Tips to keep small businesses up and running during a move

(BPT) - Small businesses relocate for many reasons. Business may be booming and you need a bigger facility to keep up. Perhaps you added staff and everyone’s tired of being elbow-to-elbow in your current office. Whatever the reason for your small business move, some simple steps can make the process as easy and cost-effective as possible.

“Just as individuals and families tend to move more when the weather warms, spring and summer are great times for a small business to move,” says Anita Campbell, founder, CEO and publisher of Small Business Trends. “In fact, May is National Moving Month! However, small businesses may worry about moving costs and challenges getting in the way of their day-to-day operations, but moving doesn’t have to mean putting your business on hold.”

Campbell offers some advice for small businesses about to relocate:

* Create a plan to help minimize the inevitable disruption of moving. "Meet with key team members and make lists – lots of lists," Campbell says. "Outline what has to be organized, coordinated and physically moved. Consider everything." Your plan should include a timeline and schedule for your move. Detail every aspect and when it should happen, and make sure everyone on the team is aware of the timeline.

* If you’re a one- or two-person show, you may be able to accomplish your move on your own, doing all your own packing and renting a moving truck. However, for multi-person offices, it may be best to leave moving to the pros. When getting quotes, be sure to have the moving company come to your site and review your operation to ensure the quote is as accurate as possible. Shop multiple companies that specialize in moving small businesses, read their online reviews and be sure to check their insurance coverage.

* Even if you’re having your business professionally moved, some items you’ll want to transport on your own. Campbell recommends stocking up on moving necessities like packing tape, boxes, paper and bubble roll at Staples. Remember different items will require different sizes and styles of boxes. For example, fragile or heavy items will require reinforced boxes, while bankers boxes are ideal for file folders.

* Plan where everything will go in your new location before you get there. Don’t wait until your operation is on-site; begin organizing right away.

* Stay productive by scheduling your move during off hours or days. Put critical documents and data on a cloud service so you can access it while computers are in transit. Let everyone know when and where you’ll be moving by using Staples Print and Marketing services to print and send out announcement cards to clients and customers prior to the move.

* "Moving is an opportunity to declutter, saving time and money because the less you have to move the lower the costs of moving," Campbell says. "Moving also is an opportunity to innovate or upgrade. You might decide to replace old, uncomfortable office chairs. It may turn out to be cheaper to buy new desks and have them delivered than to move the old ones that have seen better days."

* Once you’re set up in your new location, let everyone know where you’ve landed. Update your online profiles, including your company’s Facebook page, your personal LinkedIn account, your company blog and website, and all your social media accounts. Use Staples’ Print and Marketing Services to update all your marketing materials like letterhead, brochures, signage and change of address cards.

“Moving doesn’t have to interrupt your small business operations,” Campbell says. “With some planning and help from resources like Staples, you can make your small business move easy and smooth.”

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