When I decided I was going to leave a well-paid secure job to start my own Web Design business, I was living down south, near London. I knew that I was not going to earn a living straight away so I also decided that I was going to return to Nottingham where I already had family and friends. Part of the reason was to be near those family and friends but another part was that I felt that strategically, it was going to help me in my business. Here are a list of the main reasons that I saw Nottingham as an advantage over other parts of the country for starting your own business:
Well let's face it, when starting your own business, costs are a very important factor. The more you can keep down those costs without interfering with the promotion and development of your business the better. I was planning to work from home and moving to Nottingham meant I was living in a larger home for half the rent I was paying down south.
The decision to move to Nottingham was not immediate. There are benefits to starting a business near London. Although there are far higher costs there are also many more opportunities. The population concentration around London is far higher than the East Midlands and the economy is much richer. However, part of my job is to go out and see customers and traffic down there is approaching gridlock. Nottingham, whilst having traffic hotspots of its own, allows one much more freedom for travelling so I can spend less of the day in the car and more of the day doing work that brings in earnings.
Another benefit to the situation of Nottingham is it is about as far south as you can go before property prices start to get out of hand. So the heavily populated and richer South-East of the country is withing reach.
Nottingham has two great Universities with an enormous student population studying an enormous array of subjects. Not only do many students want to start a small business after they graduate, the businesses they start are often in scientific areas and new business arenas. This means there is a collection of new young and exciting businesses in the area.
In writing about Nottingham I must deal with some of the negative press it has been getting recently. I have known Nottingham since the early seventies and the city has never been safer nor friendlier. Sure, it has some neighbourhoods that are poorer and more crime-affected than others but this is true of any large city. In my view you should forget all the tittle tattle and try for yourself. 300,000 people can't be wrong!
Despite heavy competition from some large shopping malls such as Meadowhall in Sheffield and Westgate in Derby, the centre of Nottingham still attracts shoppers from far and wide. This has to be great for starting any new business. If it is a retail business then you are in the right place. If you offer products or services to retail businesses then you are in the right place. Even if you don't such a vibrant commercial centre is bound to benefit all types of business and is the perfect environment for you to start your own new business.