A wise man once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” That same man, Alan Lakein, also said “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” This wisdom could not be truer and better applied than when it comes to eminent domain relocation preplanning.
Did you know that by time a business has been made eligible for relocation benefits, it’s likely too late to prevail? Unknown to most displaced business owners, it is after the public agency has completed their analysis and has determined the business’ eligibility for relocation benefits, that the business becomes eligible to incur and receive reimbursements for relocation costs incurred.
However, it’s not until this stage that the public agency actually explains the relocation benefits to the business owner. As a result, most businesses don’t begin planning their relocation until the analysis is complete. The problem is that by waiting until the analysis has already taken place, the business is either obliged to plan their relocation around what the public agency has already determined, or they must appeal those decisions. It becomes too late to pre-plan the relocation. Waiting uses up unnecessary time and resources and concludes with uncertain results. The only option is to attempt to undo what would likely have been prevented with preplanning.
Benefits of Preplanning
Preplanning gives a business the opportunity to guide the public agency’s decision-making process as they determine the eligible relocation benefits. Preplanning a business relocation refers to planning before the business has received their notice of eligibility for relocation benefits and before the public agency’s offer has been made on the real property.
Preplanning differs from relocation planning or Move Planning, as it’s described in the Uniform Act relocation guidelines. Relocation Planning is performed after the business has been determined eligible for relocation benefits by the agency but before the business actually moves.
A few of the many benefits of preplanning business relocation due to eminent domain:
1. Preplanning creates an increased amount of time for evaluating and making critical decisions such as:
a. Evaluating the best of the potential replacement properties.
b. Understanding how relocation benefits will and will not assist with making a potential replacement property functional for the business.
2. Preplanning ensures that your decisions will be made on facts of relocation benefits rather than on misleading information or assumptions on what the relocation benefits do or do not provide to you.
3. Preplanning relocation establishes time for preparation of plans for minimizing downtime with the use of relocation benefits.
4. Preplanning grants you more time and knowledge of the process, which opens up more business relocation options.
5. Proper preplanning sets the stage for your actual relocation, saving you out of pocket expenses because of a rushed move, lack of choices, and excessive key employee time spent on the relocation.
6. Preplanning allows you to put your best foot forward while working with the public agency representatives. Beginning with their first contact with you, your level of organization and knowledge will be evident which is important since this is the time when information, both proper and improper or misinterpreted, is generally traded. With the right preplanning, you can avoid the misinformation that usually causes the process to derail and veer off in a direction that can be costly to your business.
The preplanning window that opens before the public agency’s analysis has been completed is a pivotal — but fleeting — opportunity for businesses. Preplanning empowers business owners with informed knowledge that will enable them to take positive action. The difference between taking advantage of the preplanning stage and missing that opportunity can be the difference between real business savings of both money and efficiency vs. expensive business hardship and stress. Don’t miss the preplanning window. Avoid being being swept up in an overwhelming, inefficient, and expensive relocation tide for you and your business by seizing the window of preplanning opportunity today.