Why you need to look outside of London

For many aspiring start-ups and entrepreneurs, the bright lights of London can provide a sort of business blinker, resulting in the tunnel vision attitude which sees them assume that their business can only become a success if located in the capital. 

There has been much discussion around this topic recently, as economists revealed that inevitably, the distribution of young business talent in the UK is heavily weighted in favour of London. It is this migration which, Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, described as “a drain on the country.” 

Even though 90 per cent of the population live outside of London, this migration has reportedly seen 17 out of the 20 UK startup hotspots spring up in the capital. However, this needn’t be the case, if we look closers at recent economic patterns; this seems to be a trend which is slowly dispersing.

When setting up my own online rug business, it was the town of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, which drew me in rather than the buzz of London. Although my exact location was influenced by family ties, it is being based in the North East which has allowed my company to grow.

Firstly, there is the obvious advantage of cost. Even as an online retailer there is a need for property, in my case a warehouse in which to store rugs before they are sent out to customers. 

With real estate at a premium London and without much financial backing when starting out, this is an obstacle which could have scuppered my business plans before they even started. 

Even now, as an established online retailer, the lower property overheads remain a huge advantage, allowing me to look to expand and move into a much larger premises. These savings in property costs allow start-ups, such as mine to come into fruition instead of being stamped out by the pricey commodity of space within the capital.

My location has also made much more sense for me logistically. With delivery lorries needing to be loaded and unloaded on a regular basis, it is much easier to organise this on the streets of Bishop Auckland than navigating the congestion charges and strict parking restrictions in the capital. 

This, coupled with improved transport links, has seen travel time dramatically reduced, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and therefore, more profit. 

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