Small businesses fear the stress of moving premises 

Three quarters of small and medium-sized companies delay moving premises because of the stress of the task, research finds.

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 reveals.

SME owners and managers say that moving premises is the second most stressful task they have to deal with (31 per cent), second only to hiring new staff (32 per cent) and more so than handling finances (27 per cent), covering staff absences (19 per cent) and dealing with customer complaints (13 per cent).

The poll of 600 respondents also reveals that moving premises costs the average SME an estimated £40,000 over five years, accounting for around 2.5 per cent 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.

The potential hassles involved have forced more than three quarters of business owners and managers to delay moving (78 per cent), meaning they stay in often ’cramped, dilapidated, expensive or inefficient buildings’.

More than a quarter worry about the costs and time involved with a move (28 per cent), with a similar number saying they didn’t know where to start (27 per cent).

More than a fifth say they have put off moving because they couldn’t face dealing with transferring service providers (20 per cent).

Anthony Ainsworth, business energy director at E.ON says, ‘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.’

E.ON advises businesses looking to move to give sufficient notice to internet and phone providers to ensure you are up and running promptly in the new premises. 

Also, the company suggests making site visits the week before to ensure you and other members of staff are aware of the layout and can plan where everything should go. 

To make sure the electricity is working, find out who the last owner’s provider was and make sure they are aware of the move.

For the premises you’re leaving you will 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, and your new phone number.

Further reading on business premises

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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