Congrats! If you’re reading this, your business is ready to expand outside your living room walls and into a commercial space. And while this endeavor is no small task, the end results will be rewarding for your business and personal needs. Here’s everything to think about as you take this important next step.
Start by creating a timeline that will include all the necessary steps for your move. For a small office, you’ll need at least three months to prepare and for a medium to large office, plan for at least six to eight months. Whichever size business you are, start the planning process as early as possible. After you have a plan in place, find out all the information you can about your new space, such as the blueprints or floor layouts, storage, electrical outlets, and all the other nitty-gritty details. You want to get a general understanding of the layout of your space so you can have a seamless transition from one space to the other. This will allow for plenty of time to determine if you need new furniture or other office supplies that will work in the new space.
The success of your business depends on its new home. And as your business grows larger, clients and customers will feel more comfortable visiting a brick and mortar space than your home. When deciding where to move to, think about your current client base as well as your target customer, plus any third parties if applicable. You’ll want to be centrally located if you have regular face-to-face meetings. Also, plan according to your business goals–if you’re expanding to accommodate more foot traffic, seek out a location in a high-volume area such as an already well-known shopping center or strip mall. If most of your work is remote, then perhaps a more industrial part of town would fit well for your needs. You’ll also want to be aware of where your competitors are located. If you’ve satisfied all of those needs, think about your new commute to work. The days of rolling out of bed and walking down the stairs to the office are over. To save on future time and stress (or in case of any emergencies), make sure your business is located aptly.
The timing of when you move is also very important to the success of your business, and the move itself. If you have employees, make sure you inform them of the move at least one year in advance. You don’t want them stressed about packing during their paid-time-off or holiday vacations. This will also ensure you avoid external factors like holiday traffic, stress, and local events that could interrupt your move. Your employees should also be aware of how this move will affect their current schedules and commutes. Keep them in the loop and don’t be afraid to over-communicate. Another big reason timing is so important–budget. If your budget isn’t quite where you want it to be by three months prior to the big move, consider pushing the date back. Taking a big financial hit before a move will worsen your business in the long run, and you’ll be facing new challenges in your new space, so bouncing back isn’t guaranteed.
Budget and Costs
When budgeting for your move, think about why you’re moving your business out of your home in the first place. If growing your business and increasing profits are at the top of that list, you’ll need to be extra careful with your spending so consider options to save money such as commercial finance. Factor in costs such as office refurbishments, plus any bills you’ll be required to pay like gas, electricity and other utilities. When finding a property, stick to your budget and don’t look at listings out of your price range. You have a budget to stick to for a reason. Also a good rule of thumb: moving always costs more than you think it will. Plan out a budget ahead of time and identify all your costs such as hiring movers, purchasing boxes, and taking time off of work.
Communicate to Your Customers
Keep your customers satisfied by informing them of all your upcoming business changes. You don’t want to hear a bunch of “where’d you go?” questions. Because your move will most likely disrupt your customers’ lives, you should start informing as soon as possible them via social media and email blasts, or even physical flyers, if your customers’ frequent your home for business. Keep reminding them with updates as you make progress in your move as well. If the move will affect distribution standards or production and shipping costs, you’ll want to prepare them for this as well. Provide a detailed statement clearly stating the new policy and/or changes. Your customers will remain happy and loyal as long as they’re kept in the loop.