If you have delusions of business grandeur, there’s never been a better time to go it alone. According to StartUp Britain, a whopping great 581,173 new businesses were registered in 2014 and that number looks to increase this year.
But before you put a deposit down on that office down the road, it’s probably a good idea to channel a bit of Phil and Kirsty first - and consider LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Because choosing the right town or city can make or break your business when you factor in things like cost of living and available talent.
Thankfully, last year Startups.co.uk undertook an extensive look around the UK to find the best of the best places for new businesses outside of London (let’s face it, London is a given if you have the option). Their in-depth analysis, as revealed in the Start-up Cities Index, detailed 25 cities across the land that presented excellent opportunities for brave business folk setting out on their own.
For the full facts and figures, we highly recommend checking out the full report. But if you’re short of time, here are the top three:
#3 – Bristol
Home to one of the UK’s busiest ports, Bristol is perfect for small businesses looking to gain access to international markets. Awarded the ‘European Green Capital for 2015’, the city has two world-class universities to collaborate with (the University of Bristol even offers support to place talented graduates) and boasts one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration projects. A beautiful city with a great quality of life, Bristol does come with property prices slightly higher than the national average, but has a solid business survival rate of 60%.
#2 – Edinburgh
The capital city of Scotland has strong links to science and technology, and an outstanding talent pool thanks to its three universities – with skill levels rising above many comparable cities. A business survival rate of 54% highlights the strong business support, and increasing numbers of business parks and offices in the city that are perfect for companies just starting out. Edinburgh itself is gorgeous, central to transport links in the area, and is well known as a home for the arts – what’s not to love?
#1 – Manchester
Look, we may be biased, but we’re not surprised by this at all. Here at Hiring Hub we’re living proof that Manchester is a thriving city for small businesses with huge ambitions. A cultural, creative and digital hotspot, this recently rejuvenated city has bags of talent to draw on thanks to its five universities (including Europe’s largest campus), property prices well below national average and excellent transport links to all the major cities – allowing you to be in London in just over 2 hours.
Oh and if you needed further convincing, we’re happy to confirm that it doesn’t always rain here. So if you’re a small business looking for a place to call home, what are you waiting for? Let us know when you’re all set up and we’ll come and meet you for a coffee.
Ever wondered what it's like working for a start-up but never had a chance to take the leap? Find out first hand from Hiring Hub's Joe Sammells - he turned his back on a lucrative career in grouse beating to join us as one of our onboarding consultants. Read more >