Moving your business to a new site

Moving your business to a new siteWhen I was young, my mother used to get her hair done at the local hairdresser down the street. She’d always come home looking radiant, and not just because she’d just spent half an hour under the hair dryer. A trip to the hairdresser was a social event, and she reveled in the chance to chat and gossip with the other ladies and the stylists.

So it was sad, when the salon moved to a new location, and their clientele dropped off. My mother was never sure why. It could have been that it was a different part of town that was too out of the way for their old loyal customers. Or it could have been a lack of communication about the relocation.

Six months later, the business had to close altogether. My mother thought it was such a shame, and it was. But it was a shame that could have easily been avoided.

So when it comes time to move your business, for whatever reason, don’t make the same mistake. You might have a great new site and a smart fit-out planned, but consider your customers – after all, without them you wouldn’t be in business. Chat to them, and make sure you’re not isolating yourself from them with the move.

Then, build awareness to make sure they know exactly where it is you’re going.

Put together a comms plan 

Start by making a list of everything that needs to be updated: brochures, business cards, forms and invoices, stationery, website, social media accounts, online directories, existing ads, signs and sponsorships.

Identify which parts need to be changed, and give deadlines (and budgets, where appropriate). If you don’t have someone responsible for social media already, make sure you do, so they can actively advertise the move online. 

Keep your existing customers in the know 

Remember my mother’s hair salon? This is where they really fell down. My mother only knew about the move because she was there so often, but many of their customers simply fell off the radar.

Now, in the age of the internet and social media, this part is a whole lot easier. Send out emails to your database (include a map and parking or public transport instructions) and keep your social media updated – you can even document the actual moving process in photos, especially if your customer-facing staff are doing the heavy lifting! Your audience will recognise their faces and very quickly put two and two together if they haven’t already.

Put up signage in store, add a message to your voicemail, and don’t forget to include your new phone number if you’re changing it.

Lay down the welcome mat 

Not all customers like change, so make sure your move is a positive one. Consider a new location campaign with a ‘bring a friend for free’ promotion, or host a welcome party for existing and potential clients. Introduce yourself to your neighbours, and let them know straight away if you’ll be doing mates rates for them.

In all your communications, focus on the benefits of your new location for your customers. What do they get out of your bigger, newer or better site? Whether it’s plenty of parking, more individual attention or new services, make sure they know – and your move should go as smoothly as possible.

Have you ever moved your business to a new location? How did you manage? Share your experience with me below.

 

Comments

  1. 18 months ago we rebranded and we were guided thru the process. I had a blast letting my FB fans know and they did too. I ran a contest to guess the new company name. I gave daily visual clues and eventually 1 fan in Greece got it. I did video, posts, etc and I didnt lose a soul.

  2. Carol Rundle says:

    I’ve never moved my own business, but when I did office work, I organized the physical moves of 3 different companies. This is way before the internet, so everything was done manually. It’s a lot of hard work, but I think today with everything being online, it would be much easier.

    • Vicky Savellis-Grant says:

      You’re right Carol the internet and social media has made it easier to get our message out there. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Great advice. I’ve had clients move premises a number of times. There’s so much to do by way of relocating equipment, sorting out your telecommunications and the myriad of other jobs that need doing. It can be easy to forget to put together and execute a proper communications plan so your customers are in the know. I met someone at a networking event last week that I hadn’t seen for several years, he asked me if I still had my old office. Perhaps I’m guilty of that too!

    • Vicky Savellis-Grant says:

      Thanks Clive. Agree it’s important to have a communications plan otherwise we can overlook things.

  4. Leslie Block says:

    I have never moved a business myself, but have seen the effects of small businesses moving and not promoting the move, it does not end well. Great tips for businesses!

  5. Good counsel here, Vicky.

    Change can be such a terrific opportunity to re-connnect with your customers and bring them along for the ride.

  6. Katarina Andersson says:

    Thanks for the good advice for a moving plan. Have never really moved, I haven’t really got a business where a fixed place is needed, so it haven’t been at all necessary so far.

  7. Communication, communication and communication. Isn’t that the key in our world today to creating and keeping relationships? Thanks for the sound advise on how to keep your clients in the know and with you through the long term!

  8. Barbara Carr says:

    So often we assume that people know something when often they don’t or have missed reading or hearing an important announcement. Great ideas from everyone on how to capture their attention.

  9. Lisa Mason says:

    Good advice. I’ve been through this before. Once my move was unplanned and unexpected and it was a disaster. The other time it was intentional and I planned for it and it was seamless. Definitely pays to be prepared for this sort of thing. Great post!

  10. So true, communication is key, whether you are moving personal, moving a brick and mortar business and want to keep your clients AND or employees in the know… help people out, the plan is to make it easier for them. duh, right?

  11. Beth says:

    I can’t believe the owner didn’t realize the importance of making sure the move was communicated to everyone. I will never understand how anyone expects their loyal customers to know where they have relocated without some amount of pre and post move communication. That’s just crazy but I guess they definitely found out the cost for being a little lazy or maybe cheap???

  12. Terrific points, Vicky. There is no such thing as over-communication, using as many different channels as possible, as people consume information in different ways. Love the idea of a promotion or a “welcome to our new home” party.

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