by Anand Srinivasan, founder of LeadJoint.com
Moving your business from one location to another is a big decision that involves a number of factors. It is often an expensive process, and not something a business wants to go through unless it really needs to for its bottom line to continue to expand and grow.
Before you commit your business to this time consuming process, make sure you’ve thought through all of the following factors:
Location Pros and Cons.
It’s easy to see a new building going up and think that moving your business into a brand new facility would be the best possible option for your company. It may very well be, but before you decide that the new spot is perfect for your business, make sure to think through the pros and cons carefully and specifically.
What benefits will the new building offer? Are there benefits – like a price lock, an understanding landlord, or a parking lot which is for your employees and customers only – that you would lose by moving?
No matter which way the balance shifts, it’s good to have an objective and clear list of reasons as to why moving is the right – or wrong – choice for your company.
Whether you plan to organize your move with just employees and friends, or to hire a moving company, it’s important to figure out how much it will cost to move your business. Will you need to rent a truck or hire professional movers? Do you have heavy or specialized equipment which will need to be relocated at additional expense by hiring a specialised moving company? Will you need to pay to have the new location customized in any way? What about utility set-up fees or new insurance costs? Boxes and other moving materials?
The cost may be worth it, but knowing ahead of time how much you need to budget will help you be sure.
Ease of Commute.
One factor companies sometimes forget to consider is the ease of commute for their employees, especially in winter time. If they are moving to an urban or downtown location, it’s a good idea to make sure there will be adequate parking for employees, or that public transportation options will be available.
If they are moving out of an urban area into a suburban one, they should talk to their employees about how much of a difference the new commute might make for them.
Ultimately, knowing how your employees are going to get to work is probably not a make-or-break issue. But having an understanding of the challenges your employees currently face, and knowing how things will change, helps companies have honest conversations with your employees.
If you are going to be moving more than a town or so away, you may need to look into options that would allow your employees to work from home part time or full time, if you anticipate keeping most of your employees. Again, knowing this ahead of time helps you plan.
If you are moving to a new state, you may need to plan out how you will hire an entirely new staff.
If you are moving from one side of town to the other, transferring any utilities will probably be simple. If you’re moving farther than that, however, you may need to find out which utilities will be in place, whether they will be included in your rent or paid for separately, and whether or not they require deposits. As always, knowing ahead of time can help you plan, and ensure that you have sufficient liquid cash to complete your move.
For some companies, being in one county versus another, or one state versus another, can offer significant tax benefits. Some communities will reduce or eliminate certain taxes and fees for a company that chooses to establish or relocate to its town or downtown, for example. Talking to the local Chamber of Commerce may give nascent or relocating businesses a clear idea of what to expect.
Certain states are known to be good for certain types of businesses. Many financial companies operate out of the southwest, for example, because of the tax benefits they receive in a particular community. But these benefits can also be true on a smaller scale.
Knowing ahead of time what factors will determine your moving budget and your decision making process can help you make clear, careful decisions that will work for your entire company. In general, avoid making such big business decisions on a whim; take your time, weigh all factors, and make a carefully considered choice that will support your business over the long term.
Anand Srinivasan is the founder of LeadJoint.com, an online lead generation tool for digital marketing agencies. He is also a part-time marketing consultant and has previously worked with some of the most promising Indian startups.