The Gist Of This Episode: Join Meredith Ryncarz of The Restart Specialist and Rachel Brenke as they discuss how to move your business without fear! Meredith gives tangible tips to implement to make your business move a success!
What you will learn:
How to research the market that you’ll be moving to
Tools you can use when moving your business
Ideas for content to use in the midst of your move
Rachel Brenke: Hey guys, Rachel Brenke from the Business Bites and today, I have Meredith Ryncarz from therestartspecialist.com, here to talk about a little twist on the topic that we’ve touched on the past. A lot of my legal in business information has been setting up and running a business, but Meredith provides a resource for you guys to find out how to relocate your business.
Meredith and I actually met through the photography and military spouse communities, and my husband is a disabled army veteran, and her husband is still active army. She is also a wedding photographer and is currently based out of Alabama.
Her passion for helping other small business owners to move a business without loss of clients, super important, or loss of income prompted her to create this Restart program and to move the business without fear.
I have moved my business multiples times. I totally get how scary this can be for those that really depend on local community and a physical structure and presence in a community, so Meredith, I absolutely love that you created this resource and I’m excited to talk about it today.
Meredith: Well, thank you for having me join you. I am super excited. We definitely enjoy this podcast in our house, so it’s really an honor to be here.
Rachel Brenke: Well, I also love that … We asked Meredith what are three things she’s really good at and one of them is baking, because I can’t bake my way out of a wet paper bag, so we’re going to have to hook up at some point. I’m going to have to shamelessly beg you to bake for me because I love to eat baking. I just suck at baking.
Meredith: Oh, yeah. We absolutely love to bake here in this house and anything with chocolate, that’s a must.
Rachel Brenke: Of course, of course. Well, you guys can find all of Meredith’s fun stuff at therestartspecialist.com. Her Instagram’s the same. I will link this all for you guys, of course, on the website, at rachelbrenke.com.
Let’s go ahead and just dig in because I know you guys are busy. Meredith’s busy helping people relocate businesses, and I guess the very first question is, and I know the answer, but I want you to help it, how important is research when moving a business and of course, what are the first few things that people should research if they’re having to move?
Meredith: Well, it’s incredibly important. You physically cannot move a business without knowing what you’re moving into and because we have business that moves not just from city to city, but literally, across the country, the communities are different. The culture is different. Even the price point can be different, and so it’s so important to know what you’re getting into.
Rachel Brenke: You know what’s interesting with that, when we were still active duty, I moved from right around Austin, Texas, at Fort Hood, and then we moved, I guess it’s about six or seven hours west, to El Paso, still in Texas, and so you would think, “Oh, same state, same culture, same offerings,” and this was when I was still running, well, I still am, but photography business out of my home. Now I have studios.
At the time, I was having to go meet clients at coffee shops. Everything was the same, it felt like, until I realized that I sold albums like crazy to people in Fort Hood, but when I moved to El Paso, they were like, “What am I going to do with an album?” I was like, “Look at it. I mean, you look at your pictures.”
It’s just simple things like that that I have found is really important to look into instead of just expecting to move, like you said, pricings and offerings and everything to the same area. How would you suggest those listening, who may be faced with relocation, how do they even begin this research?
Meredith: I think the biggest thing to do is to start getting connected to the community that’s already there. Those people are locals, and I’m not talking military spouses. I’m talking the locals that have been there all their life that know, for example, you live in Texas, that you don’t call it HEB. It is H-E-B.
Rachel Brenke: H-E-B.
Meredith: Yes. Just simple things that make you stick out, like calling the grocery store the wrong thing, can help you already connect to the clientele that are there, and so we really recommend reaching out to those businesses that are already there, that are already firmly established.
Rachel Brenke: How many months before relocating or I guess it could also be how many months before you’re actually wanting to start gaining new clients or customers … What is the timeline you would suggest that people start this research and outreach?
Meredith: Of course, we say as soon as possible to start laying that groundwork, but ideally, we really start pushing heavy six months out.
