Are you looking into the possibility of setting up your own business? There are certainly plenty of advantages, such as the freedom and independence of being your own boss, not having to answer to anyone else, the ability to shape the company in line with your own vision, not to mention the financial perks if your enterprise goes on to become a success.
For many budding entrepreneurs in the UK, London is the only place to be. It offers the greatest opportunities in terms of office space, workforce, networking and building your contacts. Over the years it has established itself as one of the world’s leading business hubs, with organisations from all corners of the globe establishing a presence in the capital.
It’s understandable that you want to join them, but there are plenty of things for you to think about first. Before you make any major decisions, it might be worth spending some time in the city to familiarise yourself with the surroundings and get a feel for the place. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to achieve this over the course of a couple of days, but there are plenty of serviced apartments in London which offer you the chance to enjoy the extended stay that might help you figure out the answers to some of the following:
You need to ask yourself who your product or service is aimed at. Is it those without masses of expendable income, or is it more suited to people who fall into the wealthier demographic? Having a clear strategy can help you decide on the location of your business, as immersing yourself in the relevant areas of the city will enable you to connect with your market more directly.
Setting up in London has many advantages, but the downside is that the cost of renting office space is among the highest in Europe. You need to work out where you’d like to position yourself, and calculate how much that is going to cost you on a monthly or annual basis. If you find that the prices are outside of your budget, you need to consider the next best alternative.
Take the time to analyse your rivals in the sector. Where have they set up their operation? Is that working for them? Have they missed an opportunity that you’ve spotted, and can therefore take advantage of? Perhaps you can take note of their location and see what impact that is having on their performance. If they’re doing well, it may be a formula you want to replicate.
Think about the type of people you’d like to employ. If you’re going to be taking on graduates, for example, you might want to check out the universities in London and position yourself in a location where the student popular is greater.
The majority of the capital is accessible via bus or tube, but it’s still imperative that you find a space that’s not too far from a station. If it’s within walking distance of a major transport hub, and not on the outskirts of the city where commuting can be awkward, you’re likely to attract employees more easily.
If you think you’ve found a suitable location, do your research into the area. Is it up and coming? Are there major regeneration projects planned over the next couple of years? Will there be room for expansion? All of these things can contribute to the success or failure of your business, so it’s important that you’ve considered every possibility.