Start-up businesses often struggle with one problem that perhaps they didn’t think about when they came up with their ‘big idea’ – business isolation. The reason that many small businesses are choosing to locate in managed offices isn’t just for the plethora of logistical advantages, but also to ensure that they don’t end up feeling isolated through a lack of human contact, which can be a problem for home-based entrepreneurs. That isolation can quickly drain the enthusiasm out of a businessman or woman, resulting in the failure of the enterprise.
But taking the idea a step further, it now seems that industry-specific office space for start-ups is really starting to take hold, spurred on by the success of Manchester’s creative hub, MediaCityUK. Alongside such luminaries as the BBC and ITV, it’s also home to a raft of creative types, ranging from app developers (which represent a disproportionately high 12% of the businesses) and webmasters through to animators, PR and film and TV production. So does it pay to have your friends close, and your (business) enemies even closer?
Industry-centric managed offices
It seems so, and MediaCityUK is just one example of more industry-centric managed offices. Head out to Cambridgeshire and you’ll encounter the wonderfully named ‘Silicon Fen’, full to the rafters with technology companies pushing the boundaries of next generation computing.
What these industry-centric complexes represent is an opportunity for start-ups to network with their neighbours and learn from more established companies within the same environment. Monthly meetings and business clubs encourage this networking, and particularly for any creative industry involved in digital media, the opportunities are really too good to be missed.
Those involved in managed offices think that we’ll start to see a trend developing, where industry-centric complexes become even more popular than the more generic office spaces available at the moment. This could have a number of benefits, not only for the businesses who take up residence, but for the local economy too. Expect this trend to continue in 2014.