5 Considerations When Moving Your Business To The Okanagan

kelowna accountantKelowna accountant and business advisor Ken Davidson gives advice to entrepreneurs that are looking to move their businesses to Kelowna or the Okanagan Valley.

Depending on where you are moving from, there are a few things that are a bit unique about moving to the Okanagan, such as the costs associated with living here in Kelowna. It’s fairly well known that Kelowna isn’t the cheapest place in the country to live and that affects quite a few different factors.


1. Can You Build Your Team Here?kelowna accountant

It’s possible that you may have a very successful business in one location but you can’t find that type of staff in Kelowna. You need to research in advance to see whether or not the expertise is available here and at what cost.

Kelowna has a great level of skill in several unique markets that is not available anywhere else. For example, if you want to be in the game design industry, Kelowna has a great wealth of knowledge (and also demand) for those skills. Make sure you can get the people you need in place before you move your business here.

Related: I Want To Sell My Business, What’s It Worth?


2. Shipping Costs

Another part of moving to the Okanagan is making sure your transportation situation is structured properly. Are you shipping to Vancouver or Calgary? Determine exactly where you are shipping to and if it will be cost effective.

Kelowna does not have a rail yard so you’re going to be using transport trucks to ship your goods in and out. Factor in your potential shipping routes and make sure the costs are what you’ve budgeted for.


3. Location, Location, Location

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There was a business that moved to Kelowna last year and was unsuccessful, unfortunately. The reason why they weren’t successful was because they didn’t recognize that people in a small city like Kelowna don’t like to travel very far.

When you’re in Vancouver setting up a business with a 30-minute travel time is reasonable, but in Kelowna for many it is not. If you make that same assumption when you move to Kelowna, you are going to be way too far from your customer.

Make sure you are thinking about the commute your customers have to make to reach you and if it’s reasonable based on their standards. I live less than 8 minutes away from the mall, work, downtown and I’m really comfortable with that level of commute but I don’t go over to West Kelowna to go shopping even though it’s only 15 minutes from my house.

It’s a mental state, so if you run a business that requires people to travel to your door, you need to ensure your location is the right one by using the local’s interpretation of a reasonable distance for commuting, not your own.


4. Use A Local Advisor

Personally, I advise for people all over North America but for certain types of advice, it’s so much easier to meet in person. Internet and email are great, but face-to-face is always better. Meeting in person and shaking hands is key to becoming part of the community. It’s also a better way to develop a confident and trusting business relationship with the person that is helping you steer your company to success.

More importantly, it’s very wise to have a local advisor when moving your business to the Okanagan so you have someone that knows and understands the business community and climate better than you do.

Related: Doing Your Due Diligence When Purchasing A Business


5. Get Involved In The Community

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If you’re moving to Kelowna, you need to get involved in the community. There is a vast amount of resources for you to network within the greater business community and they should not be ignored.

It’s so important to get involved, no matter what business you are in. Whether it’s with the Rotary, KWIB (Kelowna Women In Business), OVES (Okanagan Valley Entrepreneur Society) or some sort of social NPO. Make sure when you move your business to Kelowna that you get yourself involved.

During my time spent as a Kelowna accountant and business advisor, I have worked with a lot of business owners and many, if not most, have moved from outside of the Okanagan. Despite whatever hassles you may perceive or encounter, there’s one thing that almost everyone agrees with: it’s all worth getting to live in one of the greatest places on earth.



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