What to expect in a business relocation

Maybe you wouldn’t expect that the odds are stacked in your favor when you opt for expanding or relocating your company, but they are. Since you have been in business for some time, you are very well aware of all the problems your current location has. If you have decreasing traffic, now that you are planning a business relocation, you will seek a new location that has great traffic. Even though it carries risks, a move can be one of the best things you ever do for your business.

Of course, a number of things can go wrong but also can go right with a business relocation. Some common mistakes are:

  • Not thinking through all the aspects of such a complex decision,
  • Focusing too narrowly on a just few costs,
  • Not considering using all available economic development services,
  • Being misinformed about quality-of-life, or ignoring those factors
  • Failing to plan for future expansion.

Hands of a man scrolling through a phone searching business relocation

Don’t ask vague questions, be specific

Don’t ask vague questions like “Is there a steady offer of affordable office buildings?” Instead, ask “How many 5,000-square-foot office spaces are there in the downtown area, and what are the going terms and prices?”

These mistakes all stem from hurrying too much and trying to do a move too cheaply. Also, an entrepreneur must figure in the cost of office renting and business interruption. A company’s productivity will inevitably decrease for a period of days or even weeks after a move.

Write detailed specifications of your desired location

Although deciding to move could take a while, and is hard, it’s not the same as actually making the business relocation. Write detailed specifications of what your new location must have. Do your research thoroughly to avoid moving problems. You’ll want accurate and complete information about the new location before you can commit to expanding or relocating there. Publications like The Statistical Abstract of the United States and the American Demographics magazine are good sources of information.

Hands writing down something

Gather inside information from utility companies, economic development agencies and real estate brokers

By looking closely at their reasons for moving and making sure the chosen spot addresses their needs, entrepreneurs increase the odds that the chosen city will truly be more beneficial for their company.

Gather inside information from Chambers of Commerce, utility companies, economic development agencies, real estate brokers, employment agencies, other small-business owners, and do that for a while with specific requirements in mind.

Scout the location yourself before the entire business relocation

Note that only by walking and driving around the location you are eyeing, and from different angles can you get the truth about traffic patterns. Aerial views from small planes or helicopters can help you understand the dynamics of a particular retail zone, for example.

Plan the actual business relocation well in advance

As we said, do not rush through things. Plan and organize everything months before, even a full year. Being cheap with your time and hasting through parts of the project could get you in serious money trouble later. Read all our tips on how to stay organized during a move on our blog. The devil is in the detail as they say. For example, one of the mistakes you could make is deciding too late on what equipment, fixtures, products, and other items to include in the moving checklist. It might be better to dispose of inventory at fire-sale prices rather than pay to haul it across the country.

Calculator, pen, excel sheets

If your main reason for moving is to find a better labor market, don’t get distracted by a favorable lease

Once you have decided where, when, what and who you’ll move, stop. Don’t do everything yourself. After all, you are still the boss and have a company to run. Assign someone to be in charge of the business relocation. They will stay very busy organizing tasks from soliciting bids from movers to keeping employees informed about the plans.