How to relocate your business to another city

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Relocating your business is never a move to take lightly. Moving your business to another location in town is tricky in itself. If you’re relocating to a whole other city though, the difficulties and considerations are compounded.

Here are some tips to make the process as smooth as possible.

Consider the costs

If you’re still wondering whether a move is the right idea, carefully consider what’s involved. Make cashflow projections of what you think you’ll be earning if you move, versus what you’ll be spending. Don’t just guess. Make informed, well-researched projections.

You need to be realistic of what the costs are going to be. Not just the moving costs itself, but how the cost of living and doing business differs. For instance, in Johannesburg, the costs of living are higher than in the rest of South Africa and employees expect to be paid more on average, but there will likely be more money going around for you to earn.

Don’t skimp on market research

Do extensive market research and understand your target audience. A business model that worked in Port Elizabeth won’t necessarily be as effective in a bigger city like Cape Town. If you’re moving your whole business, it shouldn’t just be based on hearing you can supposedly make more money elsewhere or because you want to be a national brand. You should be clear on what the market need is in the city for your product or service.

Also research your competition. Your city of choice might have need of what your business offers, but check who else is already offering it. In some cases, you would be better off staying in a city where the need might be lower, but you’re facing less competition.

Another option to consider is that maybe you don’t even need to relocate your whole business, but rather just open another branch.

Consider your employees

If your business is just a one-man show, that makes this part very easy. However, if you employee people, you have some serious decisions to make.

Is there anyone who would be willing to relocate with the business? That would be great. Otherwise, the chances are good that you will need to let go of some people. Be kind and keep your employees in the loop so no one gets too much of an abrupt shock. Be clear on labour law in South Africa, and be sure to do everything by the book.

Make use of professional services

Businesses can reimburse employees for how much they spent on relocation. However, this can become very costly, and the move itself would often be disorganised, with wasted expenses and delays contributing to the overall expense of the relocation.

A corporate relocation service, like Relocation Africa, can help make the whole move a lot smoother, by planning, arranging and executing the whole moving procedure. There is usually an enormous network of relocation companies coordinating as a unit, so you’d be able to get professional help for moving to just about any city, or even country.

The nitty-gritty

Besides informing your customers and employees of the move, there are a few other institutions that should be kept in the loop. You need to tell your bank, suppliers, insurance providers, vendors and government agencies that you have a new address. Be sure to follow up later and confirm that their information reflects the updated address.


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