The location you choose for your business can play a critical role in its future success. There are many reasons for this and today we are going to look at some of them. To help explain some of these reasons, we spoke with David Robinson. His company, Robinson of England, is based in the North East of England, and he has found that the location he chose for the company has been really beneficial.
Many people may think that choosing a location for your business is all to do with the building you want and how much it will cost. While this does make up an important part of choosing a location, it is not the only important factor.
A crucial part of running any business is the staff that you employ. As well as the location of your business can play a role in the staff you attract. For David Robinson, choosing to set up his business in the North East of England allowed him to recruit young staff from the region with three prominent universities. Furthermore, as he told us “we in the North East are renowned for being exceptional manufacturers” and it was crucial for his furniture company.
Being able to attract potential employees from outside the region, and also convincing those within the region not to look elsewhere, is also important for businesses, therefore choosing the right location is vital. David makes the point that “that the quality of life you can offer your employees is vital.
The North East offers such a great quality of life, the cost of housing for employees, and the overall standard of living and schools is excellent.” It is therefore vital to consider this when thinking about how your location can impact your staff.
Transport and clients
Along with employing some great staff, you need to make sure that your business is located somewhere that is accessible to them. “Considering the commuting times of employees is really important”, David said. Choosing a location which has a good road network and public transport facilities will help you recruit staff and make their lives easier.
The other reason why the transport connectivity to and from your business is important relates to your clients. “This can be more or less important depending upon sector”, David acknowledged.
If you are operating a retail business which relies heavily on footfall, you clearly need to base yourself in a busy city centre location to maximize your exposure to clients. For other business which exports a lot of products, it could be more profitable to base themselves next to transport systems such as ports or courier services.
For David, his requirement for a location was somewhere cost-effective and with good transport links to London. “I have, over the years considered having workshops in London to gain greater access to potential clients. However, as a predominantly internet-based company, we are able to thrive from the North East” David explained.
He continued, saying that before COVID-19 he did find himself “hopping on a train with an overnight stay almost weekly as it is important to be able to build and maintain face-to-face relationships with both commercial and residential clients” and his company has a high client base in London. This is a perfect example of understanding where your clients are coming from and how your location can impact your success, both positively or negatively, in dealing with them.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a location for your business is the overall cost of the space. Being based in and closer to large cities will typically increase the price you’re paying for your building or workspace.
This will be further increased in capital cities like London. By looking further afield, as David did with the North East, he was able to find “some great sites and an excellent array of premises available, from vast warehouses to more quirky workshops” without incurring the higher costs of other areas.
Choosing the right location for your business can be a real benefit and play a significant role in increasing your success. Before starting any business, it’s imperative to think carefully about your location and weigh up all the options highlighted above.
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