by: Mike Gerrity
Feeling cramped? Outgrowing your existing office space?
Finding a new space for your business is the first step toward getting your business set up in a new location. Once you have found a space, there are a few key tasks to address early on, including; internet and phone options, insurance requirements and where to find a reliable mover. Below are five tips, in order of urgency, to help you plan your office move to ensure a smooth transition without disruption to your business.
Before exploring internet service providers, determine your internet connection needs. If internet service is an essential part of your business and internet downtime is not acceptable, then you should consider a dedicated circuit, like a T-1. If you don’t need service guarantees, you may want to consider a cheaper solution such as DSL.
Many small businesses are considering Voice over IP (VOIP) solutions versus buying a traditional office phone system. VoIP is a phone solution that allows you to make calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a regular phone line. Generally VoIP solutions can minimize up front costs and offer small companies access to a full range of business phone features. However, call quality may not be as reliable as a basic phone line. To minimize call quality issues consider sourcing VoIP and internet service from a single provider, such as Speakeasy.
As you begin discussing a lease, ask your landlord early about the types of required insurance coverage. The lease will often specify the amount of General Liability coverage needed. The lease may also require you to name the landlord on the policy. In addition, a landlord may ask to see a certificate of Workmen’s Compensation insurance, which is required by law. Once you know the requirements of your lease, contact insurance providers for a quote. We recommend NetQuote.
Your business floor plan will help you determine where your furniture will go and how your office will function. A good floor plan will lead to efficiencies in space utilization as well as office communication. Before contacting a furniture vendor, such as Steelcase, make a quick list of your furniture needs. Take an inventory of any existing furniture you want to incorporate in the new space.
Ask your new landlord if they have a set of formal guidelines for moves as well as list of approved moving companies. A common requirement will be a general liability insurance policy naming the landlord as a beneficiary; landlord approved movers will already have this. Make sure to ask what times of the day moving is permitted and the procedures for booking elevators. Don’t forget to shop around, ask a few moving companies to come to your current office and provide a free estimate.