Moving your business to a new location opens up many opportunities, from extra space to publicity. It also creates a windstorm of details, hassles and uncertainties. Planning every aspect of the move is essential, and we have a few important tips to help you.

Select the Planners Carefully
Planning a business move is a massive undertaking for one person to coordinate. Some medium- and large-sized companies prefer to activate a team to plan out the move. That’s helpful if there are many departments to coordinate or multiple sites. Businesses can also contract with a business relocation management company to handle the details. This allows your employees to stay on track with their usual duties while the move is strategized. Reputable moving and storage companies are happy to work with your chosen relocation planner.

Donate Extra Equipment
Most companies that have been around for a decade or more have superfluous equipment in store rooms. Old phones, shelving units, outdated computer monitors and cables often languish in company storage. Don’t waste everyone’s time and energy with packing, moving and unpacking these items. Just donate them and move on.

Prepare Your Breakroom and Kitchen
Even if you’re using a professional local mover, take a few minutes to walk through your breakroom. The night before the move, ask all employees to remove their food from the company refrigerator. If portable cabinets are in the space, make sure their shelves are empty of food. Be sure to empty all trash cans in the room so trash isn’t packed up with everything else.

Dealing With Your Hazardous Substances
Most moving companies cannot handle hazardous materials. Fire extinguishers are included in the hazardous materials category. You likely already know where most of your hazardous materials are located in the business. Do a walk-through to make sure you have all materials accounted for. Dispose of containers properly if they’re empty. If your business’ hazardous materials need special handling, coordinate that separately. If you can transport your company’s hazardous materials yourself, do so carefully. Be sure to keep the Safety Data Sheets with the materials. Make sure employees know where the Safety Data Sheets are kept in the new space.

Moving Employee Workspaces
It’s often easiest to have employees partially pack up their own workspaces. If they will be packing up their computers themselves, have them wrap the monitors carefully. Give employees plastic baggies to hold computer cords, and ask them to label the baggies. Instruct employees to empty their workspace trash cans and recycle bins.

Be Careful with Printers and Copiers
Most copiers need to be moved by their leasing business machine companies. Check with your vendor to discuss special moving instructions, and review your contract. Printers, scanners and FAX machines need special handling too. Consult user’s manuals for instructions on moving the equipment so you don’t void warranties.

Make Special Arrangements for Valuables
You may prefer to move valued artwork, antique equipment or prized collections yourself. Ask your mover how you should wrap and pack it so you can keep it safe in transit. If your items are specifically insured, check with your insurer about any handling requirements. Be sure to follow those requirements so you can protect your investment.

Take Care of Your Data
Keeping your company’s data safe during a move is critical. If your business is big enough to have IT staff, talk to them about securing data before the move. Your IT specialists should already have back-up systems in place for storing data. They may also recommend other back-up initiatives to further safeguard your information. If you don’t have an IT staff, make sure everything is backed up and consider using the Cloud. The Cloud gives you an extra layer of assurance that you can access your data after the move.