Setting up in business brings with it a huge list of considerations, many of which won’t have anything to do with your product or service. Probably at the top of this list is the question ‘where should I base my business?’
A harmless enough question – but one that is actually pretty loaded. You need to carefully consider just where the right location is for you, based around a fairly substantial set of criteria. For example, are you tied to a particular area due to family commitments or are you free to move wherever you choose? If you already have children and a mortgage then you may be reluctant to uproot your family, so you need to find the most appropriate premises in your immediate vicinity.
You also need to think carefully about where the demand is for your product or service, if you are selling directly from your premises (if you are selling online then this is less relevant). If clients, customers and suppliers will regularly need to visit you, then you also need to make sure you are easily accessible. This means finding somewhere with good transport links for national and international visitors, as well as your workforce. Plenty of parking and pleasant surroundings are pretty much a must, too.
Life outside the capital
Lots of people think of London when they are setting up business in the UK. And there is no denying that the English capital has plenty to offer to businesses in terms of prestige, transport, passing trade and collaboration opportunities. But it is also extremely expensive and, depending where your visitors are based, it can be difficult to access without long commutes and train journeys.
On the outskirts
Alternatively, it can be a good idea to consider the areas around London – the Home Counties – which offer the same kind of prestige as London but without the associated aggravations. Think Surrey, East and West Sussex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Essex and Buckinghamshire. There are plenty of beautiful towns and cities within these counties, all offering great premises for your business.
If you are looking, for example, at the office space Weybridge in Surrey has to offer, you will find plenty of charming and attractive places on offer. Lovely countryside, picturesque scenery and a gentle yet buzzing atmosphere can all be found here. Compared to the hustle and bustle of London, the Home Counties offer a slightly gentler pace of life. That’s not to say they’re slower or less commercially driven – just sometimes a little less frenetic.
If you are based in the Home Counties you are still extremely near to London, often still within the commuter belt. So if you have to attend meetings in the city, or many of your clients or suppliers are based there, it is just a short hop on the train to get to your destination and back again.
Many buildings in the Home Counties are steeped in history and heritage. Going into work in the morning is much more of a joy when you are going somewhere so beautiful – and your business deserves to be in the best place possible.