Negosentro.com | 9 Tips for Moving Your Business in 2021 | As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to modify their business structures in order to stay afloat. For many, that meant going to a remote workforce, downsizing their organizations, or moving to a new location. For those considering a change of scenery, there is much planning that must take place before, during, and after the relocation.
To assist with this major endeavor, there are a number of important considerations that must be made to make this transition successful for your organization. Tips include what to look for in a potential destination, how to keep your business afloat during the process, and how to get started on the right foot once you get set up in the new area.
1. Research The New Area
You don’t want to start packing a single box before you have taken the time to research the area where you are thinking of moving to ensure that it will help your business survive and thrive. This is particularly important if you are moving a physical store to a new town. What is the economy like in this new neighborhood? Is this new city populated with your target demographic? If so, is there competition from other businesses selling a similar product?
Take the time to find answers to all of these questions and decide if this is still the location that is right for your businesses. If it is, look for a property that will be visible to potential customers in town, along with being easily accessible with having ample parking.
Depending on where you move, there may also be some paperwork involved. If you are moving to a new town, you will likely need to complete a change of address form and submit it to the office of the Secretary of State. You can usually do this online. You will also need to notify the IRS of your new address.
2. Keep Your Business Afloat With An Online Channel
Unless you have space in the budget that allows you to completely cease operations during your long move, you will need a plan to keep your businesses running, and creating a branch of your business in the world of e-commerce may be the solution. By improving your current website or creating a new one that allows customers to purchase your goods and services from anywhere, you can make money while you relocate and keep your existing client base and attract new customers from anywhere around the country.
To start an e-commerce channel, you will first want to research other retailers in the online space and see how you can differentiate your services from theirs in order to be attractive to customers. Once you have a plan in place, learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or work with an expert who does. They will know how to set up your online store with the right keywords and design that will move your store to the top of the best search listings.
Along the way, you will also need to hammer out the customer service details. How will you handle and accept returns? Can you offer free shipping to entice potential customers? How about offering a customer loyalty program? Once you have the answers and you create an attractive online presence, you will have an additional side of your business that will bring in new business now and in the future.
3. Or Move All Of Your Services Online With The Cloud
Another way that you can keep your business active during the move could also transform how you work in the future, and that is by migrating your apps and work to the cloud. By using a cloud service, you and your staff can access your work documents from anywhere, and anyone can sign on and complete their tasks with just a laptop in the comfort of their own home.
By moving onto the cloud, you can allow some employees to work at your previous office and the new location simultaneously and not miss a beat. Another great perk of being on the cloud is that the provider often has a security team assigned to your account. This is great because they can make sure that your data is secure and protected against cyber threats when you are preoccupied with packing and moving.
4. Notify Your Existing Customers…
It is essential that you make a strong effort to keep existing customers in the loop about your move both before and after you land in your new location. Those with a website will want to update their contact page with the new address, directions for how to get there, and a high-quality photo of the exterior so customers can recognize it when they see it. Add a banner to the front page of your website that informs visitors of the move in the case that they don’t make it to your contact page.
If you only have a physical store, put a relocation sign on the front door, send out email notifications, and consider sending direct mail postcards.
5. …And Attract New Ones
As soon as you arrive at your new location, you will want to hit the ground running as you lure in potential customers around the area with smart advertising. One way to do this is by researching similar or complementary businesses in the area and reaching out with an offer to join forces to help each other out. This will help you to tap into an existing customer base, and both your companies can share the marketing duties to potentially bring in twice as many customers.
You should also go to the digital space and introduce your business on social media. Facebook is a great starting point that allows you to market your services to a particular community. Start out by creating some creative posts introducing yourself to the community and letting them know the services you offer along with a discount code or upcoming sale announcement to entice them.
Then there is the tried and true method of sending out physical mailers to customers in the area with an introduction of your services and an invitation to visit your showroom. All of these methods will be a good introduction to the new community.
6. Communicate With Your Employees
Before your current employees see it on a contact page, management needs to inform them of the intention to relocate the business and provide the next steps. This meeting should typically take place at least two months before the move begins, and updates should be provided during the process. It is important to be honest with your staff and allow plenty of feedback and questions.
If you plan to keep the same employees, then you will want to consider if they will have a longer commute or if they will have to move. Does the new location have a comparable cost of living, or will your staff need to pay more to experience the same level of housing they have now? If it is different, then you may have to consider a pay raise for those employees to make up the difference.
7. Hire New Employees
If you are moving your company a long distance, then you may need to look at hiring in your new area. If so, this is the perfect time to update your hiring process and employee handbook. Take some time to think about your attendance policy and existing benefits package and update them if necessary.
While we continue to struggle with the existence of COVID-19, many working parents also have to care for their children that are doing online learning at home. If your job listings can promise flexible schedules or remote work so parents can take care of their families and complete their work, that wording could draw in more candidates during this challenging time.
When looking for employees in a new area, you can post to job boards with that particular location in mind. You can also attend job fairs, which are typically done virtually these days, and find people eager for a new job.
8. Involve Your IT Team
Once you have decided on a new location, you will need to involve your IT team and create a plan for transferring all equipment and services. You will likely need to move your computers, telephones, printers, and faxes, and ensure that the new location has all the proper wiring capabilities to make this a reality.
9. Hire Professional Movers
Once you have researched the new location, found a suitable office space, and know how to transfer your services, it is recommended that you bring in professional movers to do the actual relocation. The moving company can have a hand in helping you plan your move, and they have first-hand knowledge on how to pack and transport all of your equipment, including computer monitors and televisions, without sustaining any damage.
The movers can help you pack up your existing office and unpack it at the new location. It is a good idea to have a point person at your company who can direct the movers to the rooms where everything should be placed, so there is less confusion and legwork necessary when the move is complete.
No, moving a business is not always an easy feat, but the process can be made much easier with proper planning and implementation. Heed these tips during your next move, and you will be happy with the results.