Any business wants to be in the epicentre of commerce, culture and communication. And as more start-ups continue to flock to London, one needs to stop and ask why exactly this is. Whether it is the creative West End, the ‘yuppie’ Shoreditch or the financial City, the capital city continues to prove why it is ‘the place to be’ for business growth and potential.
Connectivity in the capital
For suppliers, customers, employees and clients, accessibility is probably the most decisive factor in whether a business will succeed or not. One way in which this is achieved is an efficient transport network, and London certainly does not shy away. With 27 mainland links and a Tube service that spans 270 stations, anyone can get to any part of the city within minutes in some cases. London also offers efficient bus networks and the recently-promoted ‘Boris Bikes’ mean that you can get around without impeding on the wider environment.
Transport links are important to any business. Not only will your clients be able to get to your business for meetings and conferences, but employees will not need to travel far to get to work every day, in turn maintaining happy workers.
Beyond speedy travel times, telecommunications and internet connectivity is also crucial. Recently, a deal between Canary Wharf Group and mobile service provider O2 meant that the mammoth O2 Wi-Fi network was extended to the wider Canary Wharf area in the summer, following the rollout of the service in the boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea for the London 2012 Olympics. This, combined with the fact that the City of London enjoys 85 per cent coverage of unlimited free Wi-Fi, means that the overall region is the biggest Wi-Fi zone in the whole of Europe.
Space and sector
There is no denying that there is plenty of commercial opportunity. With over 80 million sq ft of adaptable and easily accessible office space in London and five million sq ft of retail potential, it is no surprise that around 6,000 businesses have established themselves here.
But choosing the right district to establish yourself in is vital in how healthy your business ends up being. If you have the cash to splash, or would like to be at the high end of the market, Kensington and Mayfair are your best bets, but you need to consider the high rents that will only follow in tow. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are an up-and-coming firm, you will want to set up shop in urban areas such as Soho and Shoreditch. And with more cocktail bars than you can shake a stick at in such areas, you will have ample opportunity to entertain your clients, both domestic and foreign. Finally, areas such as Covent Garden, Warren Street, Oxford Street and Bond Street are ideal for accessibility. Whether it is trapping in the tourists or being in the centre of the buzz, these places are the ones to head towards.
After the 2012 Olympics, London has become a powerhouse for finance, business and commerce. So seize the opportunity and jump on the bandwagon. Your business may just thank you for it.