Are you looking to expand into a new market? Either because you’re moving or simply because you’re looking at servicing a new segment of the market with an elevated clientele? This can be a daunting process, but one that comes with a huge amount of opportunity for your business.
In this 3 part series, I’m talking all about the steps that I take when moving my business into a new market. I have entered a new market, of different locations, 4 times now & have entered new segments of those markets many times in between. While building up 3 different businesses along the way, I’ve learned so many lessons about creating a business that serves my clients online as well as in person.
I cannot talk about this topic without mentioning my mentor and business coach, Meredith Ryncarz of the Restart Specialist. When I was faced with one of my first moves, Meredith helped to coach me through the process of ensuring a smooth transition to my new location. She is a wonderful resource for those who are looking to move their business without fear.
Of course when you find out that you’re moving, it’s such an exciting time…but also one of the most stressful times that you’ll face. There are literally a million things on the to-do list prior to even arriving in your new location. Making an intentional plan for your move ensures that you’re expanding with intention.
As soon as you can, prior to making any public announcement to your audience, you’ll want to make sure to notify your current clients. (The worst thing that could happen is your clients find out through another venue that you’re moving and they have no clue what’s happening with their project that you have a contract for.) So here’s what I recommend you do, in this order:
This is an example of my email to my clients:
Something new and exciting is coming to Gari-Ann Kia Photography and I want you to be one of the first to know…we’re moving to Patuxent River, Maryland! I want to assure you that nothing we have planned will change. I will still be covering your wedding day and we will continue to take care of you leading up to and on your wedding day, November 5, 2021.
As a proud military family, we see these frequent moves as wonderful opportunities. Although we will we miss Williamsburg, we are excited about what is to come—moving into a new home, discovering a new area, traveling in a different part of the country, and meeting new people! James and Ellie will be transitioning to a new school—for kindergarten and 3rd grade. We are so sad to leave this wonderful little city that we’ve called home for 2 years!
I will be officially announcing the move on social media soon but wanted to make sure you heard it from me first. Over the next few months I will start migrating my social media and website content over to the Maryland/DC market. You will start seeing posts about our whirlwind summer that we’re about to have—wrapping up projects in both Williamsburg & Huntsville, moving, visiting the grandparents in Hawaii, and and all the cool things that we are looking forward to in the Maryland/DC area. I’d love for you to follow along as we navigate our next adventure.
I look forward to your wedding! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Talk soon, friend!!
After, and ONLY after, you have told your clients and close industry peers your exciting news, you can now announce your big move to your audience on social media. Feel free to build up the hype surrounding your big announcement with a few sneak peeks that something exciting is coming up. Schedule a time to go live on Facebook or Instagram to make your announcement. Exude excitement about your upcoming move & try to take a positive spin (even if you’re not terribly excited at the time…I’ve been there!), by highlighting all the things you’re excited about in your new area…I promise that your clients/friends will all be excited for you too!
Similar to the email that you send out to your clients, industry peers, & newsletter subscribers, make sure to make the announcement on your blog. This can be a very similar message to the ones you’ve already sent, you don’t have to keep recreating the wheel, this will ensure that your message is consistent across the board.
Now that you’ve made the announcement that you’re expanding into a new market, you can now change things on your website, social media, and marketing materials to reflect your new area. Changing the location will help you start developing SEO for your new area, making it possible for new clients in your new area to find you faster. The sooner you can do this, the better, so that you can have as seamless of a transition as possible between your two locations.
Examples of things that will need to be changed to reflect your new location: Titles/Headers/Footers on your website or blog posts, social media accounts, Google My Business, Linked In.
I would recommend doing this part of the process as soon as you can, I recommend at least 3-6 months out from your transition. This will ensure that you have the time and space to intentionally make decisions and notify your clients/peers.
As hard as it is to move my business every few years, I still look at it as a great opportunity. If you’re truly doing business right, you’ve grown, learned a lot, and not running exactly the same business you were years ago. I look at moving as a great opportunity to make positive changes within my business when it comes to pricing, offerings, branding, & policies. You can almost reinvent yourself and your business each time you move! After all, no one knows you in your new location…you can be who ever you want to be!