The allure of London is strong for anyone who’s grown up in the sticks, those places where a cover band in the local pub is about as close to cosmopolitanism as they’ll ever get. To a lot of people outside of major cities, London is a capital filled with bright lights, glittering careers in the media, and major cultural events that the rest of the UK can only dream of.
But this is the veneer of London, the glistening sheen that hides the stark reality of high house prices, yawning disparities between the rich and poor, and the kind of living expenses that can generally only be afforded by oligarchs.
Down and out in London
In part thanks to the work of former London mayor Boris Johnson, living prices have become untenable for many poorer residents, forcing them onto the outskirts of the city, or even to other parts of the country.
Like Abu Dhabi or Dubai, London is becoming little more than a rich person’s toy set. The residents of low income housing estates have become the most prominent victims of the wealth gap, while the living wage (which is slightly higher than in the rest of the country) is barely enough to sustain people on the breadline.
All this might make it sound as though opening a business in the city’s capital is an impossibility – but it doesn’t have to be.
Starting a business
The world of business in London can be expensive, but it can also make you a tidy profit if you aim for the right market.
But you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve if you want to survive in the big bad capital city. First off, you’ll have to find shops to rent that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. This will take some time, but you can speed up the process by finding a great letting agent. With your help, they’ll be able to pinpoint the perfect location at a reasonable price.
After this, your product will do the rest of the talking. But it’ll be left behind without the right marketing.
Word of mouth can do a world of good in a city like London, especially if you’re situated in hip districts like Camden or Tower Hamlets. If you can try to partner up with the local businesses in your area, you’ll find word of mouth spreads much quicker. Return the favour and you’ll have a marketing plan for virtually free.
Of course there are obstacles – the high price of living can be a major turnoff for any startups trying to keep costs down – but that dream image of London can still be obtained by business owners on the lower end of the socioeconomic strata.