Leader of the Pack – Tips For Moving Your Small Business
by Jay Harris No one would ever dispute the fact that moving is a giant pain. But when you're moving your small business, it's imperative to make sure that the move does as little as possible to disrupt your daily activities and inconvenience your clients. When you move a business, you aren't just moving physical boxes and desk chairs--it's an opportunity to breathe new life into what you do and reach out to your network. Taking care of both the physical and nonphysical aspects of transporting your business safely will ensure a less hectic, more productive experience.
Non-Physical MoveTelephone Number, Email. Think about how your clients reach you. If you have a small business, particularly if it's a home business, they probably telephone and email you a great deal. You may think that your email address will stay the same, but depending on where you are moving, it may change along with your service providers. Of course, it goes without saying that it's best to keep everything as similar as possible. But if you must change these points of contact, make certain that you have the correct information before you give the new information out to clients, especially in any official documents such as a marketing postcard. Also, the telephone should be the absolute last thing you move from the old, empty office. You want clients to be able to reach you for the maximum amount of time. If you have a mobile phone, you may want to share the number with trusted clients. Backing Up the Computer Files. We're all guilty (or most of us are) of forgetting to back up our files as often as we should. Don't let this happen during the time you move your business. Transporting your computers can be a tricky endeavor and you'll want to ensure that everything on your computer will stay safe and accessible in the new location. Jump drives are your friend during the move; don't trust your computer (particularly if it's old) to retain everything you need. Sharing News on Websites or Postcards. You can tell your clients on your website, if you have one, about the move. A lot of companies also opt to send out special fliers or postcards with the new information, but of course make sure that your information is correct before you spend money on printing items for your clients.
Physical MoveNotify Your Staff Ahead of Time. Let your staff know when moving day is, and tell them to dress appropriately. Telling the staff ahead of time is a good way to spread the word that your business will be relocating and to create a positive buzz. Make a Comprehensive Checklist. You've probably thought about jotting down a few things on a sheet of paper but your moving checklist should be as comprehensive as possible. Include information such as supplies needed, reminders to update various contact information and movers' telephone numbers. Number and Label Your Boxes. This is important whether you are hiring a company to do your moving or moving yourself. You'll want to carefully label your boxes so that items don't get moved into the wrong place. Transporting Computer Cables, Monitors and Keyboards. Precious cargo like computer equipment should be handled with special care. Unplug your computer cables, wrap them carefully so they don't tangle and put them into labeled freezer bags. When it comes to keyboards and computer monitors, these should be carefully wrapped in blankets or something to keep them from experiencing impact during the move. Do not put them into boxes. Other Electronic Equipment. Printers, fax machines and the like are also sensitive to moving. Make sure you tape down any covers, lids or moving parts to these machines as well as remove the printer ink cartridges. If your devices are still under warranty, you may want to refer to the handbook for proper moving instructions. Truck Insurance. Whether you, a member of your staff, or a professional mover are driving the truck, you'll want to check into insurance options. If you hire professional movers and a truck, you could be liable if the truck gets into an accident and the company is not properly insured. Likewise, if your equipment gets damaged in the moving process, you want it to be covered. Driving a Truck. Before you take off in a moving truck, get accustomed to the way the controls, mirrors and other "bells and whistles" work. Remember that trucks often have different road guidelines than a car; you'll want to pay special attention to truck signs, weight stations (if applicable) and other considerations. Try not to make sharp turns or back up into tight spaces if you are new to operating a truck. The safety of your office equipment is important, but the safety of you and your employees is what really matters during a move. Be appreciative and gracious to your staff for helping out and take their needs into consideration. A team that works together well in business should be able to move that business when the time comes, provided they think ahead. Jay Harris is a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago area, and writes online tips and how-tos on equipment rentals, including steam cleaner rental tips and truck rental tips.
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