So you’ve decided to take your business to the next level, by moving your business to a new city. While relocating a company can be exciting, it also comes with many challenges.
There’s a tone to consider before moving your business to a new city. Do you have a handle on the costs involved? Have you determined how the move will impact your employees and clients? And what about all the logistical details – have you figured those out yet? Relocating a business is not for the faint of heart.
But with careful planning and preparations, you can ensure a smooth transition to your new location. Here are some key things to consider when moving your business to a new city.
1. New City’s Business Regulation and Taxation
You’ll need to apply for the proper licenses and permits to operate in the new city. Requirements and fees vary in each location, so check with city hall to determine your needs. Getting approval may take weeks or months, so start the process early.
Get familiar with the local tax rates, like sales and business income taxes. Some cities offer incentives or tax breaks for new businesses, so inquire about available programs you may qualify for. The last thing you want is an unexpected tax bill after you move in.
Check the city’s zoning ordinances to ensure your type of business is permitted to operate at your desired new location. Some cities prohibit certain business activities in residential or mixed-use areas. Ensure you understand the rules before signing a lease or purchasing a property.
2. Cost of Office Space
The cost of moving your business to a new city can add up. First, there’s finding new office space. Commercial real estate isn’t cheap, especially in large cities. You’ll need to factor in rental rates, utility bills, and possibly renovation costs to make the space suit your needs.
Furthermore, consider costs for new signage, stationary, and marketing materials featuring your updated address and contact information.
3. Cost of Moving Your Business
Rent and utilities will likely be higher in your new city. Research commercial rental rates and utility costs for businesses of your size. You’ll also want to consider a deposit for your new office space and the cost to design and build out the space to cater to your needs.
4. Cost of Relocating Employees
Think about offering relocation packages to help ease the transition for employees making the move with you. This may include things like:
- Paying for moving expenses like packing, transportation and unpacking of household goods.
- Temporary housing or housing stipend to help employees find a new place to live.
- Travel costs for employees and their families to visit the new city to explore housing and school options.
For employees not making the move, consider offering severance packages. Ensure employees staying on also feel supported and motivated during the transition period.
Customers are the cornerstones of any successful business, so they should be considered when moving business to a new city.
How Will You Reach Your Existing Customers?
Your current clients won’t be making the move with you. You’ll need to figure out how to maintain those relationships from a distance. Consider:
- Communicating the move ahead of time through email, social media, and your website. Let them know when you’re moving and how they can still reach you.
- Developing a system to serve them remotely, whether through shipping, virtual consultations, or having a point person stay behind for a while.
- Travelling back periodically to check in on key clients if feasible. Even occasional FaceTime can go a long way.
How Will You Find New Customers?
Starting from scratch in a new city also means developing a new customer base. Some strategies to get in front of potential new patrons include:
- Networking at local events to spread the word about your business.
- Joining relevant business organizations and chambers of commerce.
- Sponsoring nearby community events or sports teams to increase visibility.
- Optimizing your online presence so the new locals can easily find you when searching for the products or services you offer.
- Running promotions and advertising deals exclusive to your new city to drive traffic and buzz.
With the right combination of maintaining existing relationships and fostering new ones, you can build up your customer base again after a big move.
So there you have it: five major things to consider when moving your business to a new city. It’s not an easy decision and certainly not one to take lightly. But for the right opportunity, the rewards can be huge. A new locale can open your business to fresh talent, more customers, and a chance to reinvent yourself.
Just ensure you go in with your eyes wide open, do your homework, build connections, and have a solid plan for making the transition as seamless as possible. If you take the time to set yourself up for success, moving to a new city could be one of the best decisions you ever make for your business.
Authored by: Katherine Robinson, a writer for FreightFinder