Business happens in virtual market places, in speculative possible future worlds and ethereal cyberspace. So just how important is the good old ‘real world’ of desks and lifts and fire drills? If you exist as a business, you have to exist somewhere. If you meet a client, you have to pick a place. And location, like any other variable, can either be an advantage or a liability.
Location is a relative thing, and the best place to be is strongly determined by your potential neighbours. If you need specialist skills, are you near a university or industry hub with those skills? If not you are limiting your likelihood of recruiting exceptional staff.
London is now seen as one massive hub of highly skilled people, but that doesn’t simply mean that anywhere will do. Zone in on the areas that are most relevant to your business, look for specialisations within the specialisations. Do you need the infrastructure of the Old Street’s tech city or the prestige of an historic City location?
Working near the hub means living near the hub, and if you live in the right approximate area, you are all the more likely to “know someone who knows someone”, and have the contacts needed to succeed.
Setting – The Home Field Advantage
Where you decide to hold key events can have a great impact on how they go. If you are interviewing candidates for a new position, are you going to do it in the tiny spare room at the back of the office, or are you going to vet them somewhere meaningful, relevant and inspiring?
Often the setting of meetings is something you can choose and control to your benefit. If you want to get out of your usual office space, groups like London Executive Offices provide specialist venues that can ensure you make the right impact. A change of scene for staff, at a workshop or training day, can avoid the setting in of a rut and keep employees vital and productive.
For example, if you are meeting a potential client or investor who is new to the city, you might want to dazzle them by meeting in view of the area’s famous landmarks. With a little thought about symbolism and exactly who you are meeting, it’s easy to use setting to your advantage.
Time for a Change
Like playground fads, it’s good to know when to move on to the next thing. In terms of location, this means knowing when the price of being in the hub overtakes the advantages. Hot locations command high prices, and sooner or later the prices won’t be worth the proximity to services which could themselves be easily relocated. A much talked-about example of this is MediaCity in Manchester. The BBC made the move in 2012. Moving away from such a big hub as London was a risky move, but they’ve hardly done badly out of it, and now the Media City area is going from strength to strength, with property prices and living costs a fraction of London’s.