For any small or medium-sized business, relocating your business and technology to new premises is both an exciting and challenging time. There will be a huge number of things to think about in order to ensure you can get up and running quickly at your new location. So here’s a few essential things to keep in mind if you want to ensure minimal disruption for your business and your customers.
Things to consider before leasing or purchasing business space.
Here are two really important questions to ask:
- Can my clients get there without a hassle?
- Can my employees get there easily?
If you find an office that ticks these two boxes, then you’re well on your way to finding a good location. Think about the security of the neighborhood as well and what’s close to the office. Is there a gym nearby? Coffee shop? After work bar? All of these things are important for keeping your clients and staff happy!
Here are a few important questions to ask when considering how much to spend on your next office space:
- Can I afford to pay a three month rent deposit on this office right now?
- Have I asked about any hidden costs? (Maintenance, extra cost of parking, etc.)
- Is this office priced in line with similar office spaces in the area?
Obviously both of the factors mentioned previously—location and price—will influence the size of the commercial premises you choose, but it’s an important point to mention.
As a very general rule, it’s normally recommended to have 70 square feet per person. However, you know your business best. If your employees need bigger desks or more storage for example, then up this figure appropriately.
Here are a couple of simple questions that’ll help you work out if the offices you’re looking at are the right size:
- Will I have at least 70 square feet of floor space per person?
- Do I have room to grow staffing levels in line with growth projections?
- Do I have a dedicated space for meetings with clients?
- Are my employees going to be happy with their social/recreation areas?
There’s no doubt that a cramped office reduces productivity, so don’t skimp on floor space.
When considering relocating your business and technology all space are not equal. Having a Managed Services Provider (MSP) do a site visit of your top choices can save you thousands and validate your decision.
- Schedule a site visit with your property manager and bring your Managed Service Provider along.
- Is there existing network infrastructure in place? Is it sufficient or what will need to be added.
- What Carriers provide services to the building? Is there Fiber?
- Can the existing dmark and server rooms be used? What will need to be added?
These are just a few of the many types of question an ATCOM Managed Service Provider can help guide you through to figure out the true cost of ownership with each space.
You have the perfect space now what?
1. Plan your IT relocation well in advance. In the months leading up to relocating your business and technology, you’ll want to ensure the following tasks occur:
–Schedule a site visit with your MSP at the new office location to review network cabling requirements.
–At least 2 months before the move: Contact all carriers, ISPs (internet service providers), and technology vendors and inform them of your move date.
2. Evaluate your equipment. If your network infrastructure is aging, the office move is a good time to update your equipment. Here are a few steps you should follow while reviewing your equipment:
–Inventory all equipment to determine whether it still meets your needs and will be suitable in the new location.
–List any equipment that needs upgrading or replacing and order any necessary equipment.
–Return any leased IT and phone equipment that is no longer needed.
–Properly dispose of old or broken equipment.
–Evaluate server room requirements.
3. Prepare your site visit checklist. Once you’ve assessed your communications requirements, you’ll know what to keep track of during your site visit. You should plan on having your Managed Service Provider (MSP) join you so you can verify that everything works and decide if/where you’d like to add more drops. During the site visit, make sure to cover these steps:
–Review configuration plan of new office with your MSP.
–Ensure the ideal locations for workstations, power jacks, and network cabling points are found.
–Decide prime location(s) for printers, scanners, routers, etc.
–Confirm whether the minimum requirements for the server room will be met (electrical, cooling, dimensions, and security).
5. Consider your telecommunication options.
–Review line capacity to determine whether you need to order new phone lines.
–Set up call forwarding if you’re changing your phone number.
–Establish and order the type of internet access required for the new location.
–Consider what kind of communication system is best for the new office (VoIP, PBX, Cloud, Premise) Look for a provider that offers all of these choices and can help walk you through them.
6. Protect your data. When relocating your business and technology it is critical to be prepared for worst case scenarios at all times. Just think what would happen to your data if something went wrong during the move (like the moving truck is involved in an accident and your equipment is damaged). Your MSP should complete the following tasks to protect your data during your move:
–Make several backup copies of all company data systems including firewalls and servers, store copies where they will not be affected by the move.
–Ensure full recovery is possible so that, if something does go wrong, you’ll still be able to access all your company’s important data.
7. Prepare for Move Day. Transporting your office’s technology equipment is not as easy as you may think. It requires special handling, expertise, and transit protection. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended you allow Managed Service Provider to complete the actual moving portion for you. If you’re planning on using the same moving company for every aspect of the office move, make sure they’re able to move electronic equipment appropriately. In preparing for Move Day, make sure you’ve done the following:
–Transport copies of your data backup to the new location separate from the main system and each other.
–Compose a contact list of everyone involved in the move.
–Make sure that disconnection of equipment is correctly done at the old office and instruct staff on how to shut down all equipment properly before leaving on the final day before the move.
8. Test your new office’s network. Your MSP should be with your on Day One in order to help staff with any questions or network connectivity issues. After all stages of the move are completed, you’ll want to do a walk through with your MSP and check the following:
–Verify all cabling, equipment, and phones are in the right place.
–Check all individual telephone numbers and their locations.
–Test to see whether the call forwarding from the old number is working and being forwarded to the correct phone.
–Test all features of the phone system.
–Start all servers and test network capability and data migration.
–Check incoming and outgoing emails.
–Check website, intranet, and extranet.
–Test each network connection.