Nothing says more about your business when you are based in London than your postcode. Thanks in no small measure to the worldwide dominion of Monopoly; London’s streets are as familiar as the Westminster chimes. Despite the fact that more and more commerce takes place electronically, your address still speaks volumes. A prospective client is not going to take happily to catching a cab to the outer reaches of N23. Clients will be even unhappier, on arrival, to find they have to climb a flight of dirty stairs above a kebab shop.
What not to skimp on
Even if you are a start-up with a tiny loan, it is imperative to source the very best office space you can realistically afford. Remember this is going to go on your letterhead, your business cards and your website. It is a signal of your place, quite literally, in the scheme of things. You may decide it makes more sense to work out of a broom-cupboard at the end of the tube line until orders start pouring in. The trouble with this way of thinking is that you may be sending out a “bound to fail” message.
Where to look
There’s no denying that London is an expensive city in which to live and work and sourcing a clean, bright, office space may seem like an impossible ask. Rents are sky-high in central London and dominated by the multi-nationals and huge chains. However, with a little forethought and forward thinking, you can still find areas which are affordable and will make a difference to the image of your brand.
The Sound of Bow Bells
Intriguingly, one of the most iconic and remarkable parts of London is well worth a search. With St Paul’s Cathedral at its heart, the district of EC4 has seen phenomenal moments in history. Here, the Great Fire of London was started in Pudding Lane, Shakespeare’s Globe was built and crowds gathered to see the first ever productions of his incredible plays. Here, for centuries, people crossed the Thames by barge and the warehouses along the river were the bastions of trade. One of the great surviving buildings is the Oxo Tower, hard now to visualize it as a place where stock cubes were manufactured. Here too, arguably most famously of all, was the hotbed of gossip, information gathering, commentary and news, which was Fleet Street. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub still stands and its walls have heard many scandals, but the newspaper industry has gone. For this reason, a great deal of office space remains available.
Prestige and Proud Tradition
An address in EC4 is a magnificent calling card. The entire East End has seen a boost since the success of the Olympics, but the very old parts like EC4 have always been on many visitors “must see” sights and to be based there could be very good for your business. Entertaining clients could not be easier with the Millennium Bridge to take you over to the Tate Modern and the Bankside Gallery also within walking distance.