When moving a business, the primary concern outside of ensuring that all the stuff is moved from one place to another, is to make sure that customers - both old and new - can find you afterward. This takes some careful planning and checking (and re-checking), so use this list as your guide:
Where Are You Going?It might seem obvious, but knowing where you're going, including zip or postal code is essential to planning your transition. Check the address not only through your Realtor or landlord, but also with the post office. The way the address is displayed by the Realtor or landlord might be different than the way the post office recognizes it. This can be an issue if you're moving to a new city. For instance, one city might display suite number first with a dash between it and the street address:
504-123 Main Street
Or it might look like this:
123 Main Street, Suite 504
Know before you move. Also make sure the zip is correct before you change stationary and other communication pieces.
Transfer the Telephone NumberIf possible, have your telephone number transferred. If you're moving cities, and know well in advance that you're moving, it might be worth it to purchase a 1-800 number that will move with you. This way, business can continue with customers being able to get in touch with you even during the transition.
Make sure you have the telephone number, fax number and other pertinent contact information before changing stationary and other marketing tools.
Make a List of all Marketing ToolsMake a list of all the marketing pieces your company has, including stationary, business cards and website. Here's a sample list:
- Stationary - paper and envelopes
- Business cards
- Email addresses if changing Internet Service Provider
- Online directories
- Phone book - white and yellow pages
- Print ads
- Internet ads
- Television ads or Radio ads
- Signs, including business vehicles
- Other marketing pieces, such as pens, magnets or notepads
Make a Communications PlanEven if you're a small business without a communications' department, it's important to carefully plan when and how the marketing tools will be changed and who will take on each task. A communications plan should also include getting in touch with customers, suppliers and other interested parties; everyone will need to be notified of your move.
The plan should also include contacts for printers, web designers (if this isn't done in house), and ad contacts; make sure you speak with the company that will be handling the changes. Often, printers require a few weeks' notice as do advertisers. Get your order in early to allow time for changes to be made but make sure you also indicate time frames as well. You don't want advertisers to list your new address and contact information before you've even moved. Timing is everything!
Take Advantage of the MoveSince you're in the process of changing all your stationary and business marketing tools, why not take the time to update or revamp your company's look? Updating a logo, website or the look of business cards might be a little more costly, but it might be just the thing your company needs right now. Get some quotes to see how much more this might cost, then decide if now is the time to make a bigger change.
Create a SplashEven if your company doesn't have the extra money to revamp the look of your marketing tools, you can still make the move work for you by making the move center of a marketing campaign.
Let customers - old, new and future - know how this move will benefit them, whether it's a larger parking lot, bigger space, better location, or easier access to local transit. Whatever the reason, spin it to work for you. For instance, a friend of mine recently downsized his company, relocating it to a smaller space. Now, while this may seem impossible to promote positively, he marketed the new space as being more intimate, to ensure more one-to-one service and he let customers know that the inventory would be more specialized for their unique taste. It worked!
Recycle Old StuffBefore your company moves and after you have the new marketing items in hand, have employees recycle all old stationary, brochures and print materials. This should be one of the last steps in your move. Usually I'd recommend that you reuse any materials that you can, such as using old letterhead as scrap paper. However, in this case, old stationary can be mistaken for new and accidentally used, disrupting your communication plan.