Rachel Brenke: That’s the thing I find that … I just think back to when my mother was a military spouse and we were moving. We didn’t have Facebook. We didn’t have Twitter. We barely had dial-up, and so when you were going to a new location, you were going in blind.
I feel like there’s no excuse these days that you guys can’t start this research before you go. Get into the social media groups. Get to know people. Meredith and I know each other primarily from the photography community and that’s really large online, but there’s other industries that do this as well. Fitness coaches, Beachbody.
Rachel Brenke: Whatever industry you guys are in, they’re out there. You just may have to really dig in and find the groups, very specific. Now, of course, don’t hang your hat on thinking, “I may get in this group. I’m going to know everything.” You still have to do the grunt work.
Rachel Brenke: Six months gives you a good amount of time to do this. What if you were on a shorter time schedule? Maybe find out you have to move the next month. What is your suggestion if someone’s blindsided with that?
Meredith: If they’re blindsided with that, which we were, this move … We were told we were going one place and we ended up going a completely different place, and so we just had to hustle even harder.
I know people don’t want to hear that, but if you want to be successful and you’re going to move a business frequently, you’re going to have to put in the sweat equity to get out of it what you want.
Rachel Brenke: You know what’s interesting, I actually look fondly upon the years that I was moving my business so much because it was, like you said, sweat equity and it was this baptism by fire. I had to learn what worked and get rid of the ones, the actions I was taking that were not working. I didn’t have time to sit around and just hem and haw and hope that something’s … I had to work. I had to make it work.
Meredith: Yeah. Yeah. You waste money if you just randomly do things without preplanning them.
Rachel Brenke: You’re wasting time, especially if either yourself is in a career or your spouse is in a career that moves you, where you know you’re only going to be at one location. It’s not even just military. There’s other ones as well that they may only be at a location for one, two, three years, and then it’s time to move again.
Meredith: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly.
Rachel Brenke: What is your favorite or perhaps the most important business tool used when moving your business?
Meredith: Oh, gosh. For our photography business, we’ve actually utilized Two Bright Lights a ton. We do a lot of publications regionally, when we know we were moving.
Rachel Brenke: That’s awesome.
Meredith: That really gets us seen. The other one, and I’m going twofor here, is Planoly because when we’re physically moving the household, everything’s in boxes. I want everything planned ahead of time, and so I don’t have to think about it.
Rachel Brenke: I’m glad you brought that up because that’s one of the key things that I remember, one of the moves, distinctly, I just had number three and this was when we were moving to El Paso, and I’m trying to drive to the dessert. Well, I’m not driving, my husband was, and I’m trying to post and respond to clients. There’s no internet out in the middle of the dessert. I didn’t think ahead it was something like that. I was thinking, “Well, we’re only going six to seven hours west. I can work out in the car while he drives.”
I love that you bring that up about scheduling, and I will add to that to say have content ready. You don’t want to be having to write the blog post. You want to have all this content scheduled.
I’m a big proponent of scheduling three to four months ahead anyways, yes, because you never know what life happens. The kids get sick. One gets sick. They all get sick, and then the next thing you know, it’s been three months and you haven’t blogged at all, so yeah, definitely schedule a … When you’re scheduling this, what does the content look like? I’m assuming you’ve already switched gears to focus on the new location at that point.
Meredith: Yeah. At that point, the content is going to look like how excited we are for that move and that’s one of the biggest things is having that mindset shift from the “Oh, this stinks. This is horrible” to “This is an adventure. This is exciting and we shouldn’t be facing it with fear,” but also content that looks like it’s from the area you’re moving to.
For example, you mentioned El Paso and we used to live in San Antonio, and they’re in the same state, but they’re vastly different, and so if I’m posting content that looks like it’s done on the River Walk in San Antonio and I’m talking about moving to El Paso, there’s a disconnect there.
