The pros and cons of operating a startup in London

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England’s capital city is one of the most important business centres, not only in the UK but on an international scale. In fact, London is consistently ranked as one of the top two most influential cities in the world when it comes to global business culture and political power. This makes it an obvious choice for UK startups looking for the best location. 

However, while there are many benefits to being based in London, the city throws up an equal number of challenges for companies large and small. Use this guide to the pros and cons of operating a startup in London to decide whether or not England’s capital is the right spot for your new business venture.

Pros of basing your business in London

Great transport links 

For anyone trying to launch a new product or service offering in the UK, travel will be key. To spread the word about your startup, you will need to visit various companies within London and in the other major cities as well. 

Thankfully, trains to London King’s Cross are frequent from several UK business centres including the media empire Manchester and Scotland’s capital Edinburgh. The iconic Underground rail network makes travel within London just as easy and convenient as cross-country exploration. 

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Opportunities for networking

Given London’s status as one of the most powerful business centres in the world, it goes without saying that the city offers exceptional opportunities for networking. 

Large-scale events that unite startups or business operating within the same industries are a frequent occurrence at London’s many entertainment spaces. You also have easy access to global markets which connects you to international funding prospects and means you are ideally placed should you look to promote your startup abroad in the future.

Access to the best new talent

No matter where they studied, most UK university students congregate in London once they have graduated because they know that this major city offers the bulk of the best business opportunities. 

This means that, year-on-year, London automatically has the best new talent of the country, all eager to sink their teeth into a fulfilling career. Basing your start-up in London gives you the chance to take on the best and brightest minds that will help to take your business to the next level.

Cons of basing your business in London

London is expensive

The main disadvantage of basing your business in England’s capital city is that London is expensive. A high cost of living and expensive residential and commercial building prices are the main culprits.

Having to focus so much on money is potentially detrimental in many ways. Most obviously, it means that less funds are available to pump into growing your business. It might also limit how useful London can be to you: for example, you may need to base your offices in the more affordable areas of Greater London rather than the business-orientated Central London where rent is sky-high.

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Competition from other businesses

Almost every UK company that can afford to seeks to operate their business from London. This means that there is always a lot of competition from other businesses, both other startups and more established organisations. 

If you are operating a startup in London, be prepared to have to fight for the best new talent, the prime investment opportunities, and physical business spaces in the right areas. There will also be much competition in terms of other products and services on the market that are similar to your offering, so you will need to work hard to stand out and prove your unique value. 

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