Planning a large-scale office move is a big task and there’s a lot to consider. From moving fixtures and fittings to expensive technology and sensitive documents, ensuring your commercial office clearance goes smoothly is imperative. With the correct planning and systems in place, you can make your big business relocation go as smoothly as possible. So, how can you make your commercial relocation have the least impact on your business? In this ultimate guide to large-scale commercial removals and storage, we’ll show you a step-by-step process for business relocation so you can move safely and securely, with minimal disruption.
How to Move A Large-Scale Business
Large relocation projects require thorough execution. There are several stages of office relocation and we’ll discuss each one with action steps you can easily implement. These stages include:
- Building a moving team
- What to do on the day before the move
- Moving day
- Storage facilities
Planning Your Move
The most important part of any business relocation project is planning. With the right planning, your move will be a seamless process. Without it, your large-scale move is likely to be unorganised, chaotic and more detrimental to your business. There are two parts to the planning process – preparing the overall movement of fixtures and fittings and establishing a moving team. First, let’s look at the steps involved in planning the relocation of physical items. This should commence around 6 months before your business relocation.
Create a detailed list of your business move
Business removals are a complex process, especially when it’s a large-scale operation. Your first point of action is to create a detailed list of all tasks which need to be completed. You can use this guide to help you in noting down what you need to consider. Alongside each task, you should note the timeframe and deadline for each one. Don’t worry about being too precise. These timeframes are likely to alter along the way, particularly if things don’t go to plan. However, establishing deadlines means tasks will get taken care of promptly.
Create a business relocation budget
A budget for your business relocation is a must. A budget for each task, such as packaging materials, moving services and van hire will prevent you from spending too much money during the move. Naturally, this budget may require assistance from investors, owners and your finance department.
Establish a precise moving date
If you haven’t already committed to a moving date, now is the time to set it in stone. This is important for the next steps of your move, especially if you’re considering hiring commercial removals services. Professional removals services can get booked up quickly and for a large-scale project, you’ll likely require several vans and moving services assistants. Booking this in advance gives you plenty of time to prepare your staff and clients for the relocation.
Are you going to hire commercial removals services?
Hiring a professional removal service means you won’t need to utilise as many employees to help during your move. Alternatively, you may prefer to go it alone. Either way, you’re going to require vans to transport your business equipment, furniture, technology and documents. This is the time to contemplate your options and make a final decision.
Start gathering packing materials
You can start gathering packing materials a few months before your relocation. Make a list of all the materials you require. If you begin planning at this point, it gives you plenty of time to acquire more materials should you need them.
Some things you’ll need include:
- Bubble wrap
- Packing paper
- Strong crates
- Cardboard boxes
- Packing peanuts
- Corrugated cardboard
- Blankets or towels to protect breakables or highly valuable items
- Stickers for labels
- Plastic tubs
- Fragile packing tape
- Regular packing tape
Give notice of your lease
If you’re renting your commercial property, now is the time to give notice of your lease. Many commercial properties will likely require at least 6 months’ notice. At this stage, you may need to finalise your new location. Getting these details in order will ensure your move goes without a hitch.
Build a moving team
A large scale relocation requires a moving team. This is where you’ll appoint certain employees to be part of your moving team for relocation.
Appoint a project manager
The first step is to appoint a project manager to be the relocation coordinator. This person needs to have exceptional communication skills, great organisational skills and be able to lead a team effectively. This may be the overall manager or someone in a supervisory role.
Appoint team members
The next step is to appoint individual team members who can work under the project manager. You may wish to see if any employees have previous business relocations experience as they’ll understand what is required in a commercial relocations project. If not, determine which employees are available on your moving date. These team members will be required to complete individual tasks, such as maintaining security, installation of technology, communicating with staff and clients, creating floor plans, ensuring health and safety and creating an inventory of furniture and equipment.
Delegate tasks to team members
Begin to delegate individual tasks to team members. Utilise the best of their skills for each action. For example, your IT staff will understand how to install all computer equipment and technology into your new location, while those trained in health and safety will be aware of the correct protocols for moving heavy equipment, ensuring there are no trip hazards or accidents when packing up sharp objects.
