Relocating a business is a daunting prospect and it’s a decision that should never be made without careful research and consideration. Moving a business is expensive and will inevitably lead to a short-term loss of profit and a period of disruption. There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t do it, and of course it’s always easier to stay put, but relocating could be just what it takes to move your business to the next level, and it may even prove to be your only hope of long-term survival. A relocation could be regional, national or international but for most U.K. firms, post-Brexit, the big question is whether to set up operations in Europe in order to access supply chains and the European market. A survey by the Institute of Directors, conducted in 2019, found that a third of U.K. based S.M.E.s were planning to relocate to Europe. Dutch investment authorities say that 140 U.K. companies have already relocated to Holland and 100 more are considering doing so. Other E.U. countries are reporting record numbers of U.K. firms moving or making enquiries about moving. Slovakia has benefitted from 400 U.K. firms, including Jaguar Land Rover, moving to the country since 2016.
Exposure to new markets
This is a crunch issue for U.K. firms. Will new U.K. trade deals open up new markets for U.K. exporters or is a relocation essential in order to preserve established E.U. markets. If your business is focused solely on a U.K. market, is there benefit to be had from relocating within the U.K. as a means of raising the brand profile?
Local schemes and incentives
Currently there are around 600 government funding schemes available to encourage business relocation within the U.K., which might considerably reduce the cost, for example, of relocating your business from London to the North-East. If you are looking to relocate your business to Europe then there are numerous incentives on offer, ranging from direct grants to tax breaks to assistance with set up costs.
Access to the workforce your business needs
Accessing the specific skills that your business needs to grow may be a key factor in your relocation. Moving your business near a university which produces graduates with the skills you are looking for may provide a solution to your workforce problems. Where you choose to relocate may be influenced by the opportunity to substantially reduce workforce costs. In Lisbon, for example, 50% of the workforce aged between 20 and 30 are STEM graduates and they can be hired for half the cost of workers in most other European countries.
It’s a well-documented fact that workers in the U.K. work more hours than their E.U. counterparts and yet their hourly productivity is amongst the lowest in Europe. Relocating your business abroad to Elevator UK’s office space in Dundee could result in an improved quality of life both for you and your workforce. It’s not just the attraction of living in a sunny climate, other advantages may include, a lower cost of living, good local education, a rich cultural environment, leisure opportunities, a low crime rate and quality healthcare.
Lower operational costs
Lower operational costs may result from a lower wage bill, lower energy costs and the lower cost of owning or leasing an operational facility such as office space. According to Statista, the average cost of prime office space in the U.K. is around 1513 euros per square meter per year. In France the average cost is 890 euros and in Portugal it’s a much cheaper 288 euros.