Rachel Brenke: I’d actually just had a friend who moved from Hawaii to Maryland, and a lot of her social media posts have been that when she was in Hawaii, she was wanting to forward market and she was like, “Well, how do I do that? Because I don’t want to keep showing images of just Hawaii, because then I’m not going to attract the Northern Virginia, DC, Maryland people.”
She just had to hit the ground running when she got here and start photographing as much as she could. The timing didn’t work out, and it was cost prohibitive for her to fly back just to photograph some in order to have content, so sometimes, you just have to work on what you got.
Meredith: Yeah. Yeah. That’s absolutely true. Sometimes, you just have to do what you got to do. In the cases where you can go to those locations or make it look like it’s from that location, then absolute do that first.
Rachel Brenke: One of my things with that I noticed was maybe shifting from beach scenes to more urban.
Meredith: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly.
Rachel Brenke: That way it translates a little bit more. For me, I enjoyed the moving. I’m a little weird, but I think because it was a challenge and it pushed me, pulled me, and made me grow. Guys, we’re talking about this in the context of photography, but this works for any of the industries.
You just have to consider who the new people are in your new location, what the trends are because clothing is completely different. The aesthetics and looks from décor from one place to another, so just think about that in your marketing.
Maybe you’re an event planner and you’re switching from one location to another. You may not be thinking about scenery necessarily, but what are the décor pieces? What is the culture like where you’re going to and how can you incorporate that?
I would see getting online and ordering some pieces that are representative of that area, having them shipped and you would be able to stage and photograph before getting there because you may not be able to go ahead and do events.
Switching gears just a little bit, we’ve been talking about how to do this and what you should do, but let’s talk about a little bit more of the intangible. It’s this idea of the fear of moving. How do you deal with the fear of that and all of the other emotions that come with it?
Meredith: Well, I think, initially, we had that fear because we didn’t know what to do and having the system that we have in place, knowing that we’ve been successful every time we’ve moved since implementing that, that knowledge of knowing we know what to do gets rid of that fear, of having a plan, but I think it’s also dealing with … Again, it’s going back to mindset shift.
We often hear people who have to move say, “Oh, I miss the donuts of this place” or “Man, we had such better vacation spots at our last [inaudible 00:12:58] station,” and that just feeds into this negativity of “The last place was better. This place stinks. I want to go back to where it was,” and so that really helps. I think taking time for yourself and making sure that you’re healthy also really feeds into how you’re going to handle that relocation.
Rachel Brenke: When we made this shift … We moved a couple of times, but the biggest one, that’s why I keep going back to the Fort Hood to El Paso one is because it was such a culture shock. It was such a difference.
We were only there for a year, but I spent a good portion of the first few months in this “Woe is me” attitude, and my clients picked up on it. They knew that I wasn’t happy to be there. They could tell.
Once I moved into this whole “Fake it to make it” attitude, which is funny because I’ve been doing a lot of sports psychology research lately for myself, for my athletic endeavors … One of the books that I’ve been listening to talks about this “Fake it until you make it,” and there’s science that backs it up that if you fake it, it eventually becomes part of you. Obviously, that is more like a physical, but there’s also for an emotional, mental mindset.
By the end of the year, I wasn’t thrilled. We were so far from home and I wasn’t thrilled, but I didn’t have a poopy face, like I did for the first three months, and I saw the change in my clients and my marketing when that happened.
Meredith: It makes a vast difference in how you’re built the health of your business.
Rachel Brenke: If you could go back in time to the very first business move that you did, what would you tell yourself or what would you change?
Meredith: I think the biggest thing that we would change is going back to the attitude. We had a really crappy attitude or I had one, my husband didn’t, when we moved from North Carolina to Texas. I was a brand new mom, and so everything was just … It was just too much.
I think having a better attitude about what we were given, but also the view that we didn’t have to wait until we physically move there. A lot of people just automatically think, “Well, I can’t do anything until I physically get there,” but we have the internet. We can do a lot before we get there.
Rachel Brenke: I say, if you’re waiting until when you get there, you’re already too late.
