Do You Have A Start-up? Marketing Is Easier In These Top UK CitiesKenneth Nel
It’s a phrase we’ve all heard a thousand times. It crops up in the myriad house hunting/moving to the country shows we see here all the time in the UK on TV. We hear it mentioned with great authority by our friends in the real estate business. And we’ve possibly even used it ourselves in conversations where we want to sound learned and wise. That phrase, dear reader, is “Location, location, location.”
Of course, you knew that.
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And you know it’s the stock response to the question, “What are the three most important things to look for when buying a house?” However, what you might not know is that location is also at least one of the most important considerations when looking to start a business. So, if you’re a budding entrepreneur wanting to get the best out of your start-up marketing, choosing the location of that start-up is a great place to, well, start.
Of course, there might be many reasons why you want to start a business, and you might have no choice but to start in the town where you currently live. But if relocating is an option, it would help to know which cities in the UK are the most start-up friendly.
The Best Cities For Your Business: Startup Marketing Starts Here
In a previous blog, I mentioned that Edinburgh is the top city in the UK in which to start a business. This is true. But Bristol is the best city in England for your start-up. The city, which also ranks as the second-best start-up city in the whole of the UK, was awarded this prestigious honour by Startups.co.uk, the No. 1 online resource in the UK for entrepreneurs looking to start a business.
Some of the reasons why Bristol received this award included its innovative transport structure and the flourishing Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone – one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration projects, home to over 350 businesses and situated directly next to Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station. Bristol also has a great quality of life. The city has, in fact, repeatedly ranked as the best city in the UK in which to live. In 2017, the Sunday Times’ “Best Places to Live Guide” named it as the UK’s most desirable location. Praised for being “handily placed for seaside and scenery” but “hardly cut off,” the Times hailed Bristol for its “glamorous, creative, hi-tech and professional” jobs on offer, as well as for great food and drink.
And of course, the climate doesn’t hurt either! As we descend far too rapidly into much shorter, colder days, and even longer, colder nights, it’s good to know that Bristol is ranked as one of the warmest and sunniest cities in the whole of the UK! That is a cheery thought, and one to cling on to as we don our Christmas onesies and furry slippers and huddle in front of the fire! This too, shall pass!
Women In Business In Bristol
Bristol is particularly fond of women entrepreneurs. Or perhaps I should say, women entrepreneurs are particularly fond of Bristol! In an article on Microsoft’s new pages, Bristol emerged as the best place to start a new venture, with 86% of firms recording a healthy profit. Particularly if they’re run by women under the age of 35! The article goes on to say that young women are currently doing a better job of keeping their start-up businesses in the black than men. Eight percent of male-run startups surveyed were making a loss compared to just two percent of female-run businesses.
Dr Zara Nanu is a native Californian who moved to Bristol in 2006 and recently started her own business. She says: “Bristol has a lively ecosystem with just the right balance of tech start-ups and ethical and sustainable business, providing a platform for sharing ideas and thought leadership. It’s so easy to make connections and everybody is so friendly and helpful.”
Ashley Asdourian, from Microsoft’s Office 365 lead, says, “It’s inspiring to see young people throughout Britain leading the charge in launching successful new start-ups. “At Microsoft, our aim is to help provide these people with both the insights and the technology they need in order to fill their future career aspirations.”
To this end, Microsoft Office 365 has teamed up with The Apprentice finalist, and founder of The B Group, Bianca Miller. Together, they plan to launch the #My365 campaign. Over 365 hours (15 days), Bianca provides advice, tips and hints to help people get their start-ups off the ground.
“It’s so exciting to see so many young women full of ideas and with an ambition to set up their own business,” says Bianca. “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I can really pinpoint those lightbulb moments where I felt spurred on to make an idea a reality or received the guidance that made all the difference to my business developing.
“I know how confusing and nerve-wracking taking that first step can be. The advice I received played a major role in not just my ability to run my businesses, but also in my confidence to just go for it. I really want to be able to do the same thing for other young, budding entrepreneurs.”
Other Great Cities For Start-up Marketing
In addition to Edinburgh and Bristol, there are a number of other cities in the UK that make attractive locations for start-ups. Brighton, for example, has facilities that would make even Silicon Valley jealous! Office space, start-up incubators and innovation centres are just a few of the tempting attractions. And in Birmingham, the newly-created City Centre Enterprise Zone embraces start-ups, the aim of bringing in an additional £2 billion in revenue for the city. In addition, Birmingham is in the centre of the country, and there are very good transport links. This is very useful when the time comes to expand your business. The city also has loads of business space and is home to Bullring, one of the UK’s biggest commercial centres.
Top 10 UK Cities For Start-Ups
Interestingly, though, a report by business solutions specialists Expert Marketing, doesn’t rate Birmingham in the top 10 UK Cities to do business. The report examined criteria such as “active business enterprises, business survival rates over a five-year period, start-up ‘births’ and prosperity, as well as the talent available in each city – both student and domicile graduates.” After extensive research into these, and other areas, they came up with this list:
Very interesting that London only ranked third! Due largely, though, to the highly competitive nature of doing business in the capital, as well as the high cost of living – particularly property prices.
Start-Up Marketing – Bristol and Beyond!
Here’s a scary statistic – 14% of all start-ups fail because they’re not marketed properly. Small business’ founders are often guilty of one of these two things:
They either believe, somewhat arrogantly, that the company will miraculously market itself. Or they use the wrong marketing channels and end up exposing their product or service to completely the wrong audience.
When it comes to startup marketing in Bristol, there’s really no excuse if you get it wrong. The city’s Temple Quarter is custom engineered for digital and tech success. Startups working in the “Enterprise Zone” can tap into its lickety-split broadband. In addition, its handy proximity to Temple Meads train station means it enjoys unrivalled 360 connectivity.
But no matter where your startup’s located – and even if you have a tiny budget – you can still take advantage of the many digital marketing opportunities available. Starting with the humble email.
No, I do not jest.
I know many Millennials think that email is rapidly going the way of the dodo. However, a recent survey shows that email has an average ROI of 122%! That’s over four times higher than any other marketing channel surveyed, including direct mail, paid search and social media.
Social media is, however, the second most important digital marketing strategy for startups. It’s cheap, simple, and offers a host of benefits, including:
- Increased traffic and exposure
- Improved search ranking
- Lead generation
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