Whether you’re expanding your dance studio business in a bigger location or simply unable to renew your lease, moving your business is a complex process. There are so many things to consider – budget, location, accessibility – that your head may be spinning. If you find yourself in a tizzy as your moving date draws closer, use these four tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
1. Give Yourself Ample Time
The more leeway you allow yourself during the relocation process, the fewer problems you’ll run into. You may think that one or two months is more than enough time to get everything in line, but that’s usually not the case. In a teleseminar with DanceStudioOwner.com, Dale Willerton, founder of The Lease Coach, explained that you should allow six months to negotiate a lease and get all your ducks in order for the move. When in doubt, start earlier than you need to. A little extra time never hurt anyone!
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
You’re probably not a seasoned pro when it comes to real estate, but that shouldn’t stop you from negotiating the terms of your lease. The Small Business Association recommended that small companies aim for a one- or two-year lease in a new location. Be fair and confident when discussing your rent and don’t forget to bring up the issue of rent increases. Willerton noted that, unfortunately, many landlords don’t take dance studios as seriously as they would a doctor’s office, so make it clear that your money is just as green as any other business.
3. Talk about Tenant Allowance
Many studio owners regard tenant allowances as a mythical concept – discussed often, but never seen. If you’re dealing with a property that has a high vacancy, don’t be afraid to bring up the subject. You’re probably going to need to replace floors and install mirrors in your new space, and tenant concessions will be your wallet’s best friend. Establish yourself as a valuable tenant and you’ll be surprised at what allowances you’ll receive.
4. Communicate with Your Customers
Finally, keep open lines of communication with your dancers and parents throughout the process. Your move should be beneficial to your customers as well as your dance studio business, otherwise you risk losing students. Let the parents know when and where you’re planning to move and be sure to explain the benefits of the new location.