Steps for Upgrading Your Headquarters
Hopefully, your business grows enough that you need to upgrade your office or warehouse space. While it can be a sign that you’re doing well, it can also be a daunting situation. Here are some tips for managing growing pains and upgrading your headquarters.
Manage Growing Pains
Ideally, you’re already using third-party logistics (3PL) that helps you manage your business’s growth. If your logistics are carefully monitored with a custom operating system, you should be able to forecast growth, and what you need to support it.
If you’re still dealing with inaccurate data, high employee turnover, or delayed processing of orders, it’s probably time to invest in 3PL to help you upgrade not just how you conduct business, but your physical headquarters as well. If your space is disorganized, too small, or even too big, you’re losing time and money.
Sequoia Group offers customized 3PL solutions for businesses so they can improve warehouse management and overall efficiency. If you’re wondering how to manage your business’s growing pains, take a look at their blog article HERE for insight.
Upgrading an Existing Facility
Besides upgrading your operating system, you might want to upgrade your existing facility. Perhaps it offers the right layout, good parking, and is in a good location. So, what steps can you take to upgrade your headquarters when you’re staying put?
Even if clients don’t visit your facility, increasing curb appeal is still important. Making your location a space that employees don’t dread pulling up to each day can make a difference. Here are some recommendations for upgrading your physical facility:
No one wants to navigate a dark, empty business park. Make sure there’s adequate lighting at all times at doors, in the parking lot, and by dumpsters where the staff takes out trash and recycling.
You can also upgrade your bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs to save money in the long run. If employees are working in warehouses without natural lighting, be sure you’re simulating sunlight with indoor lighting to help boost their mood during the workday.
Your business can upgrade its look and its budget with climate-appropriate landscaping and hardscaping. Install water-wise vegetation, and offer places for employees to gather outside for lunch breaks. Even if you’re located in a concrete jungle, you can add potted greenery or thoughtful hardscaping such as pergolas, sunshades, and seating.
Once you have your landscaping squared away, don’t put the burden of caring for it on your facilities manager. Hire professional landscapers or lawn care providers to maintain your outdoor spaces. You won’t regret having a designated expert provide regularly scheduled mowing, weeding, or pest control applications.
You can promote employee and client safety not just with upgraded lighting, but with good security practices as well.
If you don’t already have security cameras inside and out, get them installed. Their presence can often deter crimes, as well as catch incidents in progress. Give your employees an additional sense of well-being by monitoring the premises.
Are you going to physically expand your existing facility? Before doing so, ensure you’ve had a structural analysis completed before moving ahead. You need to know if your facility can withstand construction as it is, or if repairs should be made to support an expansion. If you don’t know what a structural analysis consists of, the experts at Anderson Engineering share their expertise HERE. A safe workspace should take precedence.
Changing Physical Locations
If you do have to change physical locations to support the upgrades your business needs, here are some tips for doing so.
Change Your Address
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are some essential entities you need to notify when you change your address.
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – Complete Form 8822-B-Change of Address and submit it to the IRS.
- Secretary of State – Process varies by state.
- City and County – Process varies by state for your local licenses and permits.
- Financial Accounts – Contact all banking institutions, merchant accounts, and investment accounts.
- Business Credit Accounts – Contact all vendors you work with and update your address with them for invoicing and shipping.
- Business Credit Reporting Agencies
- Websites and Directory Listings
- Social Media Profiles
Audit Your IT
Will a new office space work with your existing IT systems and solutions? Make sure that your automated systems can handle the growth that different office spaces may require. IT systems can be affected by a building’s size, how many new employees are accessing the system, etc… A rep from a company like Sequoia can do a walk-through of your new facility to make recommendations for how best to support your business.
Utilize All the Space
Avoid having “dead space” in your new office or warehouse. Have an auditor or designer help you create an environment that supports employee productivity. This may mean mindfully choosing artwork, incorporating greenery indoors, or mapping out your warehouse so it makes sense for stocking and retrieving products. Intentionally lay out your new physical headquarters with workspaces, meeting spaces, and spaces for employee breaks.
Things that Attract Employees
Whether you need to add new hires to your company, or keep the old ones on board, here are some headquarter upgrades that appeal to employees:
Location, Location, Location
The golden rule for real estate is location. Are your headquarters conveniently located near other businesses, such as restaurants or a gym? Is it close to major thoroughfares, public transportation, or childcare options? Think about these elements when deciding where your physical facility will be located. You might find a gem of a space that offers all the square footage you need, but if DoorDash doesn’t deliver to that area, you’ll have some unhappy employees on your hands.
High-speed Internet makes everyone’s job easier. So does having devices that support the latest software updates, whether it’s just a laptop or it includes work-issued cell phones. Don’t expect your employees to perform their best if they don’t have the tools to do so. Be sure everyone is trained to use the software that keeps your business humming, as well.
Electric and hybrid vehicles are gaining in popularity; do you currently offer charging spots for employee vehicles? What about sheltered and secure parking for bikes and motorcycles? The federal government does offer tax credits for electric vehicle charging station installation, so check to see what applies to you when considering this upgrade. Free parking for all is also a way to improve employee satisfaction.
Thankfully, it seems many business owners have come to better understand employees need a healthy work-life balance. Paid time off, flexible working hours, and allowing remote work are perks you can offer your employees. Yes, there are Fair Labor standards that regulate basic accommodations for employees (such as providing a designated space for pumping breastmilk), but those don’t always extend to giving an employee a break when they have a sick kid or need to schedule personal appointments during the workday. Upgrade your expectations regarding work-life balance to attract employees and retain them.
Upgrading your physical headquarters, whether via a remodel or a move, doesn’t have to be a huge headache and it can have big payoffs. If you’re considering changes, hopefully these steps help you plan a smooth transition.