You might be thinking about relocating your business soon, and setting up an office in the UK. It might even be about creating a second location, or new head office for the UK market. In this case, you might find it difficult to find the right office, especially if you have no background in the UK. Consider these five things carefully before you settle.
Location, as you may already know, is absolutely key to your business success. If you set up in the right place, you could facilitate growth, create connections and partnerships, and watch your sales boom. If you choose the wrong location, you might have to shut down your office as your funds run out.
First, think about which part of the UK you want to settle in. While London is often the first choice for many business owners, it can be prohibitively expensive. The prices are very inflated there, not just for office rental and rates but also for daily living. You will be expected to pay your staff more in order to compensate for this. As you travel north, however, there are a number of other major cities which are huge commerce hubs – Liverpool, Birmingham, and Manchester spring to mind. Here, you can connect with lots of like-minded business owners and also find plenty of footfall or exposure to new customers.
Setting up just outside of a city like Manchester gives you lots of advantages. You can avoid the inflated wages and costs of London, but you can also save money even further by choosing an area on the outskirts.
This gives you a great balance, as you will pay less but get the same benefits as many businesses which are set up right in the centre of Manchester. This makes it a lot easier to leverage success in the first couple of years after establishing your business.
Every country has its own quirks and obstacles that prevent customers from reaching businesses. Understanding how customers and members of staff will get to your business is very important. In the UK, it is often easy to move around in a city centre, but difficult to reach locations in suburban or rural settings.
To compromise, find offices which are outside the city centre but yet connected to a motorway, and near to train stations. Being close to an airport may also help with international clients or partners.
Being close with other businesses is often very important for your growth. First, the presence of other businesses can help bring more footfall to your door Second, it can bring opportunities for collaboration and networking between your fellow business owners. This is key to building your brand quickly and well.
There are two options in this case. You can set up an office on the high street, which can often push your rental costs up. Or, you can opt for a managed office – this means that you will be inside the same building with a number of other businesses. A large number of neighbours means more choice for collaboration and more footfall.
In terms of timing, now is a great time to come to the UK. Areas like Manchester may well become more expensive in the future, as their popularity with businesses increases. That means you should get in early and take advantage!