If your business is growing and doing well, moving premises can be an inevitable side effect. If you’ve exhausted all the options to adjust the configuration of the space or the lease terms in your current premises, it’s time to move on. When you do decide to move your premises, although you’re likely to be excited about what your new premises can deliver to your business, you’re also likely to have a list as long as your arm of logistical, physical, and financial concerns to tick off.
Amongst the legal obligations, financial impact, and communication with your customers, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and wonder why you’re doing it at all. However, moving business premises represents a fantastic opportunity for your business, not just in terms of the physical space to expand into. Here are some common considerations and challenges you may face during the process, with a helpful reframe to shed light on the positive impact it could have on your business.
- Cost implications: While you may be concerned about the financial impact of moving and paying close attention to the costs associated with leasing new premises, a solid plan will go a long way to addressing your concerns. Planning at least a year ahead will ensure you have time to address issues early, for example, the impact of relocating equipment and inventory, updating technology infrastructure, and potentially facing downtime during the transition. Equally, building a plan 12 months ahead provides the opportunity to explore as an option, renegotiating your current lease, enabling you to stay put and saving the cost of moving altogether!
- Disruption to operations: Moving a business can disrupt day-to-day operations, leading to the potential loss of productivity and revenue. However, by overlapping your premises leases by a few weeks or months, you can coordinate a smooth transition and minimise the impact on your customers, employees, and overall business operations. This gives you plenty of time to plan and also to check your obligations in your current lease, to ensure you know what’s coming in terms of dilapidations. Also, think about repair and condition up front in your new lease so you know what’s coming next time! Including an overlap in your leases might sound like an extra cost, but this investment will ultimately save you not just money, but also time, stress, and hassle.
- Location and accessibility: Choosing the right location is crucial for the success of your business. Your new premises need to offer convenient access for customers, suppliers, and employees, so you may need to consider factors such as proximity to target markets, transportation infrastructure, parking availability, and visibility. Again, time is your friend here. Give yourself time to do the proper analysis and answer the question “What is it that the business needs?” Make a list of all your needs in terms of employees, suppliers, and customers, and map out your criteria for shopping for your property. Doing this work well ahead of time will ensure you can consult with your staff and suppliers and get them on board with the move. What are their expectations, wants, and needs? Ultimately, this is a chance to understand how things would change if you had premises that better reflected the needs of your business, without being up against the clock.
- Customer retention: You may be concerned about retaining your existing customer base during the move, as they may be inconvenienced by the relocation or may perceive it as a sign of business instability. However, with the right communication and reassurance during the transition, you can minimise any negative effects on customer loyalty. Your premises move is also a chance to re-engage with previous customers, refresh your brand or update your message to attract new customers. For example, I previously supported a garage mechanic from a main town to a nearby village. He was initially concerned all his town-based customers would abandon him. However, they didn’t because he was known for his fantastic customer service. Not only that, but he also picked up all the village customers. He has never been busier! At the end of the day, nurturing your loyal customers will see you through your relocation – and anything to come in the future!
By addressing these concerns in good time and planning your move meticulously, it is not only possible to mitigate potential risks but to navigate the process of moving business premises smoothly and take advantage of a host of new opportunities for your business. For a full moving checklist, including lots of other areas for consideration and top tips for a successful move, check out my latest free download here.