Tips for Choosing the Best Office Movers
In your search for the best office movers, you’ll probably come across a wide range of options, especially if you reside in a larger city. These diverse choices likely include independent contractors, mom-and-pop businesses, and professional moving companies. How do you know which option to choose? Follow these tips to find the best office movers available in your area.
Ask for Recommendations
Your colleagues at other businesses or other business owners may have hired movers before. These recommendations for who to use and who to avoid offer you a starting point. This shortcut lets you weed out the unknown and whittle down the list of options, speeding up the rest of your process.
Look at Reviews
Most office moves occur within the same metropolitan area, so read the reviews of each local moving service on your shortlist. Most local moving companies maintain profiles on sites like Google My Business, Bing Business, Yelp, Thumbtack, and Home Advisor. Read these reviews to learn about the experience other businesses in the area had with each company.
During this step of the process, you’ll probably weed off a few choices. These include reviews indicating that consumers reporting the movers broke equipment or provided poor customer service.
Ask About Their Experience
Because of how you began your shortlist, the local moving companies on it probably all have consummate experience with office moves. The best office movers offer at least five years of experience conducting commercial moves.
If you’ve sited your business at a commercial property for rent and now will move to a building you own, you will likely have items stored at alternate locations, such as a storage unit. Inquire about each company’s experience moving a business with equipment or inventory in more than one location.
Check each company’s profile on the Better Business Bureau website. Find out their rating and whether they received accreditation. Expect to see one or two complaints about any business that has operated for at least five years.
Beware of businesses with frequent complaints because this reveals poor business processes and bad customer service. Good customer service offers an immediate solution that solves the problem. People don’t lodge complaints over businesses that problem-solve; they lodge complaints when a business ignores a problem.
Also, phone the local chamber of commerce to check each business’s record. The chamber can tell you if the company has operated locally for long. Some companies list their establishment date online but neglect to mention that they franchised or opened multiple locations. The local chamber can tell you how long a business operated its local branch.
Ask About Storage Options
Some moving companies also offer commercial storage. If you’re moving a commercial business to a smaller office or consolidating two offices into one, a storage unit comes in handy for excess inventory or equipment.
Although you can typically find plenty of storage options in any major city, residential storage units and commercial storage differ in nature. Some companies offer both in the same complex but separate units. The residential units sit within a fenced area and consumers can only access them during specific hours of the day. Commercial storage offers 24-hour access, so a business can get to its inventory whenever needed.
Both options offer the same security features, but the commercial storage typically uses pin codes on security access pads to access the gate or the commercial building. This enhances the business’s inventory security. Commercial storage may provide separate entrances and exits for businesses, since they may use large trucks or semis to pick up goods or to have freight delivered directly to the storage unit.
Ask What They Will Move
Ask each moving company what items they will move. Even some of the best office movers only handle large items, such as furniture and office equipment.
Some moving companies expect that each employee will move their personal files and personal items to their new office. Other moving companies place limits on items, such as nixing office cleaning supplies and other chemicals from the list of things they’ll move for you.
Ultimately, the best office movers truck everything carefully over to your new location for you, but it can take time to find this unicorn company. With these ideal companies, you can even pack up your unopened office supplies, and they’ll lug the boxes out to their truck and drive them over to your new location for you.
Packing and Unpacking Considerations
Just like with moving your home a long distance, some firms will visit your business the day or so before the physical move and pack all of your items for you. Not every moving company offers this service. Some offer it, but neglect to volunteer that they do. You must ask if they offer this service.
If they do, you could save yourself and your employees some heartache over broken items. Movers that handle packaging the items to move develop expertise in this. They use the right equipment and tools for the job and ensure that every item gets wrapped and boxed appropriately.
Among the best office movers available, these comprehensive moving services also unpack each item and box for you after placing your furniture and setting up your office equipment. Their full-service option saves you time and ensures that your employees avoid the stress of moving and office setup. This leaves them free to do their jobs.
Office Cleaning and Prep Work
When moving a commercial business, you need both the office location that you leave and the one you move into to remain spotless. If you’ve been renting commercial space, you could incur fees from your landlord if you don’t clean the offices fully before you leave. Some of the best office movers also offer this service, having their cleaning crew sanitize the building you left after their movers remove all of your belongings. These companies also offer cleaning services that prepare your new space for your office equipment and furnishings.
