With more than 2.5 million UK-based companies, SMEs are the lifeblood of the British economy. Since the global financial crisis, newly registered and emerging businesses have filled the employment gaps left behind by the public sector. While SMEs may not have the resources or financial backing of large-scale corporations, many are poised to become major players in the not-so-distant future.
London is a global city, serving as a gateway to Europe. Establishing a base in the capital may sound daunting, but it need-not be a pipe dream. In fact, roughly 87 percent of all local businesses are SMEs. With the right business plan, there’s no reason why you can’t add to that figure.
Here are five reasons why establishing your business in the capital could help you succeed.
1. You’ll benefit from a prestigious address
Each London district has a distinct identity. For example, Canary Wharf is synonymous with financial services, while Shoreditch is known for tech startups. Choosing a location that “fits” your business can work wonders for your corporate profile, as your business address will not only have prestige, but also plenty of neighbors to partner with – this could even boost your client base.
2. You’ll have access to international transport links
London is served by six international airports; train links to the whole of Britain; an extensive tube network; and direct Eurostar routes to Paris, Brussels and other major European cities. Due to the close proximity to Kings Cross railway station, the NW1 postcode is the second most popular district among SMEs looking to broaden their reach on both a national and international scale. Besides access to this transportation network you can easily find and purchase used cars in London (https://www.autovolo.co.uk/used-cars/uk/london/) from multiple local dealers.
3. You’ll join the “big savers” club
According to the Hampshire Trust Band, the average London-based SME has £829,000 in savings. This figure makes London businesses the second highest savers in the UK – behind the East – and eclipses the national average of £556,000 by £273,000. Of course, these figures mean little to new startups; however, they prove just how much stronger London-based businesses can become.
4. You’ll have access to more funding opportunities
SMEs in London experience high growth rates; therefore, the city has more external finance opportunities than anywhere else in Britain. The City of London is one of the world’s top three financial centres, alongside New York and Tokyo. With a large density of banks, brokers, hedge funds and people, the likelihood of acquiring capital and new investment opportunities is much higher than in other, less influential cities.
5. You’ll have a large millennial workforce at your disposal
According to research conducted by Lloyds TSB, millennials will account for more than half of the global workforce by 2020. Recognizing the power that this generation will have on society, roughly 76 percent of London SMEs have chosen to actively try to employ millennial candidates, and work with other millennial-run businesses. If you were born between 1980 and 2000 there’s no better place to be!
With serviced and virtual offices in abundance, establishing your business in the capital need-not be expensive. With short-term lease agreements available in virtually every district, you can set up and test the waters with minimal risk.