Finding Temporary Accommodation For Your Business
- Planning For The Worst
- Choosing Your Temporary Premises
- Preparing For The Move
- Navigating The Logistics
- Alternative Accommodation Insurance And Business Interruption Insurance
Planning For The Worst
When you have a business, it is essential that you anticipate every eventuality. Unfortunately, adverse circumstances and unexpected events can happen to anyone, regardless of the precautions or measures you take. By planning for even the worst possible scenarios, however, you can mitigate many of the risks that are associated with the uncertainties of owning a business. In the event of an extreme weather event, flood, fire or even a gas leak, your business premises may become too dangerous to continue using as a place of business.
Until the problem is resolved, you will have no choice but to search for temporary accommodation for your business. Moving a business from one location to another is an incredibly complicated undertaking, because there are so many factors that have to be accounted for.
However, with some planning and preparation, you can ensure that the transition proceeds as smoothly as possible. In these circumstances, the ultimate objective is to minimise the disruption to your business’ workflow, your employees and your clients.
Choosing Your Temporary Premises
There is no doubt that when you were purchasing your permanent business premises, the location was one of your most significant considerations. This still applies when choosing and agreeing a lease on a business premises. Preferably, you should remain within the same area so that staff can continue to come as usual, without it affecting their commute times or ability to access transport that they usually rely on. For example, if your employees travel to work in their own cars, then the temporary premises should have allocated parking within a reasonable distance.
If your business requires clients or customers to enter the premises, then you should consider their convenience and accessibility as well. These factors will also influence the arrangements that are available to you. A short-term office let or co-working spaces are relatively affordable solutions. Depending on the amount of employees you have and the equipment that your business requires, you may have to invest in a larger space such as a shipping container office or a temporary lease on a building.
When it comes to leasing your temporary business premises, a flexible lease is preferable. If your permanent premises become available again, or you decide to move to another location indefinitely, you don’t want to be confined by a long-term lease. Flexible lease terms such as monthly rolling contracts will ensure that you can leave your temporary premises the moment you find something better.
Preparing For The Move
When moving to a temporary business premises, your employees may be feeling disrupted and concerned. It is an uncertain time for them, because they will be working in an unfamiliar space with no indication of how long they will be there or if they will have to move again. By regularly communicating with your staff, you can prepare them for the move by explaining the process, what their responsibilities will be, and what they can expect to happen during and in the aftermath of this transitional period.
By setting a date and a deadline, you can give yourself and your employees something to work towards, and make preparations for the allocated moving day. Before your staff begin working in the temporary premises, you should also ensure that the furniture and equipment they need is in place. If the furniture and equipment at your permanent premises are damaged or they are too difficult to move, then you may have to rent the required furniture and equipment for your temporary premises until you can arrange for a long-term solution.
Keeping an inventory of everything at your permanent premises will be of considerable help, because you can then arrange for everything to be moved into the temporary premises so that it becomes a fully functioning place of business as quickly as possible. By creating a work environment that is comfortable and welcoming, your staff can settle into the flow of working relatively easily.
Navigating The Logistics
The thought of transferring an operating business from one premises to another, with minimal downtime, is an intimidating prospect. However, with sufficient organisation and management, you can navigate the logistics and ensure that the process is as streamlined and as efficient as it can be.
Once you have located a temporary business premises and arranged for the equipment and furniture, it is time to officially move your business. The following is a checklist of some things you should do to ensure that this is a seamless and uninterrupted transition:
- Coordinating your staff. When you have notified your staff of the move, you should assign individual responsibilities to everyone. By delegating these tasks during meetings, you can ensure that everyone understands what is expected of them and the different roles that they have to fulfil. With these coordinated efforts, you can reduce the risk of anything being overlooked, neglected or forgotten during the move.
- Changing your address and phone number. It is essential that your customers, clients, distributors, partners and suppliers are notified of your details, even if they are temporary. First, you should make a list of everyone that needs to be informed, and then systematically work through this list so that your business address and phone number can be updated everywhere. If you are based in the United Kingdom, you have to inform Companies House, as explained here.
- Moving services and utilities. Contact your network and telephone providers, transfer your servers, arrange for an Internet package, and ensure that gas, electricity and water will be disconnected at your old premises and activated at your new premises on the day you move in. Redirect your mail with a redirect service, so that the mail that is intended for your old address can be sent to your new address instead, until it has been updated everywhere.
- Preparing the new premises. Ensure that the new premises has been thoroughly cleaned, and that it is ready for your staff to begin working there immediately. Your staff should also be given the keys, cards or pins that they need to access the building.
Alternative Accommodation Insurance And Business Interruption Insurance
Without alternative accommodation insurance, the financial and logistical responsibility for locating a temporary business premises for your equipment, products, employees and clients would fall entirely upon you. With alternative accommodation insurance, however, you will be covered when it comes to securing a place for your business to operate from on a temporary basis.
Even with alternative accommodation insurance, your business will still experience some disruption because of the move. For example, it will probably have to be closed for a period of time until your employees, equipment and products have successfully moved to the temporary business premises. However, even a brief closure can have a noticeable impact on your business’ overall revenue, and a financial loss is far from desirable during an already stressful time.
This is where business interruption insurance comes in. It will usually cover any loss of revenue that has happened due to a fire, flood or an explosion, and it is an invaluable lifeline that will keep your business afloat until you can resume operations as normal.
By investing in alternative accommodation insurance and business interruption insurance, you can be assured that your business will be protected from all fronts even in a disastrous situation.