Meredith: You’re already dead in the water, probably.
Rachel Brenke: Now don’t be … If you guys are listening to this, thinking, “Oh my gosh, I just moved and now I can’t do anything,” you still can, just keep in mind, for next time.
Rachel Brenke: It’s better to start it, well, ahead of time.
Meredith: Exactly. Yeah. It’s definitely for the next one.
Rachel Brenke: Is there anything physical that you did or did not do in that first business move that you would change?
Meredith: Anything physical.
Rachel Brenke: Maybe the timeline or the kind of content you put out.
Meredith: At that point, we weren’t putting out any content. That was the very first move. We had no idea what we were doing.
Rachel Brenke: I’m glad that this keeps circling back around to this idea of having a solid marketing plan and knowing who you’re talking to and knowing the amount of content. A lot of people go, “Well, what am I supposed to write about?” or “What am I supposed to blog about?” or “What am I supposed to put on social media?” Guys, you’re moving to a brand new location. Think about all the fears and also the excitement, but the emotions that you’re having. Put that into a blog post.
Start going and seeing and blogging the locations there because, especially if you’re in a community where there’s a high turnover of people coming in and out, your blog content doesn’t necessarily have to be geared towards your photography or your event business or you and your law firm, if you’re a lawyer listening, but being able to provide that ideal person that you want to come in your door, education, understanding what the area’s like.
There’s no better time than to capture that type of content than when you’re in the midst of seeing how cool the culture in El Paso was or how freaking amazing the tacos were. Those sort of things that you can then connect on a real basis with your clients or your customers.
Meredith: Yeah. Absolutely. You have fresh eyes on this new space to you, and so you can come at it from a much more enthusiastic viewpoint than maybe somebody that’s grown up there, and so these little diet bars or like you said, the taco stands, you can talk about with this great enthusiasm that’s really going to win the hearts of the people that are there.
Rachel Brenke: I think this is also where it’s really important that people will remember personality in a brand is super important, not just a brand that is selling a product or a service, because people connect to the personality. They don’t connect to your product.
I mean, they may on some level, but what comes first, what really pulls them in the door, and where are the emotions created, it’s when the personalities connect, whether they attract or they polarize, which is okay to have polarization, but you’re going to attract. All right. One last question, because I know that you are super busy helping others relocate, what is the hardest lesson you learned about moving a business?
Meredith: I think the hardest lesson that we’ve learned in the last two moves is there’s something called the outsider syndrome, and so when you get there, whether you’re a photographer or an event planner or a fitness coach, the locals will see, “Oh, there’s this new business that’s popping up on our radar,” and they will assume, generally, “Oh, you’re a brand new business owner,” and so having to put in the education and the legwork of showing, “Yes, I may be an outsider, but I’ve done my research. I love this place. I’m here to serve clients as well.”
The second aspect of that outsider syndrome is that other vendors that you work with may try to suck you into their cliques and the gossip, and then you’re hearing about it from both sides, and so insulating yourself from that and remaining rather neutral, if possible.
Rachel Brenke: I love that. Yeah. Even what you just said circles me back around to this whole idea of the content creation and what you’re able to connect and provide with. When you’re in a new place, you get to talk about all the things you’ve talked about before because you have a brand new audience. You need to tell them how you’ve been a killer chef for 10 years in one location.
You need to talk about your credentials again, and it’s easier to do it when you know that the people watching aren’t someone who’s already heard it 10 times before, and they’ve never known you.
Awesome. Well, Meredith, thank you so much for coming today. You guys, if you are considering relocation, whether by choice or not, Meredith is the person for you guys to check out. You can find her at therestartspecialist.com, and then this episode is going to be episode 47. You can find that at rachelbrenke.com/epi47.
Meredith Ryncarz is a military spouse, wedding photographer, and relocation specialist currently based in Alabama. Her passion for helping other small business owners to move a business without loss of clients or income prompted her to create The Restart Program to move businesses forward without fear.
Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.
Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke
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