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Company relocation: Early planning can smooth your worries

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Access to a better labor pool, lower property costs, bigger facilities and the hope of reaching new markets all can factor into the decision to relocate a business. But without planning, relocation can be a major headache, not to mention a cost drain. Since the smartest time to move is in the summer when seasonal factors are most agreeable, now is when businesses should start planning.  Here a some things to keep in mind:

Location: Figure out how far your current employees and clients will be willing to travel to get to your new place of business. Additional costs can quickly cut into a budget if you have to hire and train new employees. New market research and advertising also can quickly add up. And don’t overlook the possible hidden costs such as increased annual maintenance fees and local taxes.

Avoid downtime: Delegating tasks will even out the workload and make sure all employees still have enough time and energy to devote to their regular jobs. During the move, keep production flowing by having employees pitch in and help move each department quickly. Involving employees and getting their input will help smooth the move since the staff in each department is familiar with their individual needs.

Organize: A new location means a fresh start. Use the relocation to get rid of all unnecessary materials and paperwork. That will mean fewer boxes to move and allow for a more orderly and productive office once everyone is settled in.

Get help: Hiring experts in real estate, architecture and corporate services can help you and your employees concentrate on your end of the move. The Oregon Economic and Community Development Department can help with cost information and offer connections to local politicians, community leaders, business owners, commercial real estate and moving companies. Go to www.oregon4biz.com.

— Julie Taylor

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