Making Your Move

Timing Is Everything

Summer is by far the busiest time of year to move. If you're planning a summer move, book your mover early so your business and employees can get settled in plenty of time. Mumma advises entrepreneurs to plan their relocation during vacation shutdowns or around company downtimes. And don't plan to move during your busiest sales period.

When a business owner is busy running the "home office," it's a lifesaver to have a local contact to work out details at the company's future location, as Economaki discovered. Her temporary move manager, hired well before moving day, was a local resident who helped recruit new employees, find housing for relocating staff, and identify outsourcing assistance in the event of a glitch in plans. "Hiring someone in Charlotte was one of the smartest things I did," Economaki reflects, "because, of course, something always crops up."

Economaki had several backup plans in place before her newspaper moved. The contingency plan that saved the day for Speed Sport News was an outsourcing arrangement with a local printing company in the event of a foul-up in the moving process. When the newspaper's darkroom equipment was damaged during shipping, the company used the local lab to print veloxes and develop negatives for three weeks.

Yet all the contingency planning in the world can't save you from the fickle forces of Mother Nature, especially in Southern California, where it never rains--it pours. Man, it pours, says Lorrie Valerio, who oversaw ARB's relocation during a torrential downpour in January. "The rain started the moment the movers got there, and it didn't let up," Valerio recalls. "It rained all day and all night."

The fact that the company survived the downpour, made the move and was open for business on Monday morning is attributable to extensive planning done in concert with the mover, Alexander's Moving and Storage, Valerio says. "The movers were so well-organized; they saved the day."

During the deluge, the movers spread tarps over their trucks, and two truckloads of equipment made the 50-mile trip to the company's new digs. The rest of the company's boxes and materials were moved into hallways to facilitate rapid loading and departure the next morning, a Saturday that was, fortunately, clear and sunny.

Unfortunately for ARB, however, Mother Nature intervened again. Severe ice storms that hit the Pacific Northwest knocked out the phone lines of the company's server in Oregon, so it was two days before the company could get its computer network running.

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This article was originally published in the April 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Making Your Move.

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