As your business grows, you soon face the inevitable question: streamline your surroundings, or move to a new location?
Before you decide what to do, you need a defined goal. Relocating a business isn’t exactly like moving your family to a new house.
Your decision may have a big impact on your bottom line as well. Here are several things to consider before you start packing.
- Pay attention to location advantages and disadvantages.
While you can’t ignore the bottom line, you also need to choose the best commercial property for your long-term needs. If you’re going to pay for a high-ticket property, be sure it’s really to your advantage.
For example, if you’re likely to get more customer traffic in your new location, that’s a big plus. Just be sure that extra traffic is promising enough to warrant the higher taxes and leasing costs. Also, if the location is great for customers but awful for employees, you may face additional challenges.
Bottom line: weigh your advantages and disadvantages before you commit to your new location.
- Establish your connections now.
If you need to move because you’ll tap into a better market at your new location, start now to build support systems in that area. This is particularly important when you’re moving to a completely new city. Find out how you can grow new relationships from your existing network; then, reach out.
- Know the implications of local vs. regional relocation.
Even if you’re moving across the city rather than into the next state, you’ll probably lose some of your personnel in the bargain. When a business relocates, employees sometimes use that news to re-assess their own career trajectory. Some may not want their commute to change.
If you’re moving long distance (regionally or nationally), you can offer incentives to top employees who you hope will relocate along with the company. Ask yourself if some employees can operate remotely from your current area. Otherwise, prepare to train a lot of new personnel.
- Work out your budget well in advance.
If you’re moving your offices long distance, expect to pay your movers appropriately, particularly if you don’t give them a great deal of notice. Also, do you know the commercial tax rate in your new area? If not, learn those details now so you’re not overwhelmed by your new operating costs.
When you’re trying to save money, it may be tempting to go with a low-cost commercial property. Remember, though, that you may pay even more in renovation costs. And don’t forget utility costs. If your new building is an energy drain, your low initial costs won’t matter.
Finally, calculate your moving costs by speaking to a reputable commercial mover. A seasoned commercial moving company knows more than you do about the process, so make this task a priority.
- Prepare to run more than one location simultaneously for a while.
As with any move, you’ll need time to notify business partners and service companies about your move. You’ll also need a transition period that allows your customers time to return merchandise (and they’ll probably need to do so while using your old address).
After a relocation, many businesses agree to run out of two locations for a few weeks or months. Figure out how much advanced notice your clients, customers, and business partners need. Then, map your plan.
- Book your move early and organize the details with your mover.
If you book well in advance, you’ll save valuable time and productivity. Most commercial movers can transfer your office furnishings over a weekend (for local moves).
However, if you’re completing a major transition and need to move during the week, just keep your employees in the loop so it’s not a chaotic process. If you’re not sure how long you’ll need, talk to your mover.
- Keep a running list of preparations.
Moving can be overwhelming no matter your business size or length of relocation. To help you keep track, organize your move at least a month or two in advance, if not more. Here are a few items to add to your checklist:
- Contact utility providers at both locations to set up turn-off and turn-on times.
- Set up space for computer servers so they’re up and running-with no down time.
- Contact your commercial insurance company.
- Speak to all other service providers (concessions, FedEx, printer companies, etc.).
- Contact employees, former employees, suppliers, partners, clients, and customers.
- Transfer your mail.
- Talk to your payroll company and the IRS about your relocation.
- Change your corporate address via the Secretary of State’s office.
- Update your online and hard-copy materials with your new location information.
- Change information on your website; also stay up-to-date on social media.
- Adjust information on your e-commerce sites (PayPal and others). Transfer landlines and complete computer cabling.
Finally, establish a great relationship with your professional movers from the beginning. No one understands the challenges of moving a business more than those who do the actual heavy lifting.
With your movers’ help, you can ease the chaos and stress of a business move and adjust to your new circumstances with greater peace of mind. Just tell them what you need-and you’re on your way!