October 21, 2019
Few events are more exciting or nerve-wracking in the life of a growing company than the “Big Move.” While it’s definitely a fantastic sign about the present and future of the business, the actual boots-on-the-ground reality of getting everyone and everything into the new office space is enough to send even the most experienced office manager and business owner into a minor panic.
The details of such a move seem endless:
As a leader in Austin real estate, you know how busy our market is. Growing businesses - both homegrown entities and global behemoths - are moving into new digs all across town. You’ve probably even helped many of them secure a new office location, which means you know the importance of preliminary planning.
But there’s a big difference behind having some plans and creating The Plan. To really help your client prepare for such a big event, you must encourage them to first create a comprehensive plan with long-term vision and then designate someone internally who oversees the execution of it.
No matter the scope or size of your company, even the most mundane office relocation is packed with many moving parts. What’s important for nearly any move is creating new digs your client loves, from a fresh office layout to stylish office furniture and classy amenities. This includes:
Hungry startups who want more than used or big-box items
On-the-grow companies moving into their first real space who want to enhance their culture, brand, and reputation with new furnishings
Established firms who want to be a big target for talent in their market, which means they want new features and high-level ergonomics to keep ahead of the game
The aesthetics of an office showcases a company’s personality, purpose, and pride to both employees and clients. So, when it comes down to moving your clients into their new home as seamlessly as possible, their plan should rely upon our 4 D’s: Discover, Design, Define, and Deliver.
This part should begin a year out from the date the lease expires. That’s right - a full year.
The more time your client can put into planning and executing on that plan, the better. And by “discover,” we mean first unearthing what the business wants in a new space before it starts looking at potential locations.
The discovery phase goes well beyond mere budgetary considerations. This is the place where your clients will work and where they’ll interact with their clients. It needs to be a near-perfect locale that serves as the literal and figurative launching pad for the next phase of the business’s life. Don’t settle for “it fits our budget.”
Once your client finds the perfect spot for their new office, it’s time to plan how the space will be used. You should help your client build relationships and partnerships with like-minded companies. These businesses will happily consult with your client, actively listen to what they want, and create an office that meets and exceeds their wish list. The goal should always be to develop a space that maximizes the available square footage, visually appeals to employees and clients, and functions as a productive office environment.
This is the area where it helps to keep your client focused on the task at hand. Taking care of the nitty-gritty details like construction, interior designers, supplies, products, and finishes can become both overwhelming and time-consuming. The point of having a strong long-term plan to execute against is that it helps everyone adhere to the necessary timelines. Hence, defining the space comes down to preparing the space for the business and how they’ll use it.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Both you and your client can’t really do much here - especially when it comes to actually assembling the space. Everyone has to hope the contractors work in a timely fashion that adheres to the timelines set up in The Plan.
Experienced professionals - be they construction, materials, design, or furnishings providers - want to deliver on their promises since their reputations are literally at stake. Hence, they will clearly communicate with your client about what’s happening. They know the future of your business and theirs depends on finishing the project so that the final elements of the office relocation - getting the space ready for actual people to do actual work - can begin.
Finding and moving into a new office location should be a fundamental part of any business’s growth plans. Just like with their bottom line, your client’s office relocation will only be successful if they’re engaged in holistic long-term planning. In both instances, they must first understand where they’ve been and where they are now if they truly want to achieve their 3-to-5-year goals.
Because where you work is just as important as how you work.
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