Thinking about Relocation? 5 Questions to Ask Before Making the Move

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice [ 0 Comments ]

I learned the struggles of moving this summer when I stuffed all of my things into a U-Haul and drove from Illinois to California. This was, of course, after spending months online looking for a job; then spending months online looking for an apartment; then weeks trying to find an apartment with roommates I could handle; then a few days trying to figure out how to get my stuff across the country. When I think about people who move a family across the country, I think they’re crazy. When I think about someone trying to move a business to a different state, I think it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Unfortunately for small business owners, the economy leaves many with no choice but to relocate their business. However, I have discovered that moving does not have to be stressful, and it can be worthwhile. As long as you have taken the right steps to moving a business and you are positive that a move will help keep your business afloat, moving can actually be quite exciting. Ask yourself these questions to see if a move is really a good idea:

  • Will another area have a higher availability of a product you need?
  • Has your area lost value because of socioeconomic factors?
  • Is your business growing and thus needs more market opportunities?
  • Is your rent increasing because your current area is becoming more popular?
  • Do you need to move to stay in touch with clients?

Answering yes to a few of these questions probably means that relocating is a good idea. However, there are many questions you need to ask yourself before jumping to conclusions. It makes sense to go where the economy is best, but this is not the only consideration small business owners need to ponder. Moving is a big deal, so you must make sure that you have considered all the options before taking the plunge into that new city.

5 Qualities to Look for in a Potential New City

  1. Competition—It may seem obvious, but checking out the competition in the area you are considering is crucial. Chances are you will not be able to bring too many of your customers or clients with you, so you will be starting from scratch. If there is a lot of competition around, the great economy may not be able to help you.
  2. Population—If you are used to a small town, moving to a town with a larger population may not be the right move, and vica versa. Population has everything to do with the number of customers that will be walking through your store or calling up your business. If you are used to running a smaller operation, a larger population may be difficult to manage at first. If you’re used to running a bit larger company, a small population simply will not get you the numbers you’re looking for at the end of each month.
  3. Potential customer characteristics—In many cases, people living in the same town have similar needs and even similar thoughts. For example, Texas may be a bit more conservative in their opinions about different services or products, while California might be a bit more liberal. This may force you to change your marketing strategies or your product or service to lose popularity.
  4. Future market trends—Even though an area may have a good economy currently, it never hurts to look into the future. After all, you are not planning on picking up and moving everything simply to pick up and do it again in the next few years. Look at your specific market and evaluate its success. Ask some of the other businesses in the area about some of the current trends and how they think they might change in the future.
  5. Don’t miss the signs—There are sure to be signs that tell you whether or not an area is growing or dying. Look for the opening of new stores, the major companies in the area, transportation facilities, and even the school system to see if the area is doing well. Also look around for vacant business buildings and the unemployment rate for the opposite reason.

Although it may seem like a hassle to move your entire business, moving it to the right area will significantly decrease this feeling of stress and procrastination. Most companies know whether or not their business is in trouble; however most businesses are too afraid to make the move. Once you begin researching different areas and figuring out what works best for your type of company, I think you will find that moving may not be easy, but it is often worth it in the long run. I know that I found moving to be the best choice for me, and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.

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