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Some entrepreneurs are determined to conquer the British market by starting at the very top. They head to London, aiming to be in the middle of the metropolis. However, starting in London can be unnecessarily challenging. London has some of the most expensive rents and labour costs in the UK. It’s also crowded, noisy and home to some very stiff competition. There are plenty of better options for up and coming business people.

Often, tech startups are convinced that location doesn’t really matter, as they’ll be conducting most of their business online. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s important to be situated in a community that’s used to the rhythms of business activities. Service providers need to be up-to-date, and they should have a sense of urgency. For example, there needs to be reliable high-speed internet, cell reception, and efficient, effective delivery service. Also, having an existing community of businesspeople to network and connect with can be incredibly helpful.

Some other factors to consider when choosing a location for a new business include the local demographics, the cost of rents and labour, and the startup survival rate. How old is the population? Are they accepting of new ideas, or standoffish? London has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates in the UK. Oxford and Cambridge are also costly areas to start in. By contrast, cities like Sheffield, Cardiff, and Bath are more affordable. They have the necessary infrastructure for a business. These cities also all have 5-year survival rates of around 40-50% for startups. Cities like Birmingham, Leicester, and Nottingham are also a great place to get started. These are all cities that have thriving business communities. They provide a great balance between an open market and an existing business world.

Wherever an entrepreneur decides to set up shop, it’s imperative to go to that place well-prepared. Having ample savings to live on while getting up and running is a must. Experts suggest entrepreneurs should have about six months’ worth of money to live on while acclimating to their new surroundings. Starting a business can be very expensive. There are often small setbacks and hidden costs. These can be frustrating, but with planning and determination they can be overcome.