To Cluster or Not to Cluster: What Clustering Means For Business Costs
It was only a few years ago that clustering in the UK wasn’t really ‘a thing’. We all knew of California’s famous Silicon Valley, but, apart from a few niche areas of London – Notting Hill as the home of the capital’s fashion scene, for example – we’d have been hard pressed to really identify anything as really being a cluster. Fast forward to today, and regional clusters are huge. In fact, Tech Britain officially identifies 32 tech clusters alone all around the UK. So what does clustering mean for your business