This summer we decided to personally move to Southwestern Ontario which also meant a decision of moving our business. We have been in business going on eight years, and if we had done this even five years ago, it might not have gone as smoothly as expected. Early on we traveling to client locations locally, even when it was not required. In the last few years, we have dealt with a lot of clients across the province or country remotely utilizing technology that, as well as those that were local, where being on their site was not required. Remote service not only increased our productivity by reducing time in our car but kept the costs for the client down. In many cases, we have had clients that we have not met in person and yet have worked with for years. If this weren't the case, it would have been a harder decision to move to the area we live now as a lot smaller population.
Legislation related to Business in Your New Location
Requirements related to a business can differ from one town or city to the next. Make sure you understand the regulations and legislation related to commercial real estate, home-based businesses if this applies, as well as your industry requirements. There may be local differences in what is required in licensing, taxes, or regulations.
Amending Legal Documents, Licenses, and Marketing Materials
For those that have not moved a business, it is essential to understand what is involved even if you are just going to move to the next town. When you move, you have to change your address on your business license, incorporation papers, as well as WSIB or equivalent, and the provincial and federal government for taxes. You then need to change this on all your marketing materials such as your website, business cards, and any printed material that lists your address. You will also need to change any of your contracts which have your old address.
You will need to notify your insurance company of your move as well and in some cases your insurance could increase or decrease depending on your new location.
Marketing and Your New Location
Once you move your business you have work to do to ensure your business does not suffer and some of these key marketing items are sometimes overlooked. If your website or social media sites are optimized for your local area, then you will need to invest time or pay your web development company to reoptimize for your new location. This will take some time if you are ranked high for your past area. You also need to integrate yourself into your new business area with other business owners and join local networking groups like the Chamber and BNI who can help you grow your business. Get involved in the community of your new business to get the name of the business out there. In many cases, it is a bit like starting over.
Suppliers and Partnerships
Depending on how far you move and the type of business, you may need to look for new suppliers and partnerships in your new location. If this is not the case, it is crucial that you inform both of your intention to move, especially if you have contracts in place.
Updating Customers and Employees
It is vital if you have employees that you keep them informed and up to date on your move. If you are moving a long distance, you are most likely going to lose employees and have to replace them with new ones. If you are just moving the next town over, this will still affect many as could dramatically change their commute to work.
Be sure to inform customers as soon as you can so they are aware of your move, so you retain them and do not lose them as a customer. You want to maintain your loyal customers. You will find customers will travel a little further for products and services to keep the quality and customer service they have with their current vendor.
Updating Your Current Budget
You will need to update your current budget especially your marketing one. If your business situation changes based on location, you will need to reforecast your financials based on the change. Your expenses will definitely change. Be sure not to forget to keep all the receipts for your move, as your move is deductible. Talk to your accountant about this in advance. Be sure to make sure you are investing enough in marketing to draw new customers to your new location.
Moving your business is a big decision, so it is important that you plan the move and be prepared. This is just a short list of key things to remember when you are thinking about moving your business. This is by no means comprehensive and does not include tips for the move itself, but we hope it is helpful to those that are considering the move.
RK Fischer & Associates