Setting up a business is always a venture full of both excitement and risk, wherever you decide to trade from; especially if it’s your first time. As a well-established business in Birmingham, we’re providing some helpful tips, resources and background information to help prospective business-owners succeed in the nation’s second city.
Advantages of Trading in Birmingham
Being based in the Midlands comes at an advantage. Being intermedial to the rest of the country, with access to popular travel routes such as the A38, M6, M5, M40 and M42, means easy passage to many of England’s other big cities & towns. This makes Birmingham an ideal destination for businesses that are dependent on distribution, receiving deliveries, or travelling to clients nationwide.
Tip: Try to situate your business close to motorways.
In recent years, Birmingham has undergone extensive redevelopment citywide; particularly in its City Centre as part of the Big City Plan announced in 2010. This project proposed an investment of up to around £10 billion to provide over 5000 new homes, 50,000 new jobs, and a vast improvement in transport services, to fortify the city core.
This project has already seen a £600 million investment into redeveloping New Street station (now known as Grand Central), along with a new tram system, a new Library of Birmingham (estimated cost of £200 million, becoming one of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK) and Eastside City Park (winner of the ICE West Midlands Sustainability Award) to name but a few of the City Centre masterplan’s achievements thus far.
Tip: Areas outside the City Core planned for redevelopment include Digbeth, Jewellery Quarter, Highgate and Ladywood.
How to succeed in Birmingham
Stand out from the Crowd
Birmingham is acclaimed for its multiculturalism, its industrial heritage in historical districts like Bournville, Longbridge, and Brindleyplace, and cultural hotspots such as Digbeth. The Brummie population are proud of these attributes, hence many businesses capitalising on the alternative experiences that attract visitors. Selling a product that generates demand is key to any business’ success, but in bustling areas where competition is fierce, it’s important to stand out.
Tip: In addition to keeping up with trends, add a quirky or historical theme to your brand to attract Birmingham’s tourists & culture-inspired clientele.
Find Local Assistance
As you would in any region, find local sources of guidance. This can be advice from experienced consultants or professionals in your sector, networking events or other business resources that provide key information.
Tip: As well as literary resources, registering for a Birmingham libraries card can give you access to a selection of online databases (for business factsheets, opportunity profiles and market synopses) and also online resources (for credit reports, company information and market research).
Further Resources for Startups
- Birmingham City Council’s Business Library offers 1-to-1 advice sessions on important topics like intellectual property.
- The Virgin Startup Scheme can help businesses with advice and loans.
- Information4living offers local information on business in addition to civil rights, health & wellbeing and more.
- Always check government websites to keep updated with rules and regulations and ensure you adhere to all legalities.
- Join a BNI Chapter to share referrals and build relationships with other business owners
- Consider a Quality Management System like ISO 9001 to ensure you are adhering to best practices
Birmingham is one of the many thriving business epicentres in the UK, and whether it is your choice of location for setting up a business or not, always consider:
What is your Unique Selling Point?
Seek advice from experts as well as the people closest to you.
Consider the skills needed – is training required for you or your staff? Are your finances feasible? Do you have a business plan?
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