Moving and Relocating your Business

Moving or relocating your business is an important effort worth undertaking for the future benefit of your business. What is most important here, anyway, is making sure that a number of factors that matter are well taken care of before making the move. Among the most important aspects to consider are the issues to do with the location where you are moving to, the costs to incur and what will come out of your move among other things.

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Why Location Matters

Businesses commonly cite five main reasons for moving, according to Sharon K. Ward, an economic development consultant in Allentown, Pennsylvania. These are labor and work force issues, the desire to reach new markets, the need to upgrade facilities or equipment, the desire to lower costs or increase cash flow, and considerations about quality of life. For different businesses and at different times, certain concerns are more important than others, Ward notes. But just about all moves can be attributed to some combination of these issues.

Cost Issues

Cost is a concern in any business decision, and a move can cure–or create–many cost issues. For starters, the cost of living varies widely among cities. In Little Rock, Arkansas, for example, the cost of living is 13 percent below the national average. At the other end of the spectrum, New York City’s costs are more than twice the U.S. average. Theoretically, a move from Manhattan to Little Rock could yield significant savings.

Relocation Results

While moving carries risks, a move can be one of the best things you ever do for your business. When you move or expand to a new location, the odds are stacked in your favor, according to relocation expert Luigi Salvaneschi, who has overseen the selection of new sites for thousands of retail establishments. “Because you have been in business for some time,” he says, “you are fully aware of all the problems your current location has. If you have poor traffic and know that’s the problem, you look for a new location that has good traffic.”

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When you want to relocate your business to a new city, country or region, you have to be ready for whatever comes your way. However, before you move, here are a number of things you can do to make the move easier, minimize the possibility of inconveniences and at the far end, increase your adaptability to the new location.

Tell Your Customers

Even if you run a virtual business, people should know that you’re changing locations. A move is not only a sign of growth, but also an excuse to contact previous customers.

“I used a newsletter and a video to let people know I was on the move, where I was going, and when I would be operational again,” says Dana Goldstein, president of Digital Shoebox. “Once the studio was up and running, I used a follow-up newsletter to inform all my clients. I found that clear communication was very helpful in reducing disruptions.”

Don’t ‘Cheap Out’

If you plan to save money by doing everything yourself, the price you pay might be much higher than hiring a mover if, say, equipment breaks or the job takes longer than you anticipated.

“Being a small- or medium-sized business, it’s easy to underestimate the complexity of relocating an office,” notes Chelsea Bakewell of Red Door Interactive. “The logistics and execution required for a successful move are compounded with the number of employees and how many years you have been located in your current space.”

Set Up Communications Early

Michael Bremmer, CEO of, offers this advice regarding your communications infrastructure:

Don’t assume that the same services you have now will be available at your new location; before signing a new lease, make sure that a local provider can accommodate your needs. Order your new service 60 days in advance.

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As much as moving your company or relocating to a new destination may be important and fruitful for your business, it is not always the same case that you will only benefit. There are drawbacks that come with the move that are sometimes inevitable. As a business owner, you have to weigh between what benefits you more so that you may opt for that despite the risks.

Loss of Customers

If you’re a single-outlet store looking to change your location, it’s possible your current customers won’t follow you across town. Even techniques designed to retain current clients, such as advertising the new address and offering discounts when current customers go to the new location, won’t always work. Since one reason businesses relocate in the first place is access to a new market, it’s possible new customers will be drawn to the business to make up for the loss of the old.

Startup Costs

A home-based entrepreneur looking to relocate to office space will encounter startup costs such as lease deposits, as well as additional utility costs beyond what they pay in a home office. The new space will need furniture and equipment to make it functional. These costs will have to be covered by sales revenue; if revenue does not meet expectations, the relocation costs can restrict the cash flow of the business.


Staff Recruitment Difficulties

A business looking to move out of an urban location to take advantage of cheaper commercial space might discover it’s more difficult to recruit quality workers. A business might save on space, but find it necessary to offer quality recruits more money to convince them to work in a less desirable area.

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