Deciding to move to a different city when you work for someone else is a major decision. Balancing the emotional with the practical can lead to tough choices, even when it appears that moving is the best thing for your family, your career, and your life.
When you own a business, making that decision is even more difficult. Even if your business is mostly online, or you work with clients everywhere, pulling up the stakes and heading to a new city requires thought, planning, and a healthy tolerance for risk. That being said, there are a few signs that it’s time to move your business somewhere else, especially if you want to grow.
If you find yourself facing any one of these scenarios, it may be time to look for a new location.
1. You Cannot Find Talent in Your Current City
Are you finding it difficult to hire talented employees? Are the people applying for your jobs lacking the skills and experience you need? Do you have to outsource a great deal of your work to remote employees because there is no one available locally to do the job?
While you can usually find at least a few people capable of what you need, and remote work is a viable solution in many cases, if you are struggling to find the right talent, you may need to relocate to where the people are. In many cases, individuals with desirable skills sets, such as those with computer science degrees, gravitate toward cities known for a wealth of opportunities. So while you may be competing against other employers for top talent in major cities, you will also have a deeper pool of talent to choose from.
2. The Majority of Your Customer Base is Located Elsewhere
Where is the majority of your customer base located? Is it challenging to travel to see them? Are you constantly struggling with time zones when scheduling meetings? In some cases, moving our business to a new city not only brings you closer to your existing customer base, but also opens the doors to a larger customer base. You might also attract new business that previously did not consider you because of your location; for example, a potential client may have been reluctant to call you because you were located in a small Midwestern city rather than a larger city on either coast. Relocating to a larger or more well-known area can open those doors.
3. You Struggle to Find Local Resources
Think about your vendors: Do you work with people nearby or are you dealing with the challenges of having to locate and manage vendors from a distance? Do you have access to the best possible services or are you settling for what is nearby?
For example, you may wish to work with a particular data center which offers all of the features you need, but isn’t practical because it’s located halfway across the country — so you go with another provider who doesn’t offer all of the same services but it located nearby. Bottom line, if you cannot find everything you need to run your business nearby, or have to spend extra time and money accessing necessary resources, it may be time to move.
4. You Have Outgrown the Market
Not every market is right for every business. Sometimes, despite your best efforts at branding and marketing, your business just doesn’t catch on. In that case, you may be better off finding a market that is in a better position to embrace your business — and help it grow well into the future. At the same time, if you are already dominating your market and have little to no room left for growth, expanding into a new market can help build your business.
5. Tax or Income Purposes
There’s no getting around the fact that some places are just more business friendly than others. Lower (or no) income taxes, lower business taxes, business incentives, and tax credits can make a significant difference in your business’s bottom line. When the savings and incentives are simply too big to ignore, it’s time to consider moving.
Of course, there are some other considerations to keep in mind before you pack up and head out of town. Carefully consider the costs of a move — the physical move itself plus the fees and expenses associated with starting up elsewhere can add up quickly. There can be a lot of stress involved in a move too, although moving companies such as Mayflower can help ease this process.
You also need to consider your existing staff. Will they move with you, or are you leaving people without jobs? And of course, you need to consider your lifestyle and your family’s needs, and whether a major move would benefit them. With all of that in mind, though, when the writing is on the wall, you may need to make the leap and move your business.