Tips For a Successful Business Relocation
Whether you need a larger space, a more affordable cost of living, or access to a bigger talent pool, relocating your business is a complicated process. To help make the move as easy as possible, The City of Ontario’s Economic Development Team created a step-by-step guide to relocating a business.
Waiting too long to relocate can cause production mistakes, poor customer service, and increase staff turnover. To avoid these issues, keep an eye on your space and staffing needs and start thinking about your relocation plan ahead of time.
Set Your Budget
Take a close look at your financial details and set a budget for your move. In addition to base rental costs or the building purchase price, factor in extra costs like utilities, insurance, maintenance, employee relocation incentives, and moving costs.
Your budget will help you narrow down location choices. Compare costs and benefits of each location, including:
- The available workforce
- Cost of living
- Quality of life
- Public transit
- Zoning issues
- Room for expansion
- Relocation support
- Tax incentives
Once you’ve identified your top locations, visit the city with some key employees. Look at prospective sites, drive and walk the area, and meet with key stakeholders or Economic Development Agencies to better understand the benefits and drawbacks of moving to that specific location.
Make A Relocation Plan
After you’ve identified your new city, work with the Economic Development Agency to make a relocation plan. If your business is moving to Ontario, CA, the Economic Development Team will help you identify ideal sites, including potential locations within the Opportunity Zones. The team will also provide guidance and support on permits, code compliance, and workforce development to set your business up for success.
Buy Or Lease Your New Space
Once you understand your business’ permits, tax incentives, and compliance considerations, it’s time to rent or buy your new space. Before signing on the dotted line, conduct a thorough due diligence. If you’re purchasing the space, do an appraisal, review vendor documents, and ask to see past utility and repair bills. If you’re leasing, look at incidental responsibilities and costs, like property tax, maintenance, and insurance. Make sure you leave enough time for your bank to review and approve the financing, which can take 6 weeks or more.
Create An Employee Relocation Plan
Communicate your move to employees and get their buy-in by explaining the reason and benefits of moving. Share your relocation plan with your employees, which should outline relocation expenses available to employees and alternative arrangements for employees who don’t want to relocate. This plan should also lay out relevant location information, including schools, colleges, housing prices, medical facilities, and leisure activities.
Create A Timeline And Comprehensive Checklists
Create a clear timeline for your move and share it with your employees. To keep your team on track, assign one person to head up the relocation effort or assign responsibilities to leaders from each department. Your relocation team should develop comprehensive checklists and timelines for your move, including:
- Scheduling and completing renovations
- Hiring cleaners
- Updating vendors
- Ending current internet and phone services
- Scheduling internet and phone services for your new location
- Buying new furniture & equipment
- Hiring and scheduling movers
- Employee relocation assistance
- Marketing your new business’ location
- Updating your website, letterhead, and business cards
- Additional inventory needs to prevent disruption during the transition
Once your staff is up-to-date, communicate your move with suppliers, vendors, and customers. When it comes to suppliers and vendors, frequent communication can help prevent issues before they disrupt your business. Notify your customers about your new location, benefits of the location, and how your business will operate during the move. Being transparent and keeping lines of communication open will help ensure your customers don’t go elsewhere during the transition period.
Relocating your business is a huge decision that can reap many benefits. If you’re considering moving to Ontario, the Economic Development Team is here to help you throughout the relocation process. For more information on relocating your business and how our team can support your organization, please contact us today.