If you thought that moving to a new house was stressful, just wait until you try moving your small business from one office to another.

At least when you move house, the neighbors aren’t waiting for your home to reopen as quickly as possible so that they can come in and shop around.

Your customers, however, will be waiting for you to reopen, as quickly and with as little disruption as possible.

Take a look at some tips that can help you make your move as smooth as possible….

Keep Your Customers Informed

Ideally, when your business moves, you will want to retain as much of your existing customer base as possible, as well as pick up new customers in your new location.

The best way to do that is to keep your current customers well-informed about your move.

As soon as you’ve confirmed your new location and you’re ready to start making preparations for your move, you need to begin letting your customers know that the move is coming.

In addition to putting up signs in your current location and putting information about your move on your website, you may want to use your direct mailing list or email database to send your customers a personal notification about your move.

Try to emphasize how you’ll be better able to serve your customers at your new location.

Be sure to also hand out business cards, brochures, and other materials updated with your new location.

Purge Before You Pack

It’s always a good idea to use a move to get rid of things that are no longer needed – this is as true for business moves as it is for personal moves.

The last thing that you want is to find out at the last minute that you’ve underestimated the space you need for storage, or that your movers can’t transport everything in one load.

You can help prevent problems that arise from space constraints by getting rid of things that you no longer need before you pack.

In any office, there are bound to be unneeded files and obsolete equipment.

Take this time to shred papers that you no longer need.

Donate old furniture to charity, and recycle outdated equipment. This will save you time and money during your move.

Be Prepared for Problems

No matter how carefully you prepare for your move, you can expect to run into something that you weren’t expecting.

The article “Expecting the Unexpected: Proactive Move-Related Problem Solving” outlines some of the surprises that you may be able to expect during the moving process.

You could face excessive storage costs, for example, or cost and inconvenience arising from items broken or lost during the move.

Your best bet is to build some padding into your moving budget, so that you have the extra money needed to deal with unexpected expenses.

You should also check with your insurance agent before your move to be sure that your valuable equipment and other business-related items are properly insured in the event of loss or damage during the move.

In the end, a move that expands small your business or allows you to save money will pay off.

You just need to be prepared so that the moving process itself goes smoothly.

About the Author: Cheryl Baer is a freelance writer who writes about business and marketing.