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London Business Startup

Creating a start-up always involves plenty of challenges, comprehensive planning and risk taking, and this is never truer than in London. The UK capital may be renowned for being a financial hub and hotbed for businesses, but it is also associated with high costs and competition, which can be damaging for start-ups. However, research has found that London has better business survival rates than Berlin, Paris and Brussels. Ensure your start-up continues this trend, survives and thrives with the following advice.

Funding Opportunities

“You need money to make money,” as the old saying goes. When starting a business, plenty of capital is required to cover various essential costs such as:

  • Office space
  • Equipment (computers, printers etc.)
  • Transport
  • Staff salaries
  • Insurance and legal fees
  • Website design/hosting

In London, such costs can be higher than other areas of the country, especially when it comes to buying or renting office space. There are various grants, loans and funding opportunities available to start-ups which can cover or partially help with these vital costs. The UK government offers start-up grants and loans, often dependent on the sector in which the business is based. Grants are the best option, where possible, as they do not have to be repaid.

Professionalism

Setting up a start-up doesn’t mean you have to buy or rent overpriced office space. Many businesses use virtual offices, providing them with the professionalism of an esteemed London address but without all the extortionate costs. Then they either work from home or use office space on a pay as they use basis.

However, when it comes to meeting clients, investors and others, to maintain a professional image you need somewhere to hold your meetings. citizenM offer some high quality meeting rooms in the heart of London with excellent views, free Wi-Fi, food and drink, so you can really impress future staff, clients and investors.

Cost-Effective Action

In the early stages it is important to cut back on costs where possible, without damaging the quality of the products or services your business is creating. As well as avoiding expensive office space, other overheads can be acquired in a cost-effective manner.

For computers and electronic equipment, seek it out second hand rather than purchasing everything brand new. Alternatively, as everyone has a laptop nowadays, ask your staff to bring in their own (by offering an incentive). Only pay for overheads which you are going to use too, a start-up with five staff doesn’t need more than one printer, for example.

Build a Strong Team

London is home to over eight million inhabitants, and while they are definitely not all of working age, it provides a huge pool of talent to help build an excellent team. Advertising in the right places can ensure you discover the best staff who are passionate about your business.

Depending on the industry, you may also be able to make use of free or cheap interns, especially given the vast number of students, universities and colleges there are in the capital. This is by no means a long-term solution, but it can be cost-effective in the first few months.

Prepare for Volatility

Be prepared. Especially with the ongoing Brexit negotiations, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding London’s future. While every industry goes through ups and downs, so you need to be financially and mentally prepared for future challenges. Create a back-up plan in the event that you lose significant customers or clients, both to deal with such a blow financially and on a day-to-day basis.

If you follow these snippets of advice then creating a start-up that survives the competitive, unpredictable yet potentially rewarding London landscape is definitely achievable.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Business

Myths of Executive Jet Charters

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The act of flying in a private jet doesn’t seem like it should belong in someone’s day-to-day life. A private jet flight fits in the realm of red carpets, a sold-out world tour, or going to an exclusively owned island. However, you’d be surprised how often people do fly in a private jet – particularly in the world of business. There plenty of misconceptions about privately jetting off, so what’s it really like to fly in one?

It’s Too Expensive

It should be established that the fact people have to fly for business is nothing new. It could be anything from visiting a partner office abroad, or groups from various companies from around the world need to meet face to face with each other. It is likely when they fly they will want to do so in business class, if not first. If you think of the collective cost of these tickets, in comparison to hiring a jet the expense doesn’t seem too much. It can make financial sense to go private rather than commercial.  Jet charter companies can help people plan the journey so it’s just right.

It’s Hard to Find a Private Airport

In the US there are more private airports than commercial ones, so the chances are a business person can find an airport nearer them to suit their needs. Similar to the likes of hiring a car, hiring a jet means they are completely in charge of their transport. Colleagues can fly at a time which suits everyone’s schedules rather than have to rely on commercial lines.

You Still Have to Go Through Security

This is not the case when flying privately. It can really cut down on the time of travel, in turn saving company time. When boarding a flight could potentially take up an entire morning or afternoon, by going privately, people can board the plane as soon as they fancy. There is no queuing, taking off shoes, or having luggage inspected. Though they’ll still need to bring a passport when flying internationally.