Six weeks before the move
This is an important time period for your relocation. This is when all employees need to be aware of the details for your new location. You can also start to create floor plans for your new premises.
Send communication to employees and clients
At this point, it’s a good idea to send communication out to all your employees, confirming the official moving date and details for your new location. You may need to sort out new ID cards and access cards. For clients, you can post an announcement on your website or social media, send them an email, letter or text, or put a press release in your local newspaper.
Give employees a tour of your new location
Your employees need to know the set-up of your new location. While they don’t necessarily need to view floor plans, you can give them an idea of how your business will be laid out in your new location, such as where the car park is, staff entrance, workstations, meeting rooms, etc.
Create a floor plan
A detailed floor plan will help your moving team set up your business belongings at your new location. This means organising a seating plan, where each department will be stationed, where electrical equipment will be set up, catering facilities, cleaning etc. Every single member of your staff should be accounted for in your floor plans.
Sort out utilities and other suppliers
Your utilities can be the source of a major headache if you don’t organise them in advance. You’ll need to inform your utility supplier of your move, as well as organising insurance, internet access, phone lines and any other suppliers. Additionally, you must inform Companies House of your new address, alongside Royal Mail, banking providers, accountants, investors, board members, solicitors and credit consultants.
Sort out security in your new location
Ensuring your new location is secure is imperative. You need to protect your business assets as well as your employees. For this, you may need to install security cameras, gates and internal access systems.
Ensure wiring is complete
Is the wiring in your new building complete? Do you need to install any new wiring for IT purposes and communication? Make sure that everything is in place so that your team can easily set up computers and other technology.
Make any repairs
Does your new building require any repairs? Additionally, it’s a good time to make repairs to your present location. Do a thorough check of both properties. Make sure the heating and air conditioning units are working correctly at optimal temperature in every room.
Two weeks before
Two weeks before your big move and your tasks should be beginning to speed up. There are still many actions to complete before you relocate, including cleaning, IT preparation and preparing to pack.
Back up your digital documents
IT equipment and digital documents are essential for any business, especially given that we are living in a digital age. The first thing you can do is to back up all your digital documents, servers, and individual accounts.
Take photographs of how your computers are set up and all wires to make it easy to implement them into your new office location. Depending on your floor plans, you may wish to take photographs of workstations, equipment or filing cabinets. It’s also advisable to take photos of any large pieces of furniture which need to be disassembled and reassembled after moving.
Now is the ideal time for a deep clean of your new premises. A deep clean involves effectively disinfecting and sanitising all hard surfaces, flooring, windows, doors, handles, toilets, canteen equipment and steam cleaning fitted carpets. This action will ensure the property is ready for when you move in. You can then do a quick clean a few days before you settle in at the premises.
We’re at the stage where careful packing is essential. Your most fragile items need to be packaged thoroughly to prevent any breakages, scratches or dents. First, you’ll need to make an extensive list of your physical business assets.
Take an inventory
Lost items can be a nightmare for business owners so it’s important to make an extensive inventory of everything that is going to be moved to your new location. Note down fixtures, fittings, computer equipment, stationery, files, furniture, appliances, cutlery, photo frames etc.
While you’re taking an inventory, start to declutter each room. Also, ask each staff member to declutter their workspaces. Throw away any old junk, litter, out of date perishables, or anything which isn’t needed. Consider donating anything which you don’t need at your new premises. For example, if you’ve purchased new computers, contemplate donating your old ones to charity. You can also start to make notes on things which you need to put into storage, such as old files which are currently not required.
Start packing the small stuff
If you’ve got a lot to move, you may be wondering where to start? The good news is that we’ve got you covered. Start by packing up small items which are not currently in use. Photo frames, paper archives, IT or valuable equipment not in use can be packed away first. Use plenty of bubble wrap when packing. Breakables can be packed in sturdy boxes with packing peanuts placed in empty spaces. Make sure you label everything.
Colour code your labels to indicate which department the goods are from and where they are going to be placed in your new premises. This is one of the most effective methods for organising your move. An alternative suggestion is to use numbers for each department.
