The Dos and Don’ts of Opening a New Location for Your Business!

by Sean Dixon

There are a lot of steps involved before you can relocate or open a new location for your business. Skipping the steps or putting your company into a rush without doing your due diligence is only going to cost you later. For most, it will be a financial cost. You will likely need to either move again or pay more to retrofit your new space to fit your needs.

While you can, of course, always update the space itself as you need, you can never change an office’s location without moving your company itself.

That’s why, before you open up a new office or even start looking at options, you need to complete these steps:

Create a New Business Plan

Think you can open up a new office seamlessly and carry on with your existing business approach? Think again. A new location means, at minimum, new workflows and expanding operations. Companies don’t relocate to continue business as usual. They relocate to do better and be better. If you want to see actual results (especially if you are expanding), then you need to start by creating a new business expansion plan with this new era of your company in mind.

Be Clear About the Costs

Opening up a new location, or even your first location, will come with a slew of costs that you need to be aware of and prepared to handle. Rent, utilities, taxes, cost of inventory or equipment, and so on. Having clear cost estimations can help incentivize you to look for more budget-friendly options (for example, buying equipment second-hand or renting it instead of buying new). It can also help you juggle your finances or secure a loan that will cover the costs in question.

Research Locations

It doesn’t matter if you are looking to open a location that is open to the public or solely for the use of your employees – location matters. While the location is going to be more important for stores and other locations like restaurants, you should also put effort into securing a great office location. What makes a great office location? While ensuring the location has the facilities your business needs is important, the commute your employees will take is even more so. If you are within city limits, try to find a spot that is easy to get to for both employees driving and those taking public transport.

Consider Hiring Facility Managers

Depending on the venue and your business size, you may benefit from hiring a facilities management company to handle the everyday management, maintenance, and regulation compliance. If you open up a new office, for example, having property managers available 24 hours a day can take a lot of stress out of the equation. A proper business needs working facilities, and for everyone using said facilities to be adhering to the rules that apply. If there are already property managers (for example, if you are renting a small office or unit), then you are good to go. If, on the other hand, you are in charge of the property, then hiring a full team or service is essential.

Creating (and Keeping) a Timeline

Having all of your ducks in a row is a great place to get started before any move, but being on time and making good progress every day means doing so much more. You will need movers, contractors, and of course, those facility managers to oversee your office as it is fitted and established.

Keeping a timeline both in terms of the movers and any renovation projects you may have on the go, and also with your current employees and business operations, is not easy. Work with both teams to figure out when natural pauses can be taken to, for example, relocate the computers in one office to another.

While in some cases, the answer is as simple as using a weekend or a long weekend to move equipment like that over, not all tasks can be handled so simply.

Updating the Paperwork

When you move or expand, everything needs to be updated as soon as possible. This means your website, your Google My Business profile, your listings, your advertisements, and more. If you have buyers or suppliers, or clients that only know how to reach you at your previous location, then you need to reach out and update your address for them.

If you can always try to sort out your phone number so that it can stay consistent from location to location, or consider getting a directory service so that customers or clients calling your business can be then redirected to the office they need.

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