Four reasons why London is the ideal place to start a business

The location of your business can have a huge impact on the types of customers you attract, the number of investors you have access to, and your overall reputation.

While it’s certainly possible to change your premises further down the line or open new offices in different locations, the place you choose to get your venture off the ground could make all the difference to its success.

There are currently more than a million businesses based in London, so it’s only natural for new business owners to consider setting up shop there themselves.

However, moving to the capital isn’t always an easy decision to make.

Here are some reasons why moving to London could be the best decision for your business:

1. Ample networking opportunities and access to talent

London is regarded as an international business hub, meaning it attracts investors, entrepreneurs and talent from all around the world.

If you’re looking for a new business partner, co-collaborator or employee to help grow your venture, London is one of the best cities to be based in.

While it is possible to make business connections online through sites such as LinkedIn, there is really no replacement for networking in person.

There are lots of networking events in London all throughout the year which you can discover on websites like Meetup or Eventbrite.

Some may be more relevant to your business than others, so try to pick industry-related events for the best chance at meeting the right people.

Being based in London can also be helpful when it’s time to recruit new staff.

Not only will you have a better chance at recruiting emerging talent from universities like UCL and LSE, but the pool of professionals looking for work in the capital will be much larger than in other smaller cities around the country.

2. Home to thousands of accounting businesses

In 2020, there were 11,305 VAT/PAYE registered accountancy-related businesses in London.

This accounts for a little under 30% of the country’s total, making the city one of the best places to find accountancy solutions to suit your specific needs.

Not only are you more likely to find a firm that’s nearby, but you’ll also have a wide range of professionals to choose from if your number one choice is fully booked for the foreseeable.

Accounting can be a significant pain point for start-up owners, especially when launching their very first venture.

Whether you need help choosing the right accounting software, creating invoices, or submitting your self-assessment tax return, being in London could speed up your solution-finding process.

3. A thriving social scene

Starting a business isn’t just about the hustle – you also need to find ways to relax and unwind if you want to avoid burning out.

London’s social scene is one of the best in the country, allowing you to let go of stress and connect with the people of the city at the same time.

Whether you enjoy fine dining, grabbing a drink in the pub, seeing a film at the cinema or a show at the theatre, London has all of that and much more.

The city even has some unusual activities on offer, such as axe throwing, Ceilidh dancing, ball pit discos, and a trampoline park.

With so much on offer, you’ll be more motivated to supercharge your productivity and time management in order to make the most of your time in the capital.

Not only are all these activities a great way to make the most of your downtime, but they can also make after-work drinks all the more exciting.

You could consider throwing a monthly get-together for all the members of your start-up, or even letting staff finish early on Fridays so they can enjoy everything that London has to offer.

It’s this type of excitement and flexibility that makes working at a start-up in London so unique.

4. Global and well-connected

Start-ups hoping to have a more international presence needn’t look further than London.

Home to multiple international airports and a Eurostar hub, London is well-connected with the rest of the world.

Whether you’re hoping to travel to other cities or host business meetings with partners from all over the globe, London is one of the best places to have as your base.

However, it’s not just its connectivity that makes London so global.

Thousands of international professionals now call the UK’s capital home, making it easy to find multilingual business associates and translators to help you trade successfully around the world.

You may also be able to forge partnerships with international brands and learn from other entrepreneurs who already trade in countries outside of the UK.

Is London the right place for your business?

Not every business will thrive in London, but only you can decide whether trading in the capital is right for both you and your start-up.

It’s undeniable that London comes with many benefits, including the reputation of being an international business hub, but make sure you start your business in the right way.

For example, if you’re struggling to secure funds, avoid renting a physical office in London.

Instead, operate digitally, attend networking events and use co-working spaces until you find your footing.

The London business experience won’t look the same for every business – and it doesn’t have to.

Don’t forget, no business location has to be forever, you always have the option of moving around the country, or even setting your sights on international cities.

However, if you do decide to choose London, you’ll be in the company of hundreds of other entrepreneurs in the same situation as you.

Featured image credit: Ilya Grigorik via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0 licence

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