Relocating a business involves several steps that can cause significant downtime. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce downtime when relocating your business. Most companies undergoing a relocation will notice an inevitable downtick in productivity, so your goal should be to minimize these productivity blockers—rather than eradicate them altogether.
While these dips in revenue can send a shiver down the spine of any business owner, facing the facts and accepting that relocating is a time-consuming and costly project should be step one. Breathe easy knowing that with a solid plan and experienced partners, companies can reduce downtime and continue their cash flow, even with minimal staff.
1. Choose auto transportation companies that specialize in high-volume auto shipping
Moving a business is complicated, especially if you have to cross state lines. Not surprisingly, working with an inexperienced moving company can slow your relocation. While you might save money on the moving company, but you will lose more money in the long run as you wait for vehicles and equipment to arrive.
Instead, to reduce downtime when relocating your business, it is wise to hire an expert in high-volume, safe automotive shipping, like guardianautotransport.com. To put your mind at ease during your out-of-state relocation, partner with an auto transport provider that offers convenient, scalable transportation and promises to meet deadlines at an affordable price. By enlisting experts in high-volume auto shipping, these vehicles will arrive at their final destination in record time, reducing downtime.
2. Develop a plan and stick to it
When relocating, your business needs a strategic plan with a thoughtful and manageable timeline. To reduce downtime when relocating, share your plan with your employees and other stakeholders so that everyone knows their role and expectations.
Many businesses relocate during expected slow periods, like holidays or seasonal downtimes. You might also consider upping your remote workers’ expectations while the employees in the brick-and-mortar office work on the move.
Before the expected move, contact the movers to confirm that their timeline matches yours. Then, get packing and preparing for the actual event. Your employees and customers will appreciate having the timeline posted in an accessible place, which encourages everyone to stick to it.
To smooth the move, arrange stages. Moving an office in one day can be incredibly disruptive, as unexpected issues often arise. When you move in steps, you can keep the phones running so orders continue to process and customers stay satisfied. For optimal success, consider moving one department at a time so that the business continues to remain active. Otherwise, prepare for a mob of dissatisfied customers on the other line.
When drafting a relocation plan with downtime in mind, include contingencies that will set you up for success, even when dodging a tennis ball launcher of relocation curveballs. You might have problems with the weather, or your utility installation might be slow. Traffic could slow the moving company, or you might have other unexpected issues that delay your reopening. With these worst-case scenarios in mind, expect the unexpected.
3. Plan the new layout
Before you move into the new building, reduce your downtime by planning the layout. Knowing where each department goes helps get the businesses up and running.
To be even more efficient, assign a home for every desk, chair, and computer. You can help your business by measuring space and marking out the locations with painter’s tape.
You can also reduce downtime by organizing your IT space before unleashing the swarm of desk chairs, printers, and cubicles. Because businesses rely on technology, having your IT department up and running should be priority number one. When you set up the IT room, hire specialists to help you prepare the room and set it up.
4. Develop a communications plan
To reduce your business’s downtime, work with your employees and customers to develop a communications plan. After all, your customers will want to know how to contact sales representatives, much like your employees will want to know when they can get back to business as usual. With a commitment to open and honest communication, your MVPs can expect to receive payment during downtime.
Share your communications plan with all of your employees, suppliers, and important customers. Your business office will need to know the chain of command for paying invoices and suppliers. The moving companies will also need to know who to contact if any problems arise. Unknowns create chaos and slow the process, so keep everyone in the loop.
Your communications plan should include email addresses, temporary physical addresses, and phone numbers. Employees also should know how to access accounts without putting their vital information in the hands of hackers. You can iron out wrinkles in the process by creating flow charts and allowing employees to participate in relaying the plan company-wide.
5. Set up a temporary system
If your business relocation process takes longer than expected, you can always set up a temporary system. You might consider opening a temporary office between your new office and closing one. With remote work gaining traction industry-wide, you could give your office staff the hardware and other tools to work remotely from home.
Businesses with warehouse needs can use temporary space to house their supplies and products. Many communities are flush with available commercial space, and while temporary space might be costly, it is better to pay a lease than not do business at all.
By thoughtfully choosing a space, business owners can thrive in the interim. Business owners might consider investing in virtual mailbox services for a temporary physical address while relocating. In many cases, offices only need a small group of people to staff a temporary office, as many workers might be productive at home.
Move your business with experience and planning
Moving your business isn’t a simple process, especially if you don’t want to shut down completely. Downtime costs money, as employees focus on relocating rather than doing business.
To reduce downtime while relocating, work with experienced movers and develop a strict plan with a realistic timeline. Some companies benefit from having a temporary office, while others can get by with remote work. Choose what works best for your organization and get busy moving to your new location.