Moving to a New Office
Whatever your reason for moving to a new office location, these tips can help you move more efficiently and minimize disruption to your business.
Once you have located new office space and have signed the lease agreement, it's time to pack up and get moving. But before moving day arrives, consider:
- Computer Prep
- Insurance Adjustments
- Notifying Clients
- Notifying Prospects
- Additional Information
Disclaimer: The following narrative is provided simply to point out some of the issues and concerns attached to any of the Life Events, and it is not intended to be dispositive of all of the issues or concerns possibly confronting individuals dealing with such Life Events. Any individuals wanting or needing additional information should contact the appropriate professional, whether an attorney, a financial planner, a retirement planner, etc., to receive such information and guidance.
- If you can lighten your load, both packing and unpacking will be easier. Take some time to purge files, folders, and outdated materials that has accumulated over the years. Of course client files and business records need to be kept. But do you need those old brochures from six years ago? The piles of old magazines that have been around since day one? The memo for the Christmas party three years ago? Set aside a few minutes each day to search your file cabinets and trash, trash, trash.
- If you have some equipment or computers that you no longer use and don't anticipate using, donate them.
- Check with your moving company before packing. You may be able to move many of your file and storage cabinets without emptying the contents. Be sure to secure any loose pieces or files that can scatter during the move.
- Carefully label all boxes. You may not be able to unpack files for a few days after you move, but you may need a critical file right away. Labeled boxes with contents and dates will make your search easier.
- Be sure to back up all critical files from your hard drive before moving your computers. You may want to move these to a secure location in advance of moving day so that they do not get damaged or misplaced.
- Check your computer and printer manuals for any tips on how to move without damage.
- Label wires and plugs before disconnecting to make the job of reconnecting much easier.
- If you don't have a computer tech on staff, you may need to contract a consultant to assist in disconnection at your current site and reconnection at your new location, especially if you use a computer network system. Modems and email connections may need reprogramming.
- If utilities are not included in your current or new office rental agreement, you'll need to make your own arrangements for disconnection and reconnection. Do not turn off any services until moving day. You don't want to move in the dark or not have phone service available for emergencies.
- Be sure to file a change of address form with your post office. And notify your new post office of your new address and move in dates.
- If you use a postage meter, you'll need the post office to reprogram your machine for your new location and zip code.
- Be sure to notify magazine and newspaper subscriptions of your address change.
- Before the moving van arrives, be sure that both your current and new office locations are open and available for moving activities. Nothing is more frustrating and costly than an office building that's locked for the weekend. Or a freight elevator that's down until Monday. Check with landlords, maintenance staff and security at both locations to confirm moving dates and logistics. Also be sure to make sure that any technical support, phone service, and other moving personnel have access to their work sites.
- A change in office location may necessitate a need for changing your insurance coverage as well.
- Your auto insurance may need to be adjusted for your new location and any change in commuting miles. You might also take this opportunity to shop around for auto coverage. Your new location may qualify you for lower rates. The AICPA Insurance Programs offers auto insurance to members at very affordable rates.
- If you are in public accounting, your move could also require adjustments in your professional liability insurance as well. Your new location could change your rates. If you are not insured through the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program, now would be a good time to get a quote and compare. And, of course, changes in professional staffing could require an adjustment to your professional liability insurance, as well.
- If you have employees, or are increasing your staff, you should also review the benefits of the AICPA-endorsed CPA EmployerGard program. It protects you as an employer and business owner.
- You might also want to consider disability insurance, if you don't already carry this important protection. Disability Insurance through the AICPA Insurance Programs offers you important protection in the event of a disability that prevents you from working, and can help provide a source of income during your recovery period.
- The AICPA Insurance Programs offer a wide range of affordable coverage for all your professional, business, and personal insurance needs.
- As soon as you have established your new address and phone number, you should send a brief letter or postcard to your current client list, or consider a broadband email announcement. This gives you an opportunity to announce your move and highlight services you provide that some clients may not be aware of.
- Consider a brief announcement ad in the local newspaper of your new community. You might also send a press release to the business editor announcing your new location. If picked up, this provides free advertising for you.
- If you have a web site, be sure to update your new location and phone information.
- The AICPA Affinity Programs provide Members with discounts on equipment and services.
- Moving your business location is not only time consuming but can also shut down your practice for several days. With a little advance planning, you can minimize disruption and return to business quickly. Try to schedule your move at a typically slow period so that you do not impact the business expectations of your clients and push your staff and yourself to high anxiety levels.
This narrative is provided simply to point out some of the issues and concerns attached to any of the Life Events, and it is not intended to be dispositive of all of the issues or concerns possibly confronting individuals dealing with such Life Events. Any individuals wanting or needing additional information should contact the appropriate professional, whether an attorney, a financial planner, a retirement planner, etc., to receive such information and guidance.