Small business Owners may face the prospects of relocating their business. Sometimes moving a business may be a matter of moving your 1 person internet business, or may involve moving your brick and mortar, 25 employee business. But usually when you are relocating your business you are also relocating your life. Ten years ago my family and I moved 1500 miles away from my business. Subsequently I ran that business for 7 years remotely with the significant help of a qualified management staff and eventually sold that business. My current status as a Dad and as a business broker in Florida has me and my family involved with another relocation.
Reasons For Relocating Your Business
People move for various reasons, and many aspects surrounding the decision and process relocating your business are surprisingly shared with share the decision process of buying or selling a business. I have said in the past that there are many reasons one may want to sell their business or exit their business, but all those reasons can get reduce to 2 overall reasons. (reasons that your chose, or reasons that “choose you”) You may choose to sell your business or circumstances make that choice for you (health, death, divorce, bankruptcy etc). When you look to relocate yourself or your business, it may be a personal choice or situations around you may force/require such a move.
And like buying or selling a business you have a significant effect on your personal life, when you are relocating your business, your business activities, or your job, you are also relocating your life. A decision to move or relocate usually involves family, friends, significant others involvement. A decision to buy a business, sell a business, start a business directly affect your significant others. You are not just relocating your business activities you are relocating the life that you are experiencing and significantly affecting the lives of those closest to you.
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I have always felt the decision to buy or sell a business can be a harder part than the actual implementation. “Measure twice, cut once”. In my previous business that I had owned we made several acquisitions. I had spent many hours evaluating the accreted cash flow of an acquisition, how to afford the capital outlay, what assets we would keep or dispose of, what involvement if any we would have with the seller of the business after the sale, how we would integrate our billing, servicing, and support of the additional customer base that would come along with the acquisition.
At some point the decision is made and now it becomes a matter of implementing the mechanics of integrating the acquisition. I believe the implementation was the easier part of the process. If the decision to acquire was thought out the integration should be a fairly known process. Ten years ago when we made a decision to move our family 1500 away from our business and running it remotely, a tremendous amount of thought and time went into the decision, and the move worked out well for the business and my family.
About 2 years ago we contemplated moving due to a combination of personal reasons, and my business activities also entered into the decision. The decision was more based on personal preference and family goals (my daughters education and school) than business. Approximately 1 1/2 year ago we made the decision to move 300 miles away to Northern Florida, from the Southwest barrier island we currently live on. Subsequently, we have sold our home, found a new home, and the movers are loading up our life belongings in 3 weeks. 1 1/2 years ago I started preparing for the move as it relates to my business activities. Here are some of the highlights and:
6 Measures to Take When Relocating Your Business
1. Planning – yes the process of an effective move or relocation does share similarities with the process of effectively buying or selling a business. Planning is so important in both matters. When buying or selling a business I have always felt that if you are looking to buy a business or sell a business or start a business in a year you should start planning yesterday. Like Selling or buying a business, moving or relocating has so many moving parts and is a very involved process. Dont really know how you can do too much planning for either.
2. Have that very important discussion and or discussion regarding the pending move with your significant other early on. Sort thru the personal, emotional, and logistics up front. If it is a “voluntary” move make sure you both are on the same page. If it is a move that is being brought upon you, make sure that is known to your significant other, as you should share a common goal to make the best of it.
3. Try to pre-emptively build develop or expand a client base prior to your move. To me this was one of the more important steps I made in preparing. Over a year ago I would travel about every other month to prospect, network and begin developing a presence in the new area. As I developed clients I started travelling to the new area monthly and currently I go there every 2-3 weeks. I chose this route over moving to a new area and starting at square one to build a client base. I now am moving into a new area working with business owners looking to sell their Florida businesses in this new location. It is a smaller but developing existing client base.
4. Make sure your email can follow you– Back in the old day (and yeah my teenage kids eyes gloss over when I begin a statement in this way), but back in the old day, when you move you go to the Post office to have your mail forwarded or notify them of a change of address. While that is still one of the items on the moving to do list, moving your digital address for your business can be so much more important. I have several emails, and one of my main emails is tied to the local cable provider in the area. Make sure your email is portable, if not get a portable email address and start using it prior to the move.
5. Update Modify your website. Does your website reflect your new contact information, your new business locations, your new geographic area of focus, if that has changed.
6. Out with the old and in with the new. When relocating this is a good time to review old records to see what can be securely disposed of. Why move all these records only to throw them out at the new location. Storage and space is a valuable commodity no matter where one is located. Using the space around your efficiently is enhanced when unnded paperwork files are gotten rid of. And it makes organizing at the new location that much easier.
Along with all the above business matters, we had to sell a house (in Florida, not so easy now adays), find a new house, find new location to operate business from, register for school for daughter, hire professional movers, help pack, etc. When you are relocating your business or your business profession you are also relocating your life. When buying or selling a business so many people think about the finanical and business side of the process. But Buying or selling a business, like moving, has as much to do about the personal, family matters and lifestyle as it has to do about the business itself. Again, if you are thinking about buying or selling a business, or relocating your business next year, start planning yesterday.