Ask about these services. Some movers that do not offer them partner with companies that do. Contracting with such a company can help you speed up your moving process and ensure that your offices look presentable from your first day in your new digs.
Look at Their Availability
The best office movers stay booked all the time. Most of the best moving companies book their work far in advance. Starting your moving planning process a few months in advance lets you choose the best and hire them for one of their available times.
It may seem goofy to plan your business’ move around the company providing the moving services, but think about what you place in the literal hands of this company. They will move every piece of equipment, inventory, office furniture and file your business owns. You quite literally entrust to this company everything that comprises your business except its employees.
Ask each potential moving company for three availability dates, spread across your ideal moving dates. This lets you compare each company’s availability with your own and each other’s.
Why would you want to do that? If anything happens to the company with whom you contract, you can see at a glance which options remain open to you, assuming they didn’t already book other work.
Ask About Their Methods of Payment
Inquire about what modes of payment your business can use to pay. In small towns, some contractors still only accept cash. Others may use app-driven methods, such as CashApp or PayPal. Though you can deposit your payment to these apps using a credit card, you’ll need to install and set up the app first. This can take up to three to five business days because you must add a bank account to most of these apps and confirm the account.
Other businesses, typically in cities, accept credit cards, debit cards, and cash. In some cases, they may also use app-driven payment methods, such as Square Up, which lets them swipe credit cards using their smartphone and an attachment to the phone.
Few businesses still accept checks or money orders. The venerable purchase order also has seen a decline in acceptance. If you’re accustomed to setting up long-term contracts with vendors, this may come as a surprise unless you specifically ask. Few businesses now accept purchase orders.
Ask About Your Part in the Move
By now, you know that the movers you hire could potentially do it all for you, right down to packing and unpacking your stapler. You also know that the movers might only pick up the heaviest items like the file cabinets and desks, moving them to the new location and unloading them into your office space. Ask specifically what duties in the move belong to you and your employees.
Will the movers drop off your office equipment and furniture or will they place it in specific rooms for you? Some movers skip the latter. You walk in to find desks piled up and chairs stacked. Some meet you at the door and let you direct them as to where to place each item.
Do you need to pack each box in advance? Will their packing service only handle file cabinets/file packaging or small office equipment? The best office movers pack it all for you, carefully.
Will employees need to pack their personal work items and move them separately? Personal work items refer to photos of family or friends, diplomas, wall art, planners, personal phone books, Rolodexes, etc.
Does the moving company provide packing materials?
Ask if the moving company provides you with packing materials and equipment. Some commercial movers provide various sizes of boxes and moving tape, plus packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Other movers charge extra for these items if provided, while others do not offer these materials at all. You’ll need to find the packing materials yourself.
In a related issue, ask if the company places requirements on the way you package items or the packaging you use. Some companies require the use of new boxes, specifically designed for moving. That precludes you from treating the office move like a personal move, in which you might use second-hand boxes from a grocery or liquor store.
The requirements moving companies place on packaging and materials protect them from liability. The mandates typically come from their insurer, who creates the list of must-haves to mitigate their own risk in issuing the moving company its liability and transportation insurance policies.
Check Each Moving Company’s Insurance
Ask to see proof of insurance from each moving company you interview. Each company you consider should carry business liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, and a few specific types of trucking insurance, including general trucking liability, physical damage, and motor truck cargo. The latter policy covers damage to your items while in transit in the movers’ vehicles.
Find Out What Each Service Costs
Why leave the cost consideration until last? Most of the information you can glean from a company’s website and other websites, like the BBB and Yelp. You’ve probably nixed quite a few businesses from your list during this process because they don’t move the items you need to be hauled or they don’t offer the right services. Perhaps their online scheduling calendar revealed they’re not available when you need them.
You phone or email each company to obtain a formal quote that costs out each service you need, so you can obtain truly comparable quotes. Instead of starting with costs, you end with this item. You will probably only request quotes from three or so businesses because the others didn’t qualify. Using this method, you won’t waste time obtaining quotes from businesses that don’t offer the services you need.
You’ve Found the Best Office Movers for You
By now, you’ve found the best office movers for your company. You let them into your office, and they handle it all. You seamlessly transition to your new location and enjoy doing business in your new offices.