew and packing supplies is enough as it is without having to replace office equipment.

Likewise, anything containing sensitive information should be given special consideration. Whether it be hard-drives, documents or even floppy-disks, ensure that they are backed up where possible and consider what precautions may need to be taken to transport it all.

3. Move your files online

One of the benefits of storing documents electronically is that it’s less likely that they’ll get lost in an office move. Even if you do still maintain physical files, make sure these are scanned into your online system before moving offices. This way, if anything does get lost, you’ll be able to recover it quickly.

4. Coordination is key

Coordinating with your clients, suppliers and employees will help avoid as much disruption to your business as possible when relocating. A good option is to stagger the move. Even having a skeleton crew is better than no crew if you decide to relocate everyone at once.

Make sure that your suppliers are aware of the move and coordinating with them on any deliveries etc. is extremely important. You don’t want a delivery of inventory (or anything for that manner) to show up on the day of the move. Importantly, make sure they have updated the address in their systems; you want the deliveries coming to the new location.

Similarly, make sure clients are aware of the move. Send out an email, or make appropriate calls, to let them know very clearly of when and to where your relocating. Upsetting a client because they’ve shown up at the old address for a meeting because you failed to let them know about the relocation is not going to be a good look.

5. Timing

Picking the right time to move can be difficult, and will depend on many factors. Avoiding any busy or crunch times is a must, but other factors may come into play. For example, depending on where your business is conducted, coordinating with overseas holidays may create unexpected issues. There may be high demand for your product internationally at a time where it seems feasible to relocate within Australia.

This is probably the hardest factor to consider, as it really is never a good time to move for a business, but there are times that are better than others. However, plan far enough in advance and you should be able to avoid as many of these issues as possible.

6. Update your details

If your business is incorporated, you need to make sure you notify ASIC within 28 days of your move. This can be done easily online using your company’s corporate key. If you don’t inform ASIC of this within the prescribed period, you will have to pay a late fee.

You’ll also need to coordinate with the postal service and the government. You don’t want mail showing up at the wrong office. Fortunately, updating your information on the Australian Business Register (ABR) will do this for you automatically, but it’s still best to contact the postal service to confirm the changes.

7. Use moving as an opportunity to make other changes

A positive of moving is that it gives you an opportunity to make certain changes that were previously unfeasible. For example, upgrading certain equipment or discarding outdated furnishings. Just because the business is relocating, it doesn’t mean everything in it has to. This is especially the case if the business is expanding to a branch or even downsizing. Taking everything with you may create more hassle than is necessary.

If you don’t plan on taking everything with you, contact a removalist unit for any unwanted furniture. While a council cleanup or a trip to the tip may seem like the easiest solution, look to donate or recycle as much of the equipment as possible. While charities like the Salvation Army only accept furniture and not office electronics (like computers etc.) businesses like Business Recycle do. Just make sure any sensitive information is cleared from any electronics first.

Conclusion

Relocating your business is no small task. It involves significant planning and countless decisions, but by breaking it down as much as possible you stand the best chance of avoiding any unnecessary delays.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

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