Use plastic crates for documents
If you’re moving documents, place them in plastic storage crates or wrap them in plastic sheeting to protect them from water damage.
Pack each workstation separately
Ask each employee to pack their workstation separately. Keep everything together apart from IT equipment. Label the contents of each workstation with the corresponding employee name. You can ask employees to move their own belongings to your new premises, or you can move them with all of your other items.
Pack IT equipment separately
Your IT staff understand how to disconnect cables, shut down equipment correctly and handle each component. Place each device (along with its cables) in a separate crate. This will prevent cables from going missing. Put keyboards, mice, headsets and other components in each crate with their associated computer.
The day before
It’s almost the big day but there are still a few tasks to complete.
Pack any large or bulky pieces
Pack all bulky pieces of furniture, unassembling them first, if required. Place protective bubble wrap or sheets over any wall or fixed edges that potentially could become damaged during the moving process. This will also protect your furniture too.
Pack your kitchen facilities
Are you moving a refrigerator or freezer? Ensure your freezer is defrosted and unplugged before wiping it over. If you’re moving a dishwasher, it may be best to get a plumber or experienced member of staff to unplug it to prevent flooding. Pack any plates, dishes and cutlery, as well as any kitchen appliances and coffee makers. Throw away any old perishables and place any refrigerated foods or beverages into a cool box. This can then be transported by a member of staff.
Pack any plants
Office greenery is the same as house greenery. Plants need water and the correct packing to avoid being disturbed. Ask your employees to transport plants as they’re susceptible to damage if being transported with your other business items. Pack large plants in tissue paper or sheets to prevent branches from breaking. Smaller plants can be placed in large boxes to protect them.
The big day has arrived. With the correct planning process in place, your transition should go ahead seamlessly.
Move large objects first
Safety is a concern when moving large objects so ensure you have a member of staff trained in health and safety to supervise your move.
Try to place smaller objects with matching colour or number codes
If you’ve used one of our handy colour or number coding systems for moving, try to place smaller objects in the same vehicle as associated colour or number codes. This means it’s much easier to unpack your items as you can place them in the same area.
Organise a clean-up once you’ve finished transporting your items. Assess each area extensively to double-check that you’ve not missed any items. Whether you’re cleaning your old premises using your own staff or hiring a professional cleaning company, a thorough deep clean of the property will keep your landlord happy and leave your company with a good reputation.
Unpacking can seem exhaustive but with your moving team on hand, you can get this stage complete efficiently.
Install all IT and electrical equipment
Test all routers, printers, computers and telephones as you go along. Remember to use your floor plans and photographs when unpacking each department. Also, test your security equipment to check that everything is working effectively.
Set up all staff accounts
Set up all staff accounts, make sure all new passes have been distributed to members of staff and collect any keys or passes from your previous location.
Unpack individual workstations
Unpack individual workstations, stationery, files, documents, kitchen and leisure areas, interior decorations, plants, photos, clocks and any other miscellaneous items.
Complete a detailed walkthrough
Complete a detailed walkthrough of the building, taking notes on any troubleshooting issues, missing items or unresolved problems.
Remind clients and suppliers of your move
Send emails to all clients and suppliers, reminding them of your move.
Your storage options may not be at the front of your mind during a big move but it’s an important part of business relocation, regardless of whether you’re expanding or downsizing.
Do you have excess items which need storing?
Commercial storage services are an excellent choice if you have excess items which have no current use. Whether you have confidential documents or furniture pieces that no longer have a purpose, you can store your items safely and securely in a commercial storage unit.
Use our processes for your big business relocation
Use our step-by-step processes for your large-scale office move. With these straightforward planning and moving strategies, your office move can go without a hitch. Just remember to communicate clearly with your employees, as well as informing your clients of your new business location.
We Offer A Complete Removals & Storage Service for Any Size Business
Get complete peace of mind for your business relocation by hiring a professional removal company. At Removals & Storage Experts, we’re a team of highly experienced commercial movers able to provide a seamless and stress-free move for your company. Get a free quote for your commercial removal or storage requirements.