London – a tourist trap covered in more beautiful monuments than a Las Vegas casino, and more colourful cockneys than Mary Poppins.
But as anyone who’s ever bought fish and chips from a London chippy knows, the capital city is pretty darn expensive – and prices are only rising.
Gentrification, in which smaller businesses and poorer homeowners are forced out of the city to make way for Russian oligarchs and mega-corporations, has torn through the city. Anti-gentrification protests have become a regular feature on the capital’s streets as house prices rise.
Indeed, when national newspaper the Telegraph can claim that buying your own private island is cheaper than the average London home, you know you’re in trouble.
Yet, in many cases, the only way small businesses can thrive is by making links with larger London companies.
Many search for a commercial property to let London that can service their needs while not footing a giant bill. But finding that balance is a struggle without the right finances.
London’s most prestigious areas are essentially no-go zones for smaller companies – but some have found ways to make the city work for them.
Indeed, millionaire businessman Ian Livingstone worked from the back of a van until he could find the capital to rent his first premises.
But in an age where appearances are everything, renting an effective premises is a necessity. So what can you do to find an office that won’t put you in the red?
The temptation of temping
Temporary office accommodation has become the norm in most cities. But in somewhere as expensive as London, it’s a necessity.
Essentially, you’ll pay for a section of office or a meeting room on a weekly or monthly or weekly basis. Form this base of operations, you’ll be able to conduct meetings without looking amateurish.
Naturally, most clients will understand that they’re entering a temporary office, but you’ll still make an effective impression.
Know the zones
When London was split into zones, it’s was ostensibly for travel. These sections can, however, help you figure out the perfect location to balance price and prestige.
Find a property that straddles zones and you’ll be able to lure other clients from other districts – while paying less of that pesky rent.
Keep things global
The internet exists for a reason – and it can help sustain your London living.
Make sure you extend your business across the web, making your website presentable and your products appealing. If the capital ever grows too expensive, you’ll still have a solid grounding online.