5 Questions you must ask before hiring an office mover
Posted on Feb 8, 2019
Over the years, many business analysts have indicated that over half of businesses fail within their first year of business. But as companies today have more access to information and case studies on the successes and failures of other businesses, and companies are gaining increasing efficiency with the use of various technologies, this number is starting to drop. In fact, Investopedia has reported statistics from the Small Business Association (SBA) that only 30% of small businesses fail during the first two years of business, 50% during the first five years, and 66% during the first ten.
If your company is growing and you have outlived, or are motivated and will do what it takes to be on the other side of those statistics, then you have indeed beaten the odds. And that is to be congratulated. And perhaps, as part of that growth, your business has found that it has outgrown its current space. This is a good predicament to find yourself in, and while an office move can be exciting and horrible all at the same time, one of the upsides is improved morale amongst your employees.
Certainly, an office move can be distracting to the business, especially if not handled properly. But, when partnering with the right corporate moving organization, the move can be handled easily and professionally, allowing critical workers to focus on keeping the business moving forward. So, how do business leaders ensure that their office move will be a success and not disrupt operations?
Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Office Mover
If you have decided that the time has come, and the resources are there, to make an office move, make sure you or your assistant don’t just call the first number that comes up in your Google search. While even moving companies are in the marketing business and leverage search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to be found by prospective clients, you still need to do your homework to pick the right mover for your unique business.
- Remember the entire reason you need to move – your business is growing. This means that you need to be able to maintain business operations and continuity throughout the move. If your business needs to shut down completely in order to make the move, this can have catastrophic consequences on your revenue. So, be sure to ask a potential mover about how they take into account the unique needs of your business. How will they pack, ship, and later set up the routers and information technology (IT) systems that keep your business operating behind the scenes?
- If your new space will only be partially available at the time of the move, or if you are conducting a phased move, you may have office furniture or other items that will not be able to move into the new office immediately. Ask your potential mover about what temporary storage options they have, and how those items are secured. Ask about climate control, moisture levels, and security, as well as how long the items can be stored, and the process to have access to those items if needed, along with how the second move to the actual end destination will be managed. It is also wise to ask about fire protection and inventory management of items that they might be storing on your behalf.
- In many cases, a mover will not move certain items for you. So, be sure to understand what items your mover will be responsible to move, and what they will not. In some cases, this is actually managed by the state, and so it is important to be clear on any items that your mover will not move due to a regulation or local ordinance. And, there may be items that you don’t want your movers to manage, such as important documents or items that would normally be stored in a vault. However, should you wish to move these items on your own, it is important to understand what insurance coverage you have that can protect these items in the event of an accident or another unfortunate occurrence. In many cases, businesses find that this is a good time to invest in an online filing system that will enable them to scan important documents and save them in a safe and secure system for the unforeseeable future. Digital storage and cloud technologies are becoming more and more prevalent for businesses, and are also great for our environment as they lessen the need for paper.
- For any move, you will need to ensure your items are moved safely and are not subject to damage. So, be sure to ask about packaging materials and processes, as well as internal packing materials such as bubble wrap, Styrofoam packaging, etc. Most movers actually bill based on the number of furniture items, cube sections, and boxes, that they move, along with some factoring of the square footage you are moving out of or into. In these cases, it may be determined that each employee will receive a certain number of boxes to move things from their desks or offices, and they will be provided with tape, labels, as well as instructions on how to pack, and where to leave their packed boxes. An office move is also a great opportunity to downsize and simplify. While this might seem counter-intuitive if you are moving to a larger office space, consider this an opportunity to encourage employees to recycle documents that are no longer needed and to reconsider how many items they need or want in their new setting. If you believe employees will have sensitive documents that they will no longer need, invest in secure paper shredders so that passers-by can’t pull out sensitive documents that were tossed into a bin.
- Now that you understand how a mover will go about the process and you shared your business requirements and any nuances that will need to be considered, it is time to inquire about pricing and timing. It is always recommended to go through requirements before getting to the pricing, as there are a variety of variables that can impact a price. Ensure your mover has full transparency as to your expectations and needs so that they can provide an accurate cost assessment and estimate.
Offices Moves are Exciting and Stressful
Without a doubt, the idea of picking up your business operations and moving across town, or even across the street, while exciting, can be very stressful for business leaders. Just as a home move is stressful, a business move can be equally stressful, if not more so, even when there are plans in place for an end-to-end move. But, with proper education and homework conducted to select the right mover for you, stress levels can be eased, allowing everyone to do what they do best.
Just as you are a professional in your business, and are great at what you do, professional movers are experienced and knowledgeable in their business. In most cases, they will have long histories of experience in moving other companies. However, if you see any of the following signs, consider it a red flag and move on to the next corporate mover on your research list.
- Did the sales representative for the corporate moving company arrive on time?
- Were they appropriately addressed and professional in appearance?
- Did they do most of the talking or did they allow you to share all of your concerns and fully outline all of your needs?
- Was the representative rushed or in a hurry? A corporate move does not come at a small expense, so ensure that your representative gives you the time that you need.
- Was the representative able to answer all of your questions, or did they respond that they would need to “get back to you” on several? Understandably, there may be unique situations for your business that the sales representative is unable to answer. Further, it is always better to receive an “I’ll get back to you,” then have a representative overpromise, and then the company is set up to underdeliver. However, if your representative could not provide positive and informative responses to the majority of your questions, this is an indicator that they are not experienced in the corporate moving business. While they will not be the individual who will conduct the move, they are a representative of the business.
- Did they ask to review your inventory list, or did they talk to you about the process to create an inventory list? (If they did not, this is a red flag)
- What referrals can they offer? Ask for two or three, and be sure to follow-through and make the calls. If they can’t provide a referral, it’s time to end the meeting.
After you have conducted interviews of potential corporate movers (it is suggested to interview at least three), narrow your list down to two. Develop a list of questions for the mover that have not yet been addressed, and place a call to the mover’s customer service line. If you leave a message or place a call after hours, make note of the time you called, and the time it takes for you to receive a response (accounting for their business hours). If you don’t get a call back promptly or when their office hours resume, consider this as part of your final decision-making criteria.
The goal of the right corporate moving partner will be to take the stress of the move off your back. An experienced business mover will be able to do this effectively and will ensure that your expectations are met, if not exceeded. Celebrate your move, and let your mover take care of the heavy lifting. Pun intended.
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