3/4 of SMEs put off moving premises due to the hassles involved

Member Article

3/4 of businesses delay moving because of the hassles involved

More than three quarters of SMEs delay moving premises because it’s the second most stressful task they have to undertake. Small businesses have lost an average of 7.5 working days each as a result of moving premises in the last five years, a survey by E.ON has found. SME owners and managers say that moving premises is the second most stressful task they have to deal with (31%), second only to hiring new staff (32%) and more so than handling finances (27%), covering staff absences (19%) and dealing with customer complaints (13%).

The poll commissioned by E.ON of 600 small businesses also revealed that moving premises costs the average SME an estimated £40,000 over five years, accounting for around 2.5% of their annual turnover. These costs account for the actual amount spent on moving and upgrading new premises as well as the losses caused by the disruption to business.

Other findings include:

  • The potential hassles involved have forced more than three quarters of business owners and managers to delay moving (78%), meaning they stay in often ‘cramped, dilapidated, expensive or inefficient buildings’.
  • Over a quarter worried about the costs and time involved with a move (28%), with a similar number saying they didn’t know where to start (27%).
  • More than a fifth say they have put off moving because they couldn’t face dealing with transferring service providers (20%).

Anthony Ainsworth, Business Energy Director at E.ON, said: “To hear that more than three quarters of SMEs are staying in potentially inappropriate premises because moving is considered just too hard is surprising. The disruptions businesses face are a very real barrier to relocation and possible future growth which is why we are working hard to not only make that process easier and simpler but also to give real energy efficiency help through our online Energy Toolkit so small businesses can either improve their original site or make sure any new location is fit for purpose once they move in.”

Top tips for dealing with moving premises

To ease the path for companies considering relocation, E.ON has produced five top tips for dealing with the five top frustrations of moving:

30% dislike not being able to get internet/phone lines working in the new premises so call your provider at least 30 days beforehand to give them notice of the move. Ensure the previous occupier hasn’t kept their phone number assigned to the property, which can add further delays.

24% dislike not being able to find things they need as soon as they get into the new building. To avoid this make a site visit the week before to ensure you and a few members of staff are aware of the layout of facilities and to plan where things should go.

23% dislike not being able to get the electricity working so find out who the last owner’s provider was and make sure they are aware of the move.

21% accidentally break equipment. There’s always a chance that something might break, but minimise the stress of this by ensuring that your content insurance will cover any breakages during the move. Consider using professional movers to avoid injuries.

21% had difficulties getting supplier contracts changed. There are dedicated companies and websites to help you find the most suitable tariff for your business. Make sure you shop around and give both your old and new suppliers plenty of notice so you don’t end up paying for both.

Businesses which did eventually move experienced a myriad of frustrations, from difficulties getting utilities working to finding that their existing furniture didn’t fit into or suit the new building. The damage isn’t limited to finances either: a fifth (20%) broke equipment in transit and one in ten (12%) accidentally injured staff.

Anthony added: “Moving is a key time for SMEs to reassess their suppliers, with nearly a third changing their electricity provider (31%) and more than a quarter changing their gas contracts (28%). It’s a good time for businesses to review whether their current tariffs are right for them and make informed decisions which impact the bottom line. Keeping in contact with suppliers throughout a move may not iron out all the hassles associated with moving, but starting the conversation with plenty of notice is one of the best ways to minimise disruption to the business.”

Tips from E.ON to ensure you have a smooth transition with your energy provider when moving:

Let your energy provider know that you’re moving and your move date (give as much notice as possible) E.ON customers can call its business move experts on 0345 301 4881 from 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday; For the premises you’re leaving you’ll need

  • your account number(s) and any landlord details (if you’re renting),
  • final meter readings and the date they were taken,
  • the name of the new owner, occupier or business (if known) and
  • the date your lease or ownership finished.

For your new premises you’ll need

  • the address and postcode as well as tenancy or landlord information,
  • opening meter readings and the date they were taken (if known),
  • the date your lease or ownership starts,
  • your new phone number.

If the energy efficiency of your new building is important, look for:

  • a newer property, or at least one that has good insulation,
  • more modern, low cost lighting solutions such as LEDs or motion sensors,
  • natural light and windows which will help reduce lighting and cooling costs in the summer,
  • newer equipment which is often cheaper to run,
  • E.ON customers can access energy efficiency advice via their online account, including a new online tool to help them track energy use and show where they could save energy.
  • smart meters, which give you greater knowledge and control over where and when your business uses energy.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by E.ON .

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