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Moving Your Office? Plan, Budget, Then Implement

One of the most exciting times for a business is when you outgrow your current office and move to a bigger, nicer space. Along with the excitement, the workflow can be disrupted. I know for certain that your move will end up being more involved than you originally think. Because of this, you must plan well. Get input from all departments on how the move will affect their areas. Go to great strides to address these concerns. Remember, not everyone will be equally excited about the big change that is coming. As the owner of the business, you want the new office to bear your mark. However, if you have key employees who have been at your side in building the business, allow their input. They’ve earned the right to be a part of the creation. Once you plan what you want to do with the space, and when and how you want to move, get quotes and create a budget with a cash flow statement. Costs easily get out of hand when you have no guidelines. Determine the vendors you will use and set up accounts, so you are billed for expenses. This not only makes it easier to track, but it can delay the cash outlays for a few weeks. If you have planned and budgeted well, the implementation should be easy if you stick to the plan. If needed and unforeseen changes occur, be sure the whole moving committee is aware and note the additional expenses on the budget.

A friend of mine who runs the accounting department of a mid-sized business tells the story of the move his company went through. Though he says the finished product was quite nice, he now laughs at the process by which this move took place. Being a company that plans, budgets, and implements jobs for customers, he was amazed at the lack of formal planning that went into a move that involved about fifty people. Being a privately held business, the person at the top planned and implemented the entire move. My friend’s obvious concerns were the move’s cost and how long he would have to pay for it. When he asked for a budget, the owner gave him a few round numbers that did not tie back to any quotes and certainly did not include all the items that were needed for the move. For the next few months, large bills came in indiscriminately with an expectation that the cash would be there to pay them. When I asked him how much the move ultimately cost, he said he tried to track it, but many invoices came in without designation. He also found several thousand dollars of expenses on expense reports submitted by people using their personal credit cards. His guess is that the move cost much more than anyone could imagine. Had the plan and budget been transparent, they would have saved thousands of dollars with the same result.

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