As a small business owner, you obviously know how to manage a lot of details. Even so, nothing will make you feel like a novice faster than trying to move your business from one location to another. If it makes you feel better, you’re not alone. Most small businesses simply do not have the budget to afford a full time logistics coordinator. Other entrepreneurs have stood where you are standing now and, like you, they thought that moving a company couldn’t be that much harder than moving a residence.
In this article we’re going to try to prevent you from making that same mistake:
Unlike moving a residence, there are a number of regulations involved in relocating a business. Navigating your town’s zoning codes alone can give you a migraine… and that’s just for your average consulting firm. It gets infinitely more complicated if your company is centered in fields like biotech, manufacturing, or research.
In biotech, for example, you are dealing with chemicals, germs, and biohazard material that no untrained hands should ever come near. According to Pacific BioMaterial Management, Inc., a complete cold-chain solution includes:
- Expert cold-chain logistics focused on regulatory compliant management of your biotech material
- Total compliance through continuous monitoring
- Complete control of your material inventory
- Reduced cost through optimized utilization strategies
You don’t even have to be in biotech to require a regulation compliant specialist. If your company deals in any type of hazardous material at all, you are going to have to contract with movers qualified to not just relocate it, but who can also take on the regulatory liability. So if you, say, make printers or, heck–even if you use those little silica packets in your shipping materials, you’re going to want to hire someone to help you make sure that you aren’t accidentally committing an environmental felony.
By now you know that the network and cloud you set up for your small business is vastly different than the one you set up at home for your personal machines. Guess what: remember how you had to build those server stations when you started your company? Now you have to move them and moving your network is far more complicated than moving your personal CPU.
Server and network cables are longer and more fragile than the USBs and firewires you use for your personal machines. You can’t simply wind them up and use a velcro strip to keep them in place until you’re ready to unwind them and reconnect them. For that matter, a lot of your server hardware won’t have the handy outer casing that your CPU’s hard drive has (via the CPU case itself). You can’t simply lock the server cabinet door and haul the whole shebang onto a UHaul truck. Each piece needs to be taken apart and protected separately…and then carefully rebuilt in the new location.
Once you arrive at your new digs, those components are not just going to reassemble themselves. You have to be sure that the people you hire for the job have the technical know-how to reassemble everything in such a way that you can get right back to work without losing a week of productivity.
Office Furniture: Some Assembly Required.
Moving cubicles is a much different experience than moving simple desks. Sure, your employees can pack up their drawer contents and move that stuff themselves (though, really, they should only be responsible for moving their personal items themselves) but the cubicle itself is a much different story. Those modular desks and worktables are going to have to be taken apart and carefully packed into the moving vehicle. Each component will need to be labelled carefully and the loading and unloading of your cube farm will have to be carefully choreographed or you risk winding up with a lot of desktops but only half the walls you had in your old space.
Seriously: moving your company from one space to another is much different than expanding your company from where it started in your basement to the space it occupies now. Do not try to manage all of the details yourself. Trust us when we tell you that moving a business is best left up to the professionals.