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Was wondering if anyone has ever done a pre market analysis before moving shops? How to do you estimate customer retention (from 1 shop to the other) and estimate the new customers you will gain at the new location?

 

We have been at our current location for 30+ years but in the last several years we have been on a month to month lease. Currently we have a large customer base and are within a few miles of a local university and we are within a few blocks of a wealthier neighborhood so customers can drop their car off and walk home.

 

We don't want to voluntarily relocate but we are also slow to put money into the outside of the building since we have no guarantee to be here next month. I have been keeping my eyes open for shops within the area for the last several years just to be able to have ideas and unfortunately there are few to no available shops but one of our customers came to me last week asking me to rent a 6 bay shop from her (we currently have 3 bays). The shop is road front on a busy main street but entrance and exit could be a little tricky in rush hour traffic. Otherwise the location offers great visibility.

 

The price she mentioned was a about the same or a little less than what we are paying now and she even offered to do 6 months at a reduced rate just to get us in. My #1 hesitation is moving (about 10 min away) and losing our customer base and having to rebuild. I really would like to ride out our current lease as long as possible because of the great location however; I would also like to be able to be ahead of the bullet incase the landlord comes calling. The owner of the other building also mentioned that she is going to be putting it on the market for lease next month so I don't want to lose that as an option if and incase the current location is sold. I even thought about renting and staffing the second location to establish a customer base and if our current shop is lost, merging into the other location but I would still like to be able to estimate the potential at the new location.

 

Any thoughts, experiences or ideas?

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I'm interested in this topic. We will most likely be relocating as well to a much bigger location that is about 6 times bigger then our location now, however it is about 15 minutes away from here. I think it will do wonders for our commercial tire business as it is located close to a major 4 lane highway, however I'm looking at my retail side as pretty much a new start up.

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Moving? Do your marketing early. There's an old thing in advertising that you've got to 'touch' people 7 times before they really 'see' your ad. Don't think moving and letting your customer know the week before is going to work.

 

Get your details down.. and provide SIMPLE AND CLEAR DETAILS about date and all that. You WILL have to remind people several times... and just because 'they' say 7 times... doesn't mean it's going to happen in 7.

 

I did my own email campaign giving away a freebie that still got subscribers after 9 messages. Go figure.

 

Hope this helps!
Matthew Lee
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