For many small businesses, location is a major factor in staying profitable and relevant in specific industries. In our previous blog, “The Why and How of Relocating Your Business,” we discussed the reasons to move and the basics of business moving logistics.
In this blog, we’ll discuss several business sectors that can suffer during and after a location change, including profitability, productivity, and customer loyalty. In each section, we provide the information you need to keep your business moving forward.
Small businesses often lose customers in a move because they fail to communicate effectively with their clients and customers. Consistent communication with your customers is the best way to ensure that as many loyal clients as possible follow you to your new location. Smart communication methods may include:
- Advertisements in local newspapers or newsletters
- Direct mail flyers that include the new location and sales incentives
- Email updates to customers on your email list
- Onsite signage, both at your current location and at your new building
- Twitter and Facebook announcements
As you reach out to your customers, ensure that you express how much their business means to you as an owner and to your company as a whole. You want your customers to feel valued and special so that they will continue to work with your business regardless of how close or far your new location is from them.
A move can be highly disruptive to the way your business usually operates. One to four weeks before your moving date, come up with a plan to minimize the impact on your employee productivity.
For example, you may want to:
- Announce the move in advance so your employees can better anticipate the changes to their commute and work hours.
- Provide your employees with a step-by-step outline of how you expect the transition to go, including any days your business might be closed to handle moving tasks.
- Schedule any large-scale professional moving, such as the transportation of specialized equipment, for after hours
If you expect your employees to help with the moving process itself, be clear on what you anticipate happening. Let your team know how the transition will affect their usual productivity metrics, their assigned job tasks, and their pay.
Online Presence and SEO
As a small business, you need to be accessible to your customers online before you ever see them in person. Once you know you’re relocating, create a notice on your website. In the early stages of your move, you may want a banner that says, “New Location Opening Soon,” rather than an actual address.
Contact map services to change the listing of your new building from the previous tenant’s name to your own.
Once you’re a week or so away from your move, put your new location on your website and on all other online platforms, such as:
- Google Plus and Google My Business
- Local business directories
- Yelp and other review sites
You may also want to include an interactive map or directions so you know your customers can find you. These methods improve your client communication by reaching your customers where they’re most available. Additionally, these measures ensure that your online contact information is accurate so no calls get misdirected.
You should increase your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Add new location keywords to your content, like the name of the neighborhood, city, and state you’re now in. These keywords, known as geotargets, ensure that your company looks relevant to clients in your new area.
In many respects, moving your business is similar as starting your company over again from scratch. You may need to find new suppliers, hire other employees, and rebuild your client base in your new area.
In order to stay profitable throughout the transition, you must spend wisely and sell as well as possible. Create a reasonable budget for your move. This figure should include the expenses of your new lease agreement as well as changing your utility accounts, advertising your location change, and covering any profit gaps.
Consider handling the majority of these tasks yourself to minimize costs. Use the following tactics:
- Have each of your employees pack up what’s on his or her desk to reduce the overall amount of packing.
- Hire a moving van or truck and use your employees as your primary movers.
- Pack your equipment appropriately to avoid breakage and other costly issues.
- Purchase your new signage in bulk and have employees hang the advertisements.
As you work, you should ensure that your employees are properly trained for moving and lifting and are appropriately compensated, but these smart decisions can save you money over the course of your transition.
Use these guidelines to ensure that your customers are ready and waiting for your services when you arrive at your new business location.