Moving and/or expanding your business can be very exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. You have to find new vendors, new resources, new contacts, etc. You have to update, transfer and cancel a myriad of things.
The stress of setting up shop can be overwhelming, but it can also be avoided with a simple plan of action that is focused and maximizes your time and energy.
Contact your current professional service providers.
Contact all of your existing professional service providers and inquire about what your needs may be in your new city or state. Attorneys, CPA’s, insurance agents, bankers, and even your healthcare practitioners can help you with information or what you need to be aware of in moving to another state, and they may be able to offer you reputable referrals and resources to ease the transition.
Cover your own due diligence.
Start by locating the local professional associations for your industry. Active associations (and Chambers of Commerce) are great for having a good “lay of the land.” In addition, they provide you with an opportunity to introduce yourself to your colleagues and peers. Of course, colleagues and peers are the gateway for synergies and collaborations that can help grow your business. They may be able to give you some additional insight on things that you haven’t yet thought of for your new neighborhood.
Attend local business and social events.
Find out where your “tribe” is and make introductions as quickly as possible. Meetups are a fruitful source to find local small business events that focus on your industry or target market, and they are easy to find. Face-to-face introductions still go a long way and this is a perfect way to get some mileage out of meeting a group of people at one time. Attend a few of events to see where you might fit in, what the local interests are, and to get leads on other events that provide you with additional exposure.
Bonus: Join a community board.
Whenever I relocate, I find a local community board of one of my interests and I join. Community boards (i.e. Neighborhood Associations, Business Associations, Community Advisories, etc.) put you in the mix. It covers personal and professional events, policies, ordinances, plans, local problems/solutions, etc. It also demonstrates a commitment to and an active interest in your community.
Political will and support is beneficial for any business, and if you can handle some light politicking, get to know your local politicians. You never know when you may need their support. Rest assured, they need yours.
Yes, these activities take time and energy, but it will be well spent and yield immediate and lasting results. You will have a bird’s eye view on where and how your business fits in your new community, which combined with who and what’s happening, will help you connect all the dots.
Get out, get involved and let folks know you have arrived!