Getting a new office is exciting! Many time it represents new growth and opportunity for your company.
However, the moving can be a problem. Moving a personal home is hard enough. But when you have business equipment, private files, and other concerns, it adds to the difficulty.
Hiring a quality mover can be a huge help. You just have to know how to find the right one. Here are 9 tips that will help you make the decision!
Do you know other business owners who have recently opened a new office? Talk to them about who they used.
You can also ask friends and family for ideas based on what movers they used. However, movers of personal goods may not move office equipment, so make sure to ask! If they do, the pricing is likely to be different.
Get Multiple Estimates
It's vital to not put off getting a quality mover until the last minute. You won't have time to get multiple estimates and compare options.
Being able to compare helps ensure you aren't backed into a corner or stuck with a dud moving company. You need a reliable mover who has great rates. So shop around!
Watch Out for Bad Apples
As you look for good moving companies, watch out for the bad apples. Every industry has them, and moving is no exception.
You'll want to know the signs of a bad moving company. Is their price vastly different than others? Have they not been in the area long? Is the time estimate way off other companies' bids? Do they want a huge deposit?
Don't get stuck with an unpleasant experience. It pays to do the homework.
Check References For a Quality Mover
You want to make sure that the company has a good reputation in the area. You can ask the company for references and also look for online reviews.
Don't let one or two bad reviews turn you off - those can happen. However, if the consensus is bad, you will want to move on.
Get In-Office Estimates
No quality mover can give an accurate estimate sight unseen. You need to have multiple in-office estimates in order to have the right numbers.
Be sure you show the estimator everything you need moved. Ask questions to understand whether you will be packing or if they will.
Don't just show the mover your old location. If possible, show them the new building as well. Even if you can't go in person, be sure to let them know about stairs, elevators, narrow doors, and anything else that might affect the move.
Check the Paperwork
Wouldn't it be great if we could take people at their word? Unfortunately, you can't. So it pays to do some checking.
By the time the estimator leaves, be sure you have the following information:
- The company's name and any other names it does business under
- Full address, phone, email, and website addresses for the company
- USDOT and MC (motor carrier) license numbers
- An estimate in writing (never take someone's word for it!)
Once you have that information, look up anything you can find online. This includes making sure the USDOT number is valid by searching it on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association website. The information that comes up should match the company information you've collected during the estimate.
You can also check the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company has a good reputation with customers.
Consider Storage Options
It's possible that you will need to move out of your old office before you can move into your new one. Whether the gap is short or long, you'll need to look at storage prices and see what's available.
You'll also need to check with the mover and see if they'll be available to move your items from storage into the new office. Make sure you have a clear, written estimate for both legs of the moving process.
If you can't secure one company for both legs of your trip, you may want to consider a different reliable mover.
Double Check Fees and Extra Costs
Even a reliable mover may cause you sticker shock on moving day if you aren't aware of moving fees and extra costs. Service fees can dramatically increase the amount you pay for your move.
You may face fees for packing, unpacking, pickups at a storage facility, or even disassembling furniture. You may have specialty fees if you need a specific skilled mover to take care of certain equipment. If you're moving large computer servers, there may be an additional fee for that as well.
If the mover has to get a different truck to access your old or new office, there will be a fee for that. Using an elevator or moving up and down stairs may be an extra cost. If the mover stores your items until your new office is available, that will cost extra too.
Ask lots of questions so you don't get surprised!
Carefully Check Your Property After the Move
You'll receive a bill of lading from the mover. Check it over carefully to make sure nothing was missed.
You also should open boxes and make sure everything is in good order as soon as possible. You generally have a few months to file a claim with the mover if something was broken. Don't put it off!
You don't want to find broken property a year after the fact and be left with no recourse. Get those boxes open and equipment installed so you can make sure everything is working well.
Keep Your Business Growing!
When you have a growing business, hiring a quality mover is only one of your concerns.