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How to Efficiently Relocate Your Nonprofit Business

For a non-profit organization, every relocation needs to be made as simple as possible, whether you need more space, or to downsize for any given reason. If you plan ahead, you can avoid expensive issues and keep your partners well-informed. When it comes to moving a business, the procedure involves much more than packing and unpacking. You need to make sure your phone and internet services are uninterrupted, as well as that your contributors are aware of your new address. Let’s get the essential steps right.

1

Choose a property

Whatever the reason is for your move, your new premises still need to be easily reached by your employees, volunteers, and constituents. Considering the size, the rule of a thumb is 70 square feet per person, however, the specifics of your business and individual needs of your employees might be different. Amenities that most modern businesses today can’t go without are the meeting space, specialized media room for video recordings and projections, and a huddle space for informal gatherings. You should also consider the volunteers to employed ratio. If you’re moving into an existing space, make sure it supports cabling and modern technology.

2

Design the layout

Unless you plan the right configuration for your new office, any remodels and rearrangements down the line might come costly to both your organization’s budget and performance. Although there are always lesser issues down the road, your primary concern should be the technology. Make sure your Wi-Fi access points cover the whole space, as do the cable outlets. A server room needs an adequate HVAC system to keep it cool and operational. If you’re doing a so-called “smooth move”, the new location is already outfitted with cables and power options, so you only need to talk to service providers. On the other hand, if you’ve settled on a “bare bones” location, you will need to modify the premises in order to support the services.

3

Develop the budget

The moving budget should be a primary concern of the organization’s executive director and the project manager. The main expenses usually include the transport, service installations, new furniture and equipment and printing new stationery, with the construction being an additional cost. Within the budget, the costs are usually defined as “hard” which include materials and labour, and “soft” costs, such as various fees and expenses that often fly under the radar. While it’s hard to be prepared for expenses which are unforeseeable, by using your connections and trusted vendors, as well as keeping at least 10% contingency, you can avoid a lot of stress and prevent unexpected glitches.

4

Manage the move

By handling the move in-house, you remain in total control of the moving process. Not only do you get to choose the truck and the moving supplies, but also to instruct your employees how to handle the boxes and bulky items. What is more important, you have the flexibility to decide when to begin the move and when to end it. For instance, you can save money in more than one way by choosing Budget truck hire company, as now they offer hourly rates for their trucks and vans, so you don’t need to hire for a whole day. During the move, the truck will probably make more than one trip, so you need someone on both the sending and receiving end in order to maximize the useful time.

5

Dispose of unwanted items

Just as with home moves, a business relocation is a perfect opportunity to get rid of unnecessary or outdated furniture pieces and equipment. Although existing furniture can be repaired, refurbished, refinished or reupholstered at a fraction of the price of new, sometimes the best option is to let go. The project manager needs to determine how to dispose of anything that is not moved, since landlords usually require that the space is left “broom clean”. Storing leftover furniture is costly, as is hiring labourers to take it away. Sometimes, you can sell the unwanted furniture and equipment to the next tenant moving in, or donate it through another non-profit organization.

6

Make notifications

At least a month before the move, you should notify your post office, local telephone service, building managers, insurance company, suppliers, funders, clients, banks and government regulatory agencies. You’ll need to order new letterheads, invoices and business cards with your new address, however make sure your local telephone company warrants for your new telephone and fax numbers before you print any materials or make announcements.

Further information

Whether your non-profit organization is large or small, it’s essential to keep the office move in a DIY backyard. More than you may think, the joint management and employee effort might be a perfect team building project, while the new premises might just be the spark your organization needs to innovate the way it operates.

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Page last edited Dec 10, 2018 History

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