Moving Spaces with Trident CrossFit

moving

Moving can be stressful.

But moving a business? Well, that’s another beast entirely.

Trident CrossFit in Alexandria, Virginia, boasted 11,500 square feet in the space where it sat in 2016, the same year the Box and its owners graced the cover of Box Pro. Co-owner Andrea Smith shared however why they had to move shortly after appearing on Box Pro, and the challenges they faced along the way. Hopefully you can take away something from their experience to make any future moves as smooth as possible.

BP: When did you all move spaces and why?

AS: We moved in March of 2016 because our building was going to be torn down and redeveloped.

BP: What were the biggest challenges in moving spaces?

AS: The biggest challenges were finding an appropriate space that was close to the existing location and the tremendous costs associated with the move.

BP: What were the top lessons learned?

AS: In retrospect, I wish we had gambled and stayed in our space since it has still not been torn down. We were told a year from our lease expiring that they would not extend any leases, even by a month. It takes a minimum of a year to find a new space and build it out where we are, so we immediately started looking. We ended up having to stay in our old space for six months after our lease expired – paying double rent – due to issues getting city approval prior to construction. Overall, the whole project cost $500,000. The reason we did not want to gamble is we were under the impression the project was 100 percent confirmed, and if we didn’t have a space we would lose our business.

BP: What would you do differently? What worked well/would you do the same?

AS: I hired a lawyer for city permitting, and that is always worth the money. I wish I had also hired an expediter for getting our construction permits though. Not having one cost us about $70,000 in double rent. What should have taken six weeks took over six months. What we did that was smart was prior to this we had no debt, great cashflow, and had saved money and retained other sources of income, knowing we would likely have to relocate at the end of our five-year term. That allowed us to get a business loan and fund the remaining expense with our own money. If we hadn’t had the sources of income, I don’t think we could have survived the move, since the costs were so high. People often don’t realize business loans are typically amortized over five years at the most, so the monthly payments are steep. We also moved over a weekend, so we didn’t close the business for even a day. Additionally, moving only a block away allowed us to retain all of our members.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.