Commercial Moving Companies Washington DC
If you are preparing to move your small business or managing the relocation of your office on behalf of your employer, you need a reliable commercial mover to support you. Finding the right one in the Washington, D.C area takes diligence, but once you identify the mover you need, you will be happy you put in the effort to make the right choice. Moving a business is more complicated than changing residences, and the decisions you make have an impact on more people. So, make sure you have a solid relocation plan and select an excellent moving company for the job.
How do I find a commercial mover in D.C.?
Washington, D.C. is a hub of office space, and the tenants are continually moving. It makes sense that there is an entire industry dedicated to organizing and managing those relocations. In D.C, a commercial move could be as simple as a mom and pop bookstore or as elaborate as a Smithsonian Museum collection or a foreign embassy. To get started, make a list of the services you need, and then look for movers with experience in those areas. Here are some potential considerations:
- Space planning service. If you are managing a significant move, consider choosing a moving company that can provide a project coordinator for you as part of the moving service. This person will serve as a point of contact for many tasks and help keep everything on track. Space planners can create a layout for the new space based on the employee count, configuration preferences (offices versus cubes), and other floorplan amenities.
- Move management. A move manager serves as the liaison between the moving company and your business and sometimes functions as a concierge to meet any special needs. The move manager will work with you to schedule the move so that it best meets your business requirements, arrange for disassembly and reassembly of modular furniture if applicable, and advise on placement of file cabinets and other common area items. The move manager is the lead advisor for providing an estimate and will be well-positioned to determine how much labor is needed to complete a move. The move manager is usually the go-to person when problems crop up during the move process as well.
- Document storage. This can be a big question in an office move. Often a business has many file cabinets that are commonly used by more than one person, and there is a general need for those to be managed in some way during the move process. Some office specialists suggest taking advantage of the relocation to consider transferring aged documents to electronic storage, thus reducing paper files and the corresponding need for files and cabinets. If that isn’t an option that management is ready to embrace, you may be able to encourage staff to at least review older documents and send some for secure disposal. In every move, there is a recognized need for safe disposal, if only for the people who are cleaning out their personal papers as they pack their desks and dispose of unwanted files. It is a great idea to have extra shred bins available during the time leading up to the relocation.
- Large machinery moving. If your commercial move is industrial or retail, rather than an office, you may have large machinery that requires a specialist to move it properly. Even an office full of people working at desks will have computer equipment and possibly also security and other safety gear that needs special consideration.
- Packing and unpacking. Again, your needs in this area will depend on the type of business you are moving. In an office environment, it is typical for each worker to pack up their desk contents (hopefully taking the opportunity to dispose of documents they no longer need) into boxes that they label with the destination of their new location. It may be helpful or necessary to contract for professional assistance in packing inventory for the move in other types of business.
- Scheduling and staging. If the move you are working on is significant, the mover can help you plan it so that it isn’t hugely disruptive to the employees. It may be possible to schedule the move in stages so that a portion of the staff moves one week, settles in, and the rest move another week. If your business doesn’t allow that kind of transfer, then the mover should have other suggestions on scheduling the move to minimize the disruption.
- Cleanup and vacating old space. Whether you are leaving a warehouse, an office, a factory, or a restaurant, you may be leaving a mess behind. A full-service moving company may be able to assist you with the necessary steps to clean up and secure the property you are vacating to sell or return it to the landlord in acceptable condition once you have completed the move to the new location.
How do I choose the right commercial mover in D.C.?
Choosing local DC movers to relocate your business is a big decision. Once you have made a list of the services you need and identified the companies you think are good candidates for the project, you should spend some time interviewing each of them. To develop the list of possible vendors, talk to other businesses in your field. If you know other similar companies that have gone through a relocation, ask if they recommend the mover they used and why. The realtor you use to find the new office or retail space may also be a good source of referrals for moving companies to consider.
Every moving company near you needs a business license and liability insurance. During the interview with the company’s representative, discuss their corporate history, and ask about the workers’ compensation coverage. If a mover is injured, it’s best to be sure that the moving company is prepared for the situation. If your commercial move will cross from the District into Virginia or Maryland, or vice versa, the move is considered interstate and thereby subject to regulation by FMCSA. That’s the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is the part of the Department of Transportation that supervises interstate commerce. Even a local move can often be interstate in the D.C area.
To narrow the list down, check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB collects reviews about companies in all kinds of businesses from consumers and performs an accreditation on their own as well. Don’t overlook the crucial step of conducting references. Ask each of the companies for contact information for several recent clients and discuss their experiences with the vendor. This activity serves several purposes. If you have any concerns you have been wondering about after you interviewed the company, you can ask the previous customer if that was an issue for them. You can also ask what they liked and disliked and if there is anything you should look out for if you do select that mover.