By Gary Taylor, the Business Director of digital media agency, TMWI
More and more businesses are cropping up outside of the capital city and the traditional London-based firms are facing all kinds of competition from far beyond the city borders. Having a company located in or around the London boroughs no longer means that you have a greater chance of ‘making it’ or achieving guaranteed success. Top FMCG companies and the agencies handling their accounts are consistently springing up out in the sticks, far from the hustle and bustle, tube commutes and traffic jams of the Big Smoke.
Here’s some tips on how a new business can achieve success and build a positive reputation for itself without the help of a London postcode:
1. Flexibility is your friend
Having a small start-up allows you a far bigger remit to challenge a stereotypical city company mind-set; you have the ability to embrace a flexible outlook on business models and adapt more quickly to client needs, creating a far more tailored approach. This is often much more difficult for bigger companies to achieve, particularly if they stand fast on traditional hierarchical levels, which can often act as impersonal barriers.
2. Consider the client
Are your company headquarters a pain to get to? If you are going to need face-to-face meetings with clients and potential new business leads, your office should be equipped appropriately. Location really is everything so, though you don’t have to be in London – or even located within a city at all, you should certainly have decent transport links via road or rail as a minimum.
3. Call on local talent
As you are fighting against the stereotype of small-town businesses, you also have the chance to fight the stereotype of the people living locally. The fact that someone has made the decision to relocate to London does not necessarily mean they will make the best new recruit; so don’t dismiss the undiscovered talent living right outside your doorstep.
4. Embrace technology
Technology was made for this! Email alone is no longer enough; be sure that you are well versed and up-to-date with the latest conference calling and video conferencing software. This is a far more personal and efficient way to communicate to your businesses stakeholders, and definitely beats bouncing emails around all day.
5. Grow, but take it slow
Enjoying a slower pace of life can actually be a good thing when it carries across to business thinking. Growing too quickly when you aren’t prepared for everything that it accompanies is a major problem for many start-ups; so taking your time when it comes to the staggered evolution of your business is no bad thing. Make sure you grow into your profit, not out of it.