Read on to digest the most common mistakes made when businesses move their operations to the capital.
The first issue you have to consider when moving your business to London is your reason for relocating. Are you moving to be closer to a particular business ‘hub’ of like-minded people? Or perhaps you’re moving your business to where the bigger talent pool is?
The biggest mistake any entrepreneur can make is to move their operations to the capital without a specific purpose. It’s a very big and exciting city out there, but if you don’t have a plan or goal it’s very likely that you’ll struggle to make an impact.
Inadequate financial planning
There’s no two ways about it, moving your business to London is a significant investment. Without sufficient financial planning, it’s possible you’re actually putting your business at greater risk in the capital than where you’re currently based. It’s vital that you factor in the following costs into your business’ relocation plan:
- Solicitors’ fees
- Designers’ fees for branding or decorating
- Deposit for tenancy agreement
- Removal fees and transport to your new office
- The cost of any potential downtime during the move
- Installation of new telephony and security systems
- The cost of new office furniture and/or accessories
- The cost of updating company stationary, vehicles or website
Not viewing your chosen office space
You might know the rough location that you’d like your business to be based in, but choosing a specific building or even an individual office or studio can be a much trickier task.
Don’t fall into the trap of finding space online and thinking ‘it’s two minutes’ walk from King’s Cross, perfect – we’ll take it!’ In this instance, you have no idea whether the building or your specific office complements your brand’s identity and vision. Choosing the wrong type of office for your business can be a very expensive mistake to make, so we highly recommend that you arrange at least one viewing before signing on the dotted line.
At Workspace, we actively encourage our customers to view the vacant spaces they are interested in renting. That’s because Workspace customers don’t just get their office or studio. The Workspace Offer means that new tenants slot into an instant community of more than 4,000 like-minded New and Growing Companies, providing the ideal environment for networking, collaboration and innovation. They also have access to a year-long calendar of workshops and seminars for free.
There’s even fantastic on-site cafes and restaurants, not to mention plentiful break-out and meeting space. If you don’t come and see for yourself, you’ll never truly see the potential in your business based in a Workspace business centre.
Not utilising freelancers during your 'bedding in' stage
Some businesses may be averse to working with freelancers, but when you first make your move to London and you’re unsure when you’ll be recruiting your next permanent member of staff it’s a great idea to plug your skills and knowledge gap with freelance professionals. You can’t put a price on temporary recruits that can work autonomously on projects while you recruit the perfect member of staff you need.
Failing to keep staff well-informed of the move
It’s just as important to keep your current employees abreast of your plans to relocate to London as it is to tap into the city’s unrivalled talent pool. If you are relocating from an area some distance from London, it’s only fair to let them know as soon as you can to give them the option of either relocating to London with you or seek work elsewhere. Failure to keep staff in the loop is also a recipe for poor team morale, which could lead to poor productivity and damage to your business reputation.
Not making use of your new surroundings
In order to get best value out of your relocation to the capital, it’s vital that you make full use of your new surroundings. Don’t sit there and expect the work to come to you; get your business and branding out there at London seminars and trade shows to capture the imagination of prospective customers.
London has a number of prominent industry ‘hubs’ that feature a cluster of like-minded businesses nearby. For instance, Soho is home to a host of pre and post-production companies; Old Street is home for some of the world’s biggest online companies and Canary Wharf remains a global hub for finance and fintech companies. If you’re not already networking with other businesses like yours, you’re doing your business a disservice!
Launching a new business can be exciting but it’s not without its pitfalls; and moving an established or growing business to a new city is equally challenging. Nevertheless, with the right preparation and attitude your business can relocate to London and truly thrive.