Weather Restrictions

Obviously a plane, even if it is private, is not going to fly in adverse weather conditions. A private jet is just as safe as a commercial plane. However, one of the many perks of flying privately is you can get going a lot sooner. As soon as the weather is deemed less dangerous and it’s safe to fly, the captain of a private jet can take off. Businessmen don’t have to worry about prolonged delays or cancellations.

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Key Terminology You Need to Know Before You Start Trading Forex

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As the largest and most liquid market in the world, forex attracts a multitude of traders on a daily basis. It is the market where currencies are bought and sold as investment assets, and is usually accessed through online trading brokers such as Oanda. Whilst the concept of trading forex is relatively simple (buying/selling currency), it is shrouded in terminology and jargon which newcomers can find difficult to decipher. As such, here are some of the key terms you should know before you begin exploring forex.

Pairings

In the forex market, currencies are always traded in pairs, as this gives one currency its value compared to another. If the dollar were traded against the pound, for example, it would be expressed as USD/GBP, with the first currency being known as the ‘sell’ currency and the letter being known as the ‘quote’.

Many popular currency pairings have been given nicknames, which can seem confusing if you have never encountered them. EUR/USD, for example, is known as the ‘euro’, and GBP/USD is often referred to as ‘cable’ or ‘sterling’.

Leverage

The ability to leverage investments when trading forex is part of the reason the forex market is so popular. Leverage essentially allows a trader to control more units of currency with less money than would usually be required (often significantly less) but at much greater risk.

The trader will be able to choose how much leverage they apply to an investment, and it is expressed as a ratio (e.g. 100:1). Whilst leverage can help traders make a much larger profit using less capital, it can also lead to an equally large loss if the trade goes against them.

Volatility

Market conditions often differ greatly on a day to day basis, but those which change exceptionally quickly (like the forex market) are known as volatile markets. This means that the assets traded in such markets are constantly shifting in value, and so must be monitored by the trader regularly to help inform their decision.

Currency pairings will experience different levels of volatility at any given time, largely depending on the economic and political climate in the currencies’ country of origin.

These are some of the main terms that you should know before you invest money in the forex market. There are more, but once they have been learned, you should find it much easier to read and analyse forex.

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How to Boost Your Company’s Income Long Term

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Part of running a company is trying to make it profitable at least in the short term. You need to make your business generate money, so you can keep the company running each day. However, what if you want to expand your company in the future, or start offering more choice to your customers? You might not have enough profits to achieve this now, but you can try to boost your company’s long-term income so that you can build towards it in the future.

Work on Your Profit Margin

Although your profits might be doing well, there might be room for improvement that will give you a better long-term return. Think about your business and see if there are any areas where you can improve your profitability. You might be able to do small things like finding a cheaper energy supplier or use cheaper suppliers for your products. Another option is to see if you can increase your productivity which will generate more profits in return. To make this work effectively, you need to create a plan that will take into account all parts of your business.

Seek Long-Term Investment

If you have been making steady profits for a while, there should be no reason why investors shouldn’t look favorably on investing in your company. You need to give them a long-term vision of where you want to take the company, and how much you think you can sell at that time. It needs to be realistic, or your potential investors might not come on board, but it also needs to be ambitious enough that your company will grow as a result. If you already have investors in your company, then they might be more able to invest more in the company knowing its current growth.

Invest in Other Companies

There are many companies that choose to invest in other businesses. For some, these are long-term investments designed to generate additional income for the business. It might also be an avenue personally, as you can invest in other companies and use the income to help finance your business. If you are new to investing, then there are ways such as Betterment investing that are great for new investors who don’t want a lot of hands-on dealings.

Consider Franchising

One way that you can increase your profits without having to spend a lot of money is to offer franchises. These offer budding business owners the chance to start their own business and have all the back-up they need, without having to create their own business idea. It also works for you because you don’t have to run the franchise or provide staff. There have been many companies that have benefited well from launching franchises.

Even though the immediate future of your company is important, you need to think ahead so you can keep your business growing. Part of that is trying to generate enough income to move into other areas or bring out new products.

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