Before you even think about the arduous task of actually packing up, it’s worth remembering that there’s more to moving than simply the cost. Location is a big issue to consider and it’s about more than just choosing a building. You may not get the best deal nor be in the best location for business by simply upgrading to larger premises near your current office.
Postcode snobbery is a term being used now by estate agents and office brokers when referring to those managers who are too blinkered to think about moving their business out of a certain area, even though, with some research, they might find that a new location would help the firm to prosper.
In London, postcode snobbery is rife. The metropolis may well be one of the most vibrant and innovative hubs of business in the world, but when it comes to securing office space in the capital, many business folk still adopt a pretty conservative approach. According to officebroker.com, an online broker for serviced offices, many people flock to the most desirable postcode for their type of enterprise irrespective of the cost.
By doing so, companies are clearly missing out on some great deals, if only they’d think a little further afield. Officebroker’s managing director, Jim Venables, says: “Securing the right postal address is seen as a vital factor for many businesses looking to be located in the capital.
Location, Location, Location
There are certain businesses that have to be located in the two main central London areas – W1, which is Mayfair, and EC 2 and 3, which cover the Square Mile. These companies tend to be the market leaders in property, finance, insurance, hedge funding and really anything that involves high net worth individuals.”
Fair enough, the big market leaders can afford to be in central London, but what about smaller enterprises? Venables continues: “Postcode snobbery comes into the equation when companies that don’t have to be in these locations insist upon it, despite the fact there are better suited and cheaper alternatives nearby. For example, most insurance companies want to find offices in “Lloyds Triangle”, even though rental can be much cheaper just one tube stop or postcode away. And certain financial services companies insist on finding offices as close as possible to Threadneedle Street, as they see having the right address of major importance.”
So, it’s all about image then? “These companies believe customers make assumptions about their business and its reputation depending on location and that this is especially so in London,” says Venables. “However, we are seeing a new breed of company directors who are willing to buck the trend and ignore what they see as old-school postcode snobbery to find themselves better office space deals.”
It seems that some are seeing sense. In fact, according to research by Officebrokers, it tends to be the more traditional businesses such as finance, insurance and even fashion that are concerned about location. IT and media businesses are among the most open-minded and will often ask for tip-offs on good locations and deals. “They are open-minded and some will consider anywhere in the UK as long as the space offers good value for money,” says Venables.
So the message to growing companies is to be realistic and think about where you’ll have best value for money. As Venables points out: “The new breed of entrepreneurs knows that, while perception is important, their company will ultimately be judged on its products and services and not on the address on its headed paper.”