Relocating your business is an even bigger task than personal moving. It's unfortunate to lose contact with people through any move, but in a business move, losing contact means losing business. A haphazard or shoddy relocation announcement makes your company look bad and can make your customers wonder if your business is in trouble. Keeping everyone informed is simple if you follow an organized plan.
Take Stock of All Contacts
Merge all your contact lists to create one big digital file of contacts who should receive your relocation news. Every announcement you make to your contacts is a chance to get your company's name in front of them and remind them of your relationship. Don't worry if you have duplicate contacts at the same business. Announce it to all of them and get them talking about your business.
Write Relocation Announcement Letters
In addition to any other ways you decide to announce your move, it's important to send a business relocation letter to clients and all of your other business contacts. You don't want to take the chance of losing their business, so sending a personal letter lets them know they matter to you. If possible, give a positive reason for your move, such as: "Business has been so good that we need more space to expand. We want to let you know about our new location, effective June 1."
The rest of the letter need not be long. Just give the basic information they need to know. Include all of your contact information even if it isn't changing so they don't wonder about what's changed and what hasn't. End on a positive note about your relationship. For example, if just your physical address is changing, you could indicate:
- Our new address: 1000 Business Avenue, City, State, Zip code.
- Main phone number (same as before): xxx-xxx-xxxx.
- Extensions: Remain the same.
- Email: Still email@example.com.
- Ending for client letter: We value your business and look forward to continuing to serve you from our new location.
Tweak Wording for Different Audiences
Technology makes it simple to modify your business moving announcement wording for your different audiences. For example:
- Vendor letter: We value our relationship and look forward to continuing to work together from our new location.
- Prospective clients/vendors: We look forward to working together from our new location.
- Local businesses/others: Please update our information in your records and contact us anytime at our new location.
- Government/official business: Please update our information in your records.
Send Clever Announcements
For more fun, get your employees involved with a contest asking for ideas for a clever way to announce your move. The reward can be small and/or humorous – as a thank you for their "food for thought," give a gift card to a food store or bistro near your new location.
Never substitute announcements for personal letters. Use the announcement after the move as a way to shout, "We have moved!"
Announce in a Local Ad
A local ad is a great way to reinforce your other announcements as well as to attract the attention of new prospects about whom you don't even know. If you're moving because you're expanding, be sure to put that in the ad, as it makes you look prosperous.
If you're already advertising, use one ad to announce your move and mention the move in all ads for at least six months by placing a statement at the bottom of your ads: "Contact us at our new location: (give address)."
Update Website and Social Media
Use your website and social media accounts to their full advantage before and after the move:
- Announce in advance that your business will be moving and include the moving date.
- Create a banner announcement for your website, Facebook, etc. shouting "WE HAVE MOVED" and post your new address.
- Keep the banner up for at least six months so those who don't go to your website often will see it.
- Update your blog about the move. Write several posts to update readers during the process. If you don't have a blog, moving is a great reason to start one. Explain why you're moving, update on the moving process and blog about the new space after your move.
- Whenever possible, take the opportunity to personalize any communication between your business and its customers.
- Take advantage of all free resources available to help you such chambers of commerce, small business development centers and economic development councils.
- Try bartering for services if your bank account doesn't have a lot of excess cash. Some advertising sources are more than willing to broker deals that are mutually agreeable for them.
- Avoid any form of advertisement that smacks of being cheap or unprofessional. It will make customers wonder about the reason for the move.
- Keep everything sent to your customers professional, brief, and to the point. Don't go into long, drawn out explanations for the business's move.
Barbara Bean-Mellinger is a freelance writer who lives in the Washington, D.C. area. She has written on business topics for afkinsider.com, smallbusiness.chron.com, Harbor Style Magazine, the Charlotte Sun and more, as well as advertising copy and materials. Barbara holds a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and has won numerous awards in B2B and B2C marketing.