Moving your business out of the home? Don’t forget these time-tested tips

Moving your business out of your home and into a brick-and-mortar location is scary. You’ll have rent to pay, utility bills,and a to-do list so long you don’t know where to start.

Take a minute to look at the essentials. After you find a location and get your utilities set up, your next step should be marketing. If you don’t ramp up your marketing efforts, you won’t be able to pay the bills to keep that store open. So here are a few small, cheap and time-tested items you can quickly check off your list that will drive customers to your new location.

Get a sign

It’s almost too obvious, but it’s one of the last things many small business owners get printed. Your sign is the first thingclients see when they walk up to the store—and you know how important a first impression is.

You can get a good, small sign for your door or window for well under $100. I have used Vistaprint, and their 12” square sticker—which works just fine for an office door—is only $10. The price goes up from there and you can agonize over the decisions inherent in spending bigger dollars on a larger, fancier sign, but the $10 sticker will do the trick until the bigger sign is installed.

Business cards

The best advertisement is word of mouth, and business cards are a trusted way of helping those words spread. You need to get new ones printed with your new address right away. You can get a good stack of basic cards for under $10. I like to do all my marketing work in one place, so I go with the same company for my cards and my signs. Vistaprint has a pack of 100 cards for about $8 that do the trick.

Postcards

You already have a clientele, and I bet you already have a nice, long mailing list. Put that to use to bring your old customers into your new shop. Print some postcards announcing the new location and offer them a deal. Postcards are a time-tested way to bring people in, and they’re cheap—like business cards, you can get a small stack for less than $10. At my go-to print shop, they sell a stack of 50 for about $8. It would be hard not to see a return on a tiny investment like that.

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