Office Move Checklist: How to Move Offices Without Losing Business

Are circumstances pushing you to move your office but you fear the disruption this may cause your business? You may be in the enviable position of having outgrown your current space. Perhaps you need to move operations closer to your clientele or suppliers. Whatever the reason, many business owners fight against an office move as it may cause employee downtime and lost business. Poorly executed office moves can also result in lost or damaged equipment and business assets. But with proper planning, a complete office move can be flawless and painless. Read on for our office move checklist that will help you move offices without losing business. 

Six Months Before Your Move

A stress-free office move requires a lot of prior planning. If possible, start preparing at least six months in advance for your move.

The first thing to review is your budget. Without a budget to guide your team, your office move could end up being costly due to avoidable costs and fees. 

The next item to review is your current lease. How much notice do you have to give without getting penalized? What about penalties for property damage or repainting? All these will affect your moving budget. 

During this time, you should also be looking for suitable office locations to move to. Put together a moving committee that could help you make decisions on which office to move to and other planning aspects. A well-coordinated moving team can take the headache out of an office move. 

You should also start comparing different office moving services. Get quotes from at least three reputable office moving companies and compare the cost as well as the flexibility of the services. If you have items that need specialized equipment to be moved, make sure the moving companies have the capacity to do so.

Remember to get moving coverage if you have valuable equipment or you rely on certain machinery to operate your business. This way, you will get compensation if items get damaged during your move. 

Three Months Before Your Move

By this time, you should have chosen your new office space. Give notice at your current office and sign the lease agreement for the new space. Notify both landlords of the planned moving dates.

If you are moving to or from a building that has other businesses, the property manager may have to give you permission for certain things. For instance, the movers may need special access passes to go in and out of the building. 

You can also book your moving date with your selected movers about three months ahead. If you have equipment that needs to be specially disassembled, they can come up with the plans in a good amount of time. Place orders now for new office furniture or equipment to have them ready for the move. 

Create a moving plan or checklist and assign tasks to specific members of your moving committee. The checklist could include items such as the connection of internet and power services, compiling a moving list, etc. Don’t forget to update employees on moving dates.

Two Months Before Your Move

Two months before you move you and your contractor should create floor plans for your new office. This will show the location of furniture as well as heavy machinery and equipment.

The floor plan will help ensure that all employees have a working station and there are enough power points. The floor plan will also help movers to place items in the right place from the beginning and you won’t have to move big items later. 

This is also the best time to stop services or utilities at your current location while signing up for them at your new offices. You can also make a list of items you will need to collect from employees such as building access cards or tokens. 

One Month Before Your Move

D-day is approaching and you and your team should now be staying on top of the move. Tag and list your assets and take photos of any high-value items. Give employees boxes so they can start packing their items.

At this stage, you should also change the address on the following:

  • on your website
  • business stationery
  • social media accounts
  • Google listings
  • with your bank, suppliers, and clients

Your IT team should start backing up your company files and planning for the moving of your server and other sensitive IT equipment. 

Two Weeks Before Your Move

Two weeks before your move you should finish every moving detail with your moving company. Agree on a detailed itinerary of the move including what items get moved first and when. If you have ratty equipment or furniture, this is the time to get rid of them. Some moving companies could even offer you disposal services. 

At this stage you should also order your new office keys, access codes and parking passes for all employees that need them. Also, ensure that all essential services and utilities are connected. Your IT team should follow up on internet connections and start setting up the server and other required IT setups. 

One Week Before Your Move

Do a final inspection of your new space at least a week before you move in. Make sure that everything is ready, i.e. the space is clean, utilities are connected, etc.

Confirm the moving date with your employees and ensure that they pack their personal belongings in time. Inform employees that should be present during the move of their responsibilities.

Moving Day 

On moving day you should ensure that all the utilities are working at your new offices as well as the old one. During the move, make sure that the movers set up office furniture and equipment according to the established floor plan. 

Do a walkthrough of your vacated offices to document any damage and check if anything was forgotten. Test that IT systems are all functioning and that everyone is settling in well to their new space. Ask employees to help with unpacking and making a comfortable environment out of your new offices.

Planning an Office Move Using an Office Move Checklist

Office moving usually ends up being more stressful and challenging than business owners expect. Proper planning using our office move checklist can reduce employee downtime, lost business, and stress levels.

