In 2002, Bill Gates observed that there would soon be ‘two types of business. Those with an Internet presence and those with no business at all.’ But even in the days of the Internet, the physical location of your business makes a massive difference to your chances of success. Gordon Selfridge put it very succinctly when he explained the three most important factors in making sure his business was successful: ‘location, location, location.’
1. You may need to maintain a physical presence near your customers. But that still doesn’t mean you need to have all your business where your customers are.
2. You can now have a ‘virtual’ office, with a postal address, receptionist and physical presence close to your customers, but keep your main base somewhere more cost-effective and service those customers remotely. ‘Virtuality’ means you can locate your business in many different places at one, and supply all those locations from the same, cost effective central distribution hub.
3. You need the right infrastructure nearby. Flexible workspace, communications links, fast WiFi, printing and office support will all make it easier for your people to get on with the job from day one. So you could even expand internationally, without having to worry about finding workspace.
4. You need to be where there are people who you can hire to do the task you need. (That’s one of the reasons why businesses in similar fields tend to set up in close proximity to one another. California’s Silicon Valley is one example, from the sphere of high technology. You may not want to offer them more money than your competitors, but you might well be able to offer them more flexible working, which can make you more attractive as an employer.
5. You might want to choose a location where you can get financial help to hire people, or to train them. There are many local and regional schemes that offer financial aid to attract start-ups – often they’re in depressed areas where wages are low in the first place. And in some countries, lower local income tax rates make it very attractive to start up in particular locations. One of the reasons why so many tech businesses set up in Seattle is because individual income tax is zero in Washington State.
Wherever you decide to locate your business, Regus can help you find flexible workspace on the right terms. We’ll even give you two months rent free to help you get started*.
(*Terms and conditions apply)