London is one of the most famous, glamorous and cosmopolitan cities in the world, but it is also a place where serious business is done and money made. As it is a large metropolis with a population of over eight million, the UK capital is at first glance quite a complicated place, with such a vast melting pot of people from around the world, so many old and new buildings and a huge array of trades and activities going on.
However, on closer examination it soon becomes apparent that the capital has some distinctive districts where particular sectors thrive. Finance, for example, is enshrined in the City of London but also the skyscrapers around Canary Wharf. Old Street and Shoreditch is a major centre for high-tech industries, bearing the nickname “Silicon Roundabout”, while public services are based around the apparatus of government in Westminster and the West End is a hive of entertainment and creative arts.
Far from it being the case that “never the twain shall meet”, the reality is that the melting-pot nature of the business culture of London. For one thing, being near to the Government can have its advantages. As a recent article in the Independent noted, Silicon Roundabout is the only tech cluster in Britain with formal backing from Whitehall and since 2008 the number of start-ups there has jumped from 15 to over 1,300.
Silicon Roundabout also provides an indication of how networking can be important through online organisations like the Meetup.com Silicon Roundabout group, offering entrepreneurs and businessmen a chance to meet up.
This in turn means firms in other sectors keen to make the most of modern technology can easily contact such enterprises, just as networking can enable them to connect with potential investors in the financial and creative sectors.
Of course, that is just the start. Once contacts are made, there may be many meetings in offices and if your company’s own headquarters are not in good order, the wrong impression may be created. Just as a solid business plan helps to attract investors and create partnerships, so a good office layout can impress people and show them that, through creating the best environment to work in, no stone is being left unturned in efforts to get the best out of a company and its staff. In short, showing a desire to succeed is almost as important as actually having it to start with.
This can include having the right equipment, even down to deploying a modern, efficient, energy-saving printer. Like any other item of equipment, it shows a commitment to detail and maximising resources, as well as an eco-friendliness that may appeal to many.
From this, companies may look beyond London for growth. It should not be forgotten that the city has global links, not just in terms of those domiciled there, but the large number of potential business partners who will arrive by plane or Eurostar from other countries, as well as other business hubs around the UK.
The sheer volume and diversity of businesses, people and opportunities puts London on par, or perhaps even ahead, of many major business hubs around the globe. This potent mix, paired with company vision, is perhaps the reason the city continues to grow.