A person in the United States is expected to move 11.7 times in his lifetime. We move for many reasons these days, family reasons (to take care of aging parent or for a better school district for children), economic reasons (job offers or transfers), or social reasons (find better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends).
If you’re a small business owner, and you and your family may have decided to move for any of the above reasons, you may be asking yourself: How will this move affect my business and how can I make the transfer easier so I can hit the ground running as soon as the boxes are unpacked? Here are some tips:
I. Once the decision is made and in progress, tell your customers. Increase your trust and credibility by keeping your customers informed of any changes that affect your company, including your change of address. Not only is this practical, so they can send payment to the correct place but people like to be ‘in the know’ when it comes to their business partners and contractors. Send out an email newsletter, add your new address to your invoices and mailings, and even mention it to them during meetings or phone calls. Also notify all suppliers, service providers, contractors, banks, and local tax authorities of your change of address.
II. Update your online profiles. Make sure existing, new and potential customers can find you, especially those in your new market. As soon as possible, update your website, your blog, your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram), and don’t forget your Google My Business listing. That way you can begin to rank in the SERPs (search engine results page) for your new locale. Also, make sure your new business cards and advertising materials are reprinted with new address.
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- Make sure you’re using card view. …
- Choose the listing you’d like to manage.
- Click Info at the top of the page.
- Click the section that you want to change, then enter the new information in the box that appears. …
- Click Apply. [More info].
III. Make an appointment with your accountant. Make sure you discuss your decision with your accountant prior to your move. Changes will be need regarding your business licenses, dissolving old ones and starting new ones, as well as tax implications in your new area. It may be time to find a new accountant if you’re move was out of state or in a new region, so they are familiar with local tax laws and requirements.
IV. Be prepared for any transitional profit loss. It may take some time to build up a new customer base if you’ve lost some of your old customers due to your new address. If your business is the type that has to service your customers locally or you’re selling exclusively in a brick-and-mortar retail location, you may have to be prepared for starting over. The bright side is that you’ve already had experience growing a successful business, so you know what works and what doesn’t; and you’re much better equipped now as a seasoned business owner than you were as a startup. As a result, get ready beforehand by doing all you can to increase your financial reserves, reduce overhead, and increase marketing efforts during your startup phase.
V. Get customers ready for any downtime. Let’s face it, moving is hard work and one of the most stressful events in your life. You are going to be distracted, working hard to pack up, organize the move and then physically move all your stuff across town, state or country. You are also moving your home and family, in addition to your business so stress and all that comes with it are inevitable. Make sure you communicate with customers and clients how long you’ll be down and when you’ll be resuming a normal schedule. Be realistic with timelines so you give yourself and your family time to adjust, recalibrate and settle in.
VII. Get acclimated to your new market. Once you’re settled in and ready to work, get to know your new local market. Join the local chamber and actively participate by joining a committee, attending events, and schedule a Ribbon-Cutting for your business. Network with local reputable and professional organizations. Volunteer or support local non-profits. Hold a workshop or grand opening event where you offer door prizes, special sales and free refreshments to encourage attendance.
VIII. Advertise & Market your new location. With a good combination of organic and paid content, get the message out there that you’ve moved to your existing audience and you’ve arrived to your new target audience. Run ads on social media and Adwords for your new city and state, and write location-based keyword-rich content on your website, blog, and social media channels so you start showing up on local searches. Tell your story, why you moved, why you miss your home, and what you are looking forward to at your new one. Connect with your audience, old and new to develop and enhance those relationships.
Moving is hard, relocating and settling in are daunting as well, but focus on the end-goal, have a sense of humor, and remember the reasons you made this decision. In no time at all, your new business will be up and running.
Startup Production has moved! Our family and I made the decision early this year that changes were needed, so we finally settled on Lexington KY as our goal. That way we could reduce my husband’s commute as well as benefit my business, in that I was now closer to my Downtown Lexington office and the majority of my clients, here in Lexington KY. We sold our home in Richmond KY, which also meant moving my home office, and are currently in-between homes. It’s been stressful, physically and emotionally, but we also have a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in reaching our goal. We love living here, so much to do and it feels a lot more like home as it’s a much better fit for our family. Yet I still have strong ties to Richmond KY and Madison County, with various organizations, my clients and also a virtual office space in Downtown Richmond.
Although I’m locally based in Central KY, my client base is located throughout Kentucky and the United States, so if you’re looking for affordable, practical and user-friendly website design or internet marketing, give me a call or send me an email.