Once it becomes evident that your current location no longer supports your business operations and you’ve made the difficult decision to search for new space, the journey is just beginning. There is no way to overstate the enormity of this task, and your team will be asked to perform many extra duties. If you take a few deliberate steps at the outset and tackle your due diligence in the early days, you’ll be rewarded with a much smoother move and a team that’s involved and engaged in the process.
Poll your employees. Regardless of what kind of business you run, the people who spend every day working in the office, warehouse, or storefront have ideas about whether the space supports or hinders their work. Ask if they’re in close proximity to coworkers they collaborate with on a regular basis; whether there’s a space to go for uninterrupted deep work; and if the existing technology supports their work.
Do some mapping. Plot every employee’s home zip code on a map to determine where your operations would ideally be located. You might be surprised to find, for example, that a significant portion of your workforce lives west of Portland. Maybe there’s a great deal on real estate in Westbrook that you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.
Engage a space planner. One of the most instructive things you can do is ask a space planner to arrange tours of recently completed spaces. There are creative solutions out there, and seeing them in person will help you envision the best solution for your business.
Dig into the books. Look at your expenses, including travel and costs for hotel rooms for visiting out-of-town employees and guests. How can a new location minimize these costs? You could take a page from Tilson Technology’s playbook. They built short-term living quarters into their new office space at 16 Middle Street.
Get your IT people involved early. Great technology can solve a lot of problems. Automated conference room scheduling, video conferencing, and the ability to work remotely can add value to your real estate.
Finally, click here for our Relocation Guide. It will help you plan your move and minimize last minute scrambling when the big day comes.