Although movement is not encouraged during COVID-19, sometimes you cannot avoid it. If your small business is experiencing dwindling sales and you can no longer afford the rent, you have to move. Use the following tips for safe office relocation.
Choose an Accessible Location
Before you relocate, there are three things you must consider before selecting a location: accessibility, security, and price. Don’t move into a more expensive building because it won’t make economic sense. During this COVID period, businesses are shifting to new offices because they want to lower their costs. Choose a secure place for your employees. Your workers will feel more comfortable coming back to work if the new office is safe.
Your new office must be accessible to your current customers. Don’t move into a neighborhood where people have no idea what your business does because it may take a while to convince those individuals to buy from you.
Disinfect the Office
According to reports, COVID-19 can stay on surfaces for hours. Therefore, before you begin the packing process, disinfect the office. Hire professionals to do that for you because they’re thorough. They will disinfect the walls, doorknobs, window knobs, office furniture, and other surfaces that you’re so used to touching. After the process is complete, you’ll stay away from the office for a few days to avoid inhaling disinfectant fumes.
Wear Protective Gear
For small businesses, you can do most of the packing yourself because space isn’t that big. On the first day of packing, wear protective gear such as gloves and masks to avoid contaminating the furniture and equipment. If there are employees that are going to help, make sure you provide them with safety gear.
Read the Lease Terms
Before you move into a commercial space, there’s a contract you sign to show you’ve agreed to lease terms. Go through the lease agreement before you move. What does it say about moving before the lease period ends? Seek legal advice from your lawyer. Find a way to get out of the contract without being sued.
Plan and Budget
Moving is costly. As you may have already noticed, you have to pay your lawyer to go through the lease agreement and advise you accordingly. Add up all costs and develop a budget. Set aside at least five percent for emergencies. The budget should guide your decisions. For example, hire a mover that falls within your price range.
Also, create a schedule for the move. When are you going to inform your current landlord about your decision? When are you going to pay for the new office space? When are you going to find and hire movers? When are you going to start packing? Who will help you pack? How long do you expect the move to last?
Identify Safety Protocols offered by Moving Companies
Contaminated surfaces are the biggest spreaders of COVID-19. That’s why the WHO recommends washing hands and the use of sanitizers as a way to control the spread of the virus. Since you don’t know who has been to your new office location, the surfaces have to be sanitized. Before hiring a moving company, ask them about their safety protocols over the phone. How do the employees handle themselves? Will they be in protective gear? Do the employees have sanitizers? How often do they clean and decontaminate their auto transport trucks? Are there complimentary safety services for the client? When you’re satisfied with a company’s safety protocols, hire them.
Notify your Suppliers
A few months before the move, notify your suppliers. Let them know you will be changing your shipping address. When you inform them early, you avoid delivery inconveniences. It also gives you time to negotiate a new shipping fee. Notifying vendors also gives you ample time to look for new ones in case you fail to agree on a price. Also, take note of local suppliers. You can find cheaper options near your new office address.
Update the Letterhead, Website, and Social Media Pages
Update your business letterhead, website, and social media profiles to include your new address. Most people forget about this part because they’re so focused on the moving process. It should be the first thing you do before you start packing.
To conclude, relocating your small business should start with you choosing an accessible location. Then, hiring a moving company that’s serious about safety. Plan and budget for the move so that you don’t waste resources. Sanitize the office and wear protective gear when packing. Finally, notify vendors and update your address on public platforms.