Moving is one of those things that everyone warns you about and corporate relocation takes the headache to a whole new level. Moving may seem simple enough, especially if you hire movers, but there are actually quite a few things to keep in mind if you want things to run smoothly. It’s a good strategy to use other people’s pitfalls to make sure you’re asking the right questions and making the right choices.
You see where this is going. I own a marketing company, and we made quite a few mistakes during our corporate relocation this summer. Read about 10 of them here so you can avoid them when you move yourself.
1. Not reading a moving company’s reviews.
When preparing to move, many people will search online for local moving companies, take a look at the website, talk with someone on the phone and set up a moving date. Unfortunately, this won’t let you know whether or not a moving company is actually reputable. Scams are incredibly prevalent in the moving industry, so reading online reviews is an absolute must. Remember that Yelp isn’t just for restaurants, and Google reviews are something to be taken seriously.
2. Not hiring a moving company.
On the flip side too many people take a “wing-it” approach, figuring they can “probably” move themselves. If you have your employees move their own things and then ask for volunteers to help move the rest, the thinking goes, how hard can it really be? While moving may not seem so difficult before you attempt to pick up your desk and move it down the stairs, maneuvering furniture is incredibly tricky and potentially dangerous. The very last thing you want is anyone to get hurt on your watch.
If you need your office moved smoothly by a certain date, consider opting for a moving service that specializes in corporate relocation—Allied Van Lines features custom tailored packages for “lump sum” corporate moving, while North American Moving Services and similar movers feature full-service packages that cater specifically to corporate moves.
3. Putting too many heavy things in one box.
This is an obvious one, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s a common mistake. While it may seem like a good strategy to pack all of your books and papers into one box to keep them organized, this can end badly for obvious reasons (namely, the box will get incredibly heavy incredibly quickly, and could lead to injuries).
4. Moving every single item you own.
There’s nothing worse than moving into your new office space with lots of things that you don’t want or need. Use the move as an opportunity to clean out your office and maybe even make some extra cash by selling larger items on sites such as Craigslist. If the satisfaction of purging your extra junk isn’t enough, consider the fact that it will likely be cheaper to move fewer things because you can hire a smaller truck.
5. Not insuring your valuables.
Insuring all of your valuables in case they break or get lost during the relocation process is important if you want a smooth move. You can get insurance through your moving company (highly recommended) or even insure your things on your own if you’re not going to hire a moving company. Pay special attention to the type of insurance you’re getting -- most moving companies offer between three to six different types of coverage, from full service (everything to moving company loads, moves or stores is covered) to truck rental (coverage only extends to the transit period of the move). If you’re hiring a moving company, there is often a lot of fine print, so don’t be afraid to ask questions to ensure you’re getting the insurance that’s right for you.
It’s also worth noting that some of your smaller valuables, such as a printers and laptops, are things that you can move yourself without the help of a moving company. Chances are these valuables will not break, but they can be easily lost or stolen.
6. Moving during rush hour or bad weather.
Think about timing beforehand. Moving companies often charge based on the amount of time it takes to make the move, and this rate can sometimes double or even triple during rush hour.
As far as the weather goes, it’s true that it isn’t entirely in your control. If it’s going to rain, it’s going to rain. Pay attention to the weather forecast and plan ahead, though: take out umbrellas and start putting down tarps in advance if looks like it will rain on your moving day.
Whenever possible, minimize weather risks. The easiest way to do this is to move in the summer months as opposed to the winter ones.
7. Moving too close to your move-out date.
When you’re moving, it’s a good idea to be prepared for something to go wrong. With that in mind, make sure you have plenty of time between when you’re moving out and when the new people are moving into your office space. The last thing you want is to be in a rush or not have everything moved before the new tenants arrive with their stuff. If that happens, you could get charged for not being out by the time you said you would be gone.
8. Not getting price estimates before making a decision.
Always shop around before committing to a moving company. Looking at reviews is crucial, but chances are you’ll find multiple companies with good reviews. Asking for a price quote can sometimes get you a better deal then if you were to simply book online, so make the call. It could save you a substantial amount of money.
9. Forgetting to “move” your website.
This is a bit unconventional, but it’s something I wish I’d known before I moved. We decided to move first and deal with everything later because things were so hectic, but the sooner you change your online presence to represent your new offline location the better. Local SEO success requires that your business maintains a consistent presence across the web, which means having multiple listed addresses and phone numbers will hurt you on search. Make these changes before you move so that when you get to your new location, you’re ready to go. You can learn more about how to make this happen here.
10. If you move on your own: not spending the extra money on moving tools.
If you do ultimately decide to order a truck but not hire movers, you’ll have the opportunity to rent moving blankets, a moving dolly and more moving tools. If you’re taking the “wing-it” mentality towards moving, you may think that you don’t need this equipment, but that can be a huge mistake. Again without proper planning, moving can cause serious injury not to mention major headaches. So pay for the tools in order to be safe. It’s worth the money in the end.
In the end, when it comes to corporate relocation you have to expect that something will go wrong. Nothing is perfect -- you just want to make sure that your valuables are insured and moved as quickly and efficiently as possible so you can move on to other things.
Do you have any moving traps or pitfalls that you wish you’d known before your corporate relocation move? Any personal moving stories? Let us know in the comment section below.