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As our economy rebounds, businesses are already thinking about expanding to meet future demands. The market is getting more competitive all the time, so being ready for it can mean all the difference for your business. While you may have scouted potential office space or crunched payroll numbers for new employees, it’s easy to get distracted from thinking about your IT requirements. Walking around in an exciting, new location can make you fixate on square feet, desks and furniture. Imagination takes hold, and soon you’ll be planning how to fit your business in the new location – when it should be the other way around. Far too often, this can spell disaster for a business’s first expansion.

Whether you plan on moving your entire office or expanding to a second location, getting your IT ducks in a row first will always give you a better perspective on your business priorities. And having a managed IT provider who’s familiar with your business can go a long way towards figuring it all out. Here are just a few things to think about while choosing a location:

  • Will the phones in your old office work in the new building?
  • Will this move change your service provider?
  • Can your business continue to operate seamlessly during the move?
  • Will all your branches be connected through a VPN?
  • Will they have different disaster recovery plans?
  • Can a colleague transfer a call to another location?
  • Does this mean separate IT departments?
  • Will moving towards a cloud solution be better for the future?

Growth is a good thing. Moving and/or expanding offices can bring certain challenges that aren’t so good. If only there were a handy-dandy checklist to help businesses avoid the common missteps… Good thing we’ve got it covered! We’ve narrowed it down to the two major areas to focus on to help you avoid major missteps.

Pre-Move Checklist:

  1. Notify all service provider 90 days before the move.
  2. Review floor plan and schedule onsite visit with engineer to determine cabling and wireless needs.
  3. Identify locations for workstations, servers, printers and other hardware.
  4. If relocating, evaluate phone system and determine if upgrade is warranted.
  5. Define telecom equipment needs and location and consider impact of move on email, VPN, etc.
  6. Schedule cabling and workstation assembly.
  7. Schedule move date(s) to avoid downtime (i.e. Friday night or over the weekend to avoid disruption during normal business hours).
  8. Line up dedicated power, dedicated HVAC, locks and security system.
  9. Line up IT and moving resources.

Moving Day Checklist:

  1. Connect employee devices, install workstations and furniture.
  2. Set up or modify network for new printers, workstations and other hardware.
  3. Complete cabling.
  4. Test printers.
  5. Upgrade phone technology as needed.
  6. Install and test new workstations, phones, VOIP, VPN, security software, and printers.

While these are not exhaustive checklists, they pinpoint the absolutely essential ways to prepare to run a modern office. Good luck to you!