Recently, a friend of mine moved from Delhi to Bengaluru. Now she vows to never ever move again. Moving is a headache. Sorting, packing, trying as much as possible not to forget, lose or break things – it's all too complicated and stressful. Moving houses is a rather daunting task. What's more daunting than moving houses is moving your business to another city. Yet, there are plenty of reasons for businesses to relocate. The current location could lack in one or more of the following: infrastructure, security, better living conditions, a reasonable cost of living, talent pool, connectivity, and so on. No matter what your reasons are, you need to bear in mind the following five points to make the relocation phase stress-free for you, your employees, and most importantly, your clients.
Evaluate long-term growth potential
If you're in a rush to relocate because you have outgrown the local market, then you need to be doubly sure of the growth potential of the new city you're planning to move to. Can you last there for a substantial amount of time? Or will you be forced to move once again in just a few years?
“Will your business thrive in this new location? Or will it quickly outgrow it? Moving takes a lot out of you and your employees. You have to assume expenses, learn about the new legal environment and, inevitably, recruit new talent. But is this a city where you’d want to (and be able to) grow your business over the next 5, 10 or 20 years?” asks Firas Kittaneh, CEO at Amerisleep, as stated by Small Business Trends.
Account for downtime
Relocation means downtime. It is entirely up to you and your team to minimise downtime during your relocation. Tom McDonald, President of NSI, has been helping small and medium businesses succeed in Connecticut for over 25 years. He advises businesses to migrate the IT on a weekend. “If you turn off the technology at the old office, make sure it’s at a non-important time like late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Yes, this means working on a weekend, but it also can help avoid precious downtime during the workday,” he says.
Secure the buy-in of the core team
Most businesses relocate to where their clients are. If you're planning to do so, make sure you have the buy-in of your current core team. You would have spent quite a considerable amount of time in hiring the right talent. Make sure you don't lose out on talent because of the move.
“When we were looking for a bigger office to move into last year, we considered Culver City and City of Industry, two very different places. After we shared our two options with our teammates, it became clear that Culver City was going to be a much better commute for almost everyone on the team. As a result, we moved to Culver City and helped everyone’s day start a little better,” says Nanxi Liu of Enplug
Mare sure you're set to run from day one
Your new office in the new city should be ready to use from day one. Make sure your phone and internet connections are in place. “Do not skimp on the up-front cost of IT advice if connectivity is important to your business,” says Joshua Kelly, Chief Operating Officer of Fine Design Group, a digital branding and Web design firm with two West Coast locations (as stated by Entrepreneur). His company had to go through stress for several months due to bad connectivity and phone service failures in the new office.
Have a stand-by plan
No matter how meticulous your relocation plan is, you will have to make room for errors and have a Plan B charted out. Make sure you have a temporary place from where you can operate your business from if things don't go according to your plan. You must also make sure that you have insurance for things that get broken or damaged during transit.
Moving your business is going to be an even bigger challenge than starting a new business from scratch. Planning is the key to success. Plan the move well and plan things well in advance. Leave nothing to chance, and you will find yourself tiding over this challenge with an inspiring story to tell.