Ten Ways to Avoid Hidden Traps in Your Business Relocation Plan

This article originally appeared in Inside Business - The Hampton Roads Business Journal, on October 16, 2015.



So you found the perfect facility at a great price for your new location. That's the good news.

Unfortunately, business owner, there are many more hidden traps you have to consider before signing the contract.

Fear not, though. Here are 10 ways to avoid making a costly, and possibly irreversible, mistake.

 How intimately familiar are you with your proposed destination? Have you checked:


1. Census data

Are you moving to a growing locale? Who is coming, and do they fit your customer personas?

2. Capital accessibility

Are there local programs in place to help you make the capital investments you will need when you relocate?

3. Permitting data

What is being built and where? How will that positively or negatively impact your business?

4. Growth neighborhoods

Is your new location seeing an increase in foot traffic, businesses opening, or other signs of growth?

5. Crime rate

Nothing discourages people from visiting your business more than a fear for their safety.

6. Parking data

Will there be ample parking for your customers now and into the future?

7. Age of infrastructure

Sure, older facilities and communities add charm, but how old are the pipes, electrical and sewer systems? Paying for upgrades to these systems is hardly charming.

8. Building codes

Are you repurposing a building? If so, the building codes and permitting process will be crucial. Does the building carry a historically significant status? If so, what are you able to change/refurbish, and what do you need to maintain to earn the historic tax credits? Also, in older structures, the presence of lead paint and asbestos can be costly to remediate.

9. Utility rates

Do you know if you will need to budget more for utilities in your new location?

10. Tax rates

How will your tax rates change?


While potential extra expenses might affect your bottom line, bear in mind your business relocation will also have a dramatic effect on your people.

Have you discussed your plans with your employees? How many are "on board"? The expense of finding and recruiting talented people must be considered, and the loss of institutional knowledge and understanding of your business culture can be difficult to replace.

Think about what is important to your employees, and do some research around it. For example, will their commute time likely increase or decrease? What is the educational system like in your new location? What recreational, art, music, sporting, entertainment and cultural activities are available? What is the weather like? Will their cost of living go up or down?

A business relocation is complex, and it is fraught with costly traps. Remember, though, your relocation will have an effect not just on your bottom line, but also on your people.

Be thorough, share information and do your research.


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