Starting a business is one of the biggest challenges you can face. Making it a success can depend on a variety of different elements, which you need to be prepared for. One of the crucial elements which could contribute to whether your business succeeds or not is where it is based. So, for the third successive year, Informi has done the hard work for you. We’ve looked at data from the 63 largest UK towns and cities to find out what‘s on offer for someone who is considering starting a business, and determined which is the best place in 2018 to start a small business.
Comparing the locations
To create our ranking of the best places to start a business, we compared each of them for several different criteria. These were:
Number of business startups: Having a lot of startups already in an area is a good thing, showing that there is a great existing attraction for entrepreneurs.
Working-age population with a qualification at NVQ4 level or above: If a location has a higher amount of population with a higher level qualification, that means there are more highly-skilled staff that you could hire for your business.
Business stock: This is the total amount of businesses in a city, per 10,000 population, and shows that businesses have a captive audience with which to grow and thrive. Of course, to succeed in your own right you may benefit from a thriving business community around you – not least because they represent potential suppliers and customers.
Digital connectivity: These days most businesses need to have some kind of online presence, whether that is a website to showcase your products or services or just an email address for customers to contact you. Therefore, good digital connectivity is important to make sure that your internet connection is not likely to disconnect often, leaving your business website unavailable or making it run so slowly that customers are put off from using it.
Housing affordability: Having a large number of houses which are affordable can be beneficial for you, so that you can afford to live relatively close to where your business is based, and also for any employees you may have either now or in the future, who can have a shorter commute.
So, by taking all those factors into account…
The Top 10 Best Places To Start A Business In The UK 2018
Click on each town or city to find out more about how they performed, or, scroll to the bottom of the article to toggle through the full interactive list.
The winner – Brighton
Brighton was crowned our winner for this year, regaining the title of The Best Place To Start A Small Business which it also won in 2016.
How did it do that?
Although Brighton ranked low in our calculations for housing affordability, with our study taking into account that it has been named amongst the most expensive cities in the UK, it made up for that by ranking particularly highly for business stock, with a large business to population ratio. The city also ranked well for digital connectivity (A testbed for super-fast 5G internet, which the rest of the UK is only scheduled to get in 2020, was recently launched there). Having a high number of startups, and having a highly skilled workforce also count in Brighton’s favour, helping it to get to the top of our list.