If you need quality moving services for your business move, contact us today.

What Are the Licensing Requirements for Moving Services in Chicago?

So you’re finally making the big Chicago move, and you’re looking around for moving services. You find one that fits your budget and seems friendly enough. You’re good to go, right?

Not quite.

If you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered on all angles, you should be in the market for licensed and insured moving companies. After all, this is a piece of your world that you’re putting in someone else’s hands. Trusting professional movers at face value is nice, but seeing the credentials that back them up can feel even nicer.

How will you know for sure whether a moving company is legitimate? Here are the top things to pay attention to when you need to find a mover you can trust:

Insurance Options on the Company’s Website

Illinois state law requires a coverage minimum on all moves. This means a moving services website with no mention of insurance should be a red flag. If an uninsured moving company damages your items and can’t pay you back, you may find yourself wishing you had asked about insurance early on.

You should know that federal law requires basic liability coverage for moving services. If a moving company tries to deny this or make this information difficult to access, take that as a warning to stay as far away as you can. Moving companies are notoriously hard to sue, and a scammer might use this to their advantage when damage occurs.

The legal coverage minimum is still quite small, though, so a trustworthy moving service will give you a few options. This way, you can be as covered as you need to be.

For example, a great option for wider coverage would be a full-value protection plan (FVP). A plan like this provides repair costs, replacement costs, or a cash settlement when damage occurs.

Then there are cases where you can use your own insurance. For example, your homeowner’s insurance might be able to cover the move. The moving company should have no problem working with you on this.

If the service you’re communicating with refuses 3rd-party insurance or makes the process difficult, that’s a clear sign to take your business elsewhere.

State Licenses for Moving Services

There are state licenses and federal licenses a moving company might have. If you’re planning a move that doesn’t cross any state borders, what you need to check is whether the company has a state license.

A federal license, on the other hand, is only necessary when you need to move from one state to another. For example, if a Chicago mover is licensed for the state (like us!), you wouldn’t be able to hire them for an interstate move. You could, however, hire them to carry your things anywhere within Illinois.

Illinois state law mandates that “anyone offering to perform moving and storage services for hire must be licensed in the state of Illinois.” So if a moving company in Chicago promises a price that seems too good to be true, make sure to check whether they have a license. If not, something fishy might be going on.

A good rule to keep in mind is that the moving company should be more interested in moving licenses than you are. There’s no reason why a reputable moving service would hide their licensed status. It shouldn’t take you too long to find something on their website saying that they’re licensed in the state of Illinois.

If you can’t find any mention of a license, try to find the company on this official list of Illinois household goods movers—you can find us on page 3!

Getting an Estimate

A legitimate, licensed moving service should make the estimate process smooth and straightforward. An estimate is not binding, so it isn’t a guarantee of how much your move will cost, but it should give you a general idea of what to expect.

According to the Illinois Commerce Commission, any licensed professional moving service should give you a “free, written estimate of the probable cost of your move.” If a moving service tries to get away with only mentioning an estimate on the phone or in person, that’s not the company for you. Likewise, if they don’t offer an estimate at all, something’s clearly wrong. While estimates aren’t binding, they should be available to refer back to during and after your move.

Here’s why estimates are important to keep handy (and why a scam company might try to avoid giving you a written estimate): They act as a point of reference. The moving service should have a policy of what to do when the estimate differs from the actual charges.

Here at Moovers Chicago, a too-high estimate means you’ll only pay the actual charges, while a too-low estimate means the goods must be released when you pay the estimated cost plus 10%. This way, the customer is protected from being stuck with charges much higher than the estimated cost. If a company never gives you a written estimate, it will be difficult to defend yourself against astronomical pricing later.

Another reason licensed moving services are required to provide estimates is that this lets you be an informed customer. With an estimate, you can easily compare prices between different companies. If a company is serious about the quality of their services and believes they charge a fair price for the work they offer, they will happily provide you with a free, written estimate.

Final word

The good news is, if you’ve gotten this far, you already know that you’re savvy about protecting your belongings. After all, you’re putting in the work to do research on the company that will be in charge of your big move.

Moving isn’t easy, and the last thing you need is a choice between legal proceedings and a huge blow to your bank account to replace your lost items. When everything else can be so hectic, you deserve to work with moving services that put your mind at ease.

So check out our credentials, ask us for an estimate, and let’s get moving!