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Business relocation is something that can be good for a business while also being expensive and necessitating business financing to pay for things like rent, moving, and employee relocation. The decision to relocate a business should be made with a full understanding of what relocation entails and how you will pay for it.

At Select Funding, we work with small to medium-sized businesses every day, providing them with affordable financing to pay for things like relocation. We understand the benefits and risks of relocation and we’re here to provide advice. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for moving your business to a new location.

Why Would a Business Relocate?

Why would you want to take an existing business and relocate it? Here are some of the most common reasons that businesses consider commercial relocation:

  • Your business has grown and you need more space to accommodate new hires or expanded production.
  • Your current location no longer meets your needs, whether it’s because the commute is too long for your employees, you need room for additional equipment, or you’re not getting enough foot traffic to support your growth goals.
  • Your rent has increased or your building is being sold and the new owner is raising the rent to a level where it’s no longer affordable with your current revenue.
  • Your expansion plans involve making your products or services accessible to a new market.
  • You have multiple offices or locations that you want to consolidate into a single location to save money.
  • You’re having difficulty attracting top talent to your business in your existing location and believe you will have better luck somewhere else.
  • Your business is struggling and you need to downsize to stay afloat.

As you can see, there are many reasons to relocate and if any of these apply to you, then you may want to consider business relocation as a way to manage your overhead expenses or make your business objectives a reality.

Free Download: Small Business New Location Checklist

10 Tips for Relocating Your Business

There are many things to keep in mind once you’ve decided to relocate your business. You’ll need to consider your budget and finances and any logistical ramifications of your relocation. Here are 10 tips to help you choose the right location and make a seamless transition to your new space.

#1: Evaluate Your Needs

The first thing to do is to evaluate your needs, paying particular attention to what is and isn’t working in your current location. It may be that some of your needs are being met, in which case you’ll want to make sure that your new location can also meet them.

Equally as important is identifying those needs that aren’t being met by your current location. In some cases, your evaluation might tell you that your existing space can be modified to meet those needs; if it can’t, then you know that relocation is necessary. Making a list of your must-have attributes will help you during your search.

#2: Create a Relocation Budget

Our next tip is to create a relocation budget that is within your means while still allowing you to find a location that meets your needs. Your budget may accommodate the purchase of a business location or be more in line with renting, but either way, you should have a clear picture of what you can afford to spend.

Your budget should include expenses such as rent, property taxes, insurance, hiring a mover or a decorator, paying a security deposit, employee relocation expenses, and any lost revenue from the time you spend moving

#3: Research Potential Locations

Research is essential because it can reveal potential issues with any location you’re considering. You may already have a location in mind. For example, you might want to relocate your retail store to a busy downtown shopping area or move to a neighboring city to be closer to your clients and give your employees a shorter commute.

You should research any specific space you intend to rent or buy as well. Some of the things to look at include foot traffic, parking, zoning issues, accessibility for shipping and receiving, nearby services, and whether you’ll have room to grow if you move there.

#4: Work with a Real Estate Attorney

Whether you plan to rent or buy, we strongly recommend working with an experienced real estate attorney to help you negotiate the terms of your purchase agreement or lease and to analyze any contract before you sign it.

You might think that hiring a lawyer is an unnecessary expense but it can help you get the best deal possible and avoid any potential pitfalls. You’ll need to be sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities, which may include things like property tax, maintenance, and insurance.

#5: Create a Business Relocation Plan

Creating a business relocation plan is the best way to minimize stress and keep any disruption to your business operations to a minimum. Your plan should include a timeline for your business move, including when you will inform clients, who will be responsible for packing, and so on.

It’s at this stage that you may want to begin researching business relocation services. Depending on your business, you may need specialized movers. For example, anybody who handles confidential medical records will need a company that’s HIPAA-compliant.

#6: Plan for Your Technology Needs

We all rely on technology, so it’s essential to have a plan to move your business computers and machines and have wireless service in your new location set up ahead of time. While this step should be part of your overall business relocation plan, we feel it deserves special attention.

If you have an in-house IT department or a contractor on call, you’ll need to coordinate with them to determine what steps are necessary to make sure your technology needs are met as quickly as possible after you move into your new location.

#7: Inform Your Employees

It’s important to give your employees plenty of notice about the move, particularly if it will substantially impact their commuting time or require them to move to a new city or state. Before you talk to your employees, you should have an employee relocation package prepared for any employees who will need to move to stay with your company.

Even if your move is only a short one, this is also a good time to let employees know what your moving plan is and what their responsibilities will be before, during, and after you move. For example, employees may be responsible for informing clients of the move or packing their own desks.

#8: Order What You Need for Your New Space

If you are moving to a larger space because your business is growing, then you may need to order additional computers, furniture, or product display cases for your business. If you can, coordinate the delivery of new items with your move to minimize disruption. It’s at this stage that you should order new signage and new letterhead and business cards, too.

On a related note, businesses that are merging offices or downsizing may need to secure storage space. Here again, keep in mind that secure storage is necessary if you will be storing medical information or financial information.

#9: Build Up Inventory

If you manufacture anything, you may want to accelerate production in the weeks leading up to your move to make sure that you have enough products on hand to meet your customers’ needs even if your work is disrupted for a few days because of the move.

The complicating factor here is that accelerated production translates to additional products to move, but you can take that into account when you hire a moving company to assist you.

#10: Update Your Company Website and Online Listings

As soon as you move, you will need to update your company website, review listings, and social media accounts to reflect your new address and contact information. Don’t delay this step: the last thing you want is for customers to show up at your old location instead of your new one.

Keep in mind that all online listings must be identical for SEO purposes, so you may want to designate a single person to make those changes. You may also want to consider putting a temporary “We’ve Moved” banner on your site to make sure visitors know about your relocation.

What Does an Employee Relocation Package Typically Include?

If you are asking employees to move to stay with your company, you will need to offer an employee relocation package. At minimum, you will need to offer assistance to pay for moving expenses. Here are some other things that you may want to provide:

  • Packing service
  • Moving and insurance assistance
  • Reimbursement for a house-hunting trip
  • Temporary housing expenses
  • Temporary storage
  • Travel expenses

If you are relocating to another state and asking employees to move with you, it’s your responsibility to provide them with the assistance they need for a smooth transition.

What Are Some Common Problems Associated with Business Relocation?

With proper planning, your move should be minimally disruptive to your business. Since it’s impossible to predict everything, here are some common problems that you may encounter:

  • Damage to items being moved. Even the most experienced movers may sometimes inadvertently damage an item they’re moving. Make sure you understand your rights and what the moving company will do to reimburse you if they damage something.
  • Customer service issues. There’s a possibility that one or more customers may not be able to get the assistance they need during or after your move. Have a system in place to address issues as quickly as possible and reassure your customers of their importance.
  • Technology issues. Have a backup plan in place in case you run into technical glitches on the day of your move. You may want to reroute calls from your old number to your cell phone or have a printed list of necessary contact information that you can reference.
  • Employee stress or disengagement. Moving can be stressful, so make sure that you communicate well and check in with your employees throughout the relocation process.

The key is to remain agile and respond quickly to any issues that arise during the transition.

Download the Free Small Business New Location Checklist

Get Working Capital to Finance Your Business Relocation

Relocating a business can be beneficial and it doesn’t need to be stressful if you plan carefully and have the working capital you need for a smooth transition. The 10 tips we’ve included here will help you avoid some common pitfalls and get to your new location as quickly and easily as possible.

Do you need financing to pay for your business relocation? Select Funding is here to help! Learn more about our small business financing options and begin the application process today.