Starting your own business is part of the American Dream, but when your dream requires a move to a new location, things can get tricky. There are so many things to consider—especially when you’re moving your home and your business. To keep you on the road to success, here are 10 tips to help you pull off a problem-free move.
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- Pick the right location. The first step to a successful move is choosing the perfect location for you and your business. Make sure the city and state you select for your relocation are small-business friendly. Some signs that you’re going in the right direction include a community that offers a robust selection of training and resources for entrepreneurs, licensing and tax codes that are good for small businesses, and ample networking opportunities to meet possible mentors and clients.
- Understand the regulations. Once you finalize where you’re moving, dig in and learn everything you can about local zoning codes, licensing, permit requirements, and the tax code (both state and city) for small businesses. You should be able to find most of this information on local government websites and through the Small Business Association (SBA). Be sure to check out the local Chamber of Commerce as well.
- Get connected. It’s hard to set up a new home or business without connection to the outside world. One of the first things you should take care of is your phone and Internet service. Depending on where you’re moving and who your provider is, you may be able to move your current service to your new location. If not, make sure you do your homework to get the best deal for the best rates. Compare services from different providers and look for discounts if you bundle your phone, Internet, and cable.
- Find free resources. Moving is going to take a bite out of your bank account, so look for business services and support that you can take advantage of without incurring a big bill. Whether you’re looking for advice, training, or assistance finding the best way to hire help, there are many places you can go to get help free of charge. Look for small business mentorship groups, services offered by the SBA, and classes or training offered by local workforce training offices. You can even find free software and business management tools online.
- Think creatively about office space. It’s common to want to launch your business from a swanky new office with all the trimmings. But it’s not necessary to have impressive digs before you’ve seen your first quarter earnings. Before jumping into a lease for a space, evaluate what your actual business needs are.
Can you designate a portion of your new house or apartment as an office? Are you able to perform most business needs virtually? If you need a place to meet with clients, check out co-working spaces, local libraries, or even a quiet coffee shop where you can do business. Once business starts booming you can look around for that corner office with a view.
- Build relationships. Just because you’re new in town doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of who you know. Get out there and start meeting and greeting the industry influencers in your new city. Start with professional connections on business networking sites like LinkedIn and look for gatherings of like-minded entrepreneurs on Meetup. Don’t overlook your personal interests and hobbies—you need relationships beyond your business as well.
- Get the word out. Your startup can’t grow if no one knows about it. Start spreading the word via a professional website, blog, and social media accounts. These types of virtual grassroots marketing can help you start a buzz for your business before you even get to town. Consider a teaser campaign that lets locals know something big is coming their way. To make sure you don’t suffer from any downtime on your promotional channels, it’s important to secure your phone and Internet service (see tip number 3) as soon as possible.
- Set up a support system. Moving is draining and it can leave you in need of an emotional and mental refill. Try to make a few connections in your new town before moving day. It could be a new neighbor, someone you’ve connected with online, or a referral from a current friend or acquaintance. As soon as you get settled, reach out and establish the foundation of an ongoing relationship. Don’t neglect the people you’re leaving behind, though. Thanks to the accessibility of tools like video chat and instant messaging, your mom or bestie is only a finger-swipe away.
- Take advantage of concierge services. One of the perks of living in the 21st century is that you can have nearly anything delivered. When you’re moving and setting up a new business, you don’t always have time for the banalities of everyday life. Locate local services for grocery and food delivery, dry cleaning, and even someone to take Fido for a walk. Your move will go much more smoothly if you outsource what you can and keep your brain free to focus on your business.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself. In the flurry of getting your business off to a great start, it’s easy to overlook self-care. Before you start packing, be on the lookout for referrals to a new gym, hairstylist, and coffee shop. Contact your doctor and vet to make transferring records easy once you’ve identified new care practitioners. When you’re meeting and greeting all those new clients, you’ll want to look and feel your best. Make sure you’ve identified all the amenities you need to keep your lifestyle and routines on track.
Armed with your business plan and these moving tips, you’re already on track to making your small-business dream come true. All you have to do now is start checking those important moving to-dos off your list. Why not get started by finding out what Internet and phone deals are available in your new city right now?
Author: Alice Williams has an MA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on corporate communication. She writes on business, tech, HR and social media and contributes to a variety of online publications. Information credit to ATTsavings for their phone and internet deals.