From start-up to "start again": do you need a whole new office?

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Date: 16 December 2019

Smiling employees unpack their boxes full of work equipment in a smart new office.

Is your start-up faltering, with neither its revenue nor profit quite hitting the heights you'd expected? If so, you could be tempted to simply throw your hands in the air - and throw in the towel. However, you might just need to hit the reset button with your business instead.

Even despite the spectre of Brexit, a record 663,272 new businesses were formed in 2018, says the Centre for Entrepreneurs. The figure trails only that of Silicon Valley, according to whispers cited by Raconteur. The climate looks favourable for UK firms that opt to start over - but should yours?

Is your start-up in a "business hub"?

The country that Napoleon allegedly branded a "nation of shopkeepers" seems, these days, closer to a nation of start-ups. Even the former Emperor of the French himself might've been stunned to learn that, today, nearly a third of those start-ups are in London.

However, it's not so surprising when you consider that East London Tech City, to use its official name, is a thriving business hub. Such hubs bring together various businesses, allowing job opportunities, networking and knowledge-trading aplenty. Talk about great places to bounce back!

Where can you - and your target staff - afford to live?

If you are considering moving to a business hub, you don't have to just set your sights on London. That's a relief, too, given how notoriously expensive a place it is to live. A business hub in the capital could exacerbate the problem through gentrifying the local area and so pushing prices up.

Of course, such a hub can be similarly detrimental to affordability in cities beside London. Over the last nine years, house price growth has hit 67% in Oxford and 73% in Cambridge. Both cities are renowned university cities and research hubs, two factors conducive to the growth of tech hubs.

Should you open an office in a new country?

If you are struggling to find a UK location that, for your business, ticks more of the right boxes than its current setting, should you consider heading overseas?

Jeetu Matahni, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of International Operations at HubSpot, warns in an article for The Next Web: "The challenge is, there's no handbook for opening an office in a new region." A successful migration will call for much research into that location first.

The Brex factor: yes, it's about Brexit

Maybe you've found that many of your current customers are based in Germany, while your office remains strictly in the UK. Therefore, the case for a German office is obvious... right? Not quite. You still need to consider that country's tax laws, legal landscape and employment practices.

Still, with many expecting Brexit to adversely affect the UK economy, and its appeal to start-ups, now could be a good time to take the leap. UK-based companies such as Maris are experts in designing offices, even for continental Europe - making it easier for your firm to hit the ground running overseas.

Copyright 2019. Featured post made possible by Edwin Owusu-Peprah of Maris Interiors.

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