To maximize your business’s potential, you may sometimes need to move from one location to another. Changing locations can cause a few different problems for your company. By planning ahead to mitigate problems, you may be able to minimize or eliminate the struggles that some businesses face when moving to a new location.
1. Communicate With Customers
If you’re planning to take your business to a new space, you need to tell your customers about your move well before the actual relocation. Just like you need time to plan for your move and make sure that you have all the details in order, your customers need time to make sure that they’re ready to find you at your new location. For corporate partners, it’s important to allow plenty of time to schedule around any service disruptions or delays.
In general, you should communicate with your customers regularly leading up to any big change. Use multiple methods to reach them; while an email may not be opened, a personal phone call might be more effective for a big client for example.
2. Moving Personnel
While a good moving company can simplify your move and make your life easier, hiring inexperienced movers or relying on your employees to conduct your move in a very short timeframe can make your life much more difficult and have a negative impact on your business.
If you are looking into hiring moving personnel for your upcoming move, confirm all the usual details – insurance, equipment, dates, and so forth – but also make sure that they have experience with moving businesses. If you need to move large pieces of furniture or equipment, make sure that the moving company can handle the move. Some leased items may need to be moved by the supplier, instead of a third party.
When moving personal items, getting reviews of movers is important; when moving business items, getting reviews is absolutely crucial. After all, it is the potential health of your business on the line.
3. Financial Loss During Shutdown
When organizing a business move, companies tend to plan for the physical cost of moving without considering the cost of operating at reduced capacity for a time, or needing to shutdown entirely while the move is carried out. Some businesses are more amenable to a layered approach for moving, where technology is set up in the new location first, and personnel is moved afterwards; other businesses require significant movement of assets and technology, complicating things.
Surviving a temporary shutdown isn’t impossible, but enhanced communication with customers becomes crucial. Making sure that customers have what they need before the shutdown is important, and knowing that they understand how long the business will be shut down, and how it will affect them, also helps.
4. Employee Turnover
If you are moving from one side of town to another, you may not see a dramatic change in your employees. But if you cross town or state lines, move outside of the range of public transportation, or dramatically change what is available for parking close to your business, you might see a big change in your staff.
You may not have much control over your employees’ decisions in this arena, but communicating with them before your location change will certain help you plan for what may happen. If you find that, for example, employees are very concerned about finding somewhere to park, you might be able to institute a shuttle program, or reimburse some portion of the cost of parking close to your new location.
Listening to and acting on employee concerns may also help keep employees happy and content with their positions, which may eliminate some of the frustration that could otherwise lead to looking for new jobs.
5. Traffic Patterns
Many companies use financial projections based on traffic patterns to plan inventory, staffing, and budgeting throughout the year. For companies that rely on customer foot traffic, historical data will be of reduced relevance; after all, a new location will change foot traffic. Destination shoppers may still arrive in similar numbers, but companies may struggle to plan for busy times and inventory levels until they have at least a few month’s data in the new location.
As frustrating as it can be, moving a business is sometimes necessary. In order to take advantage of a new downtown area, a better tax code, or a more active Chamber of Commerce, a company may need to be in a particular location. By planning a move carefully, businesses can maximize the benefits of their location and minimize the difficulties of moving.
Has your business successfully moved locations? What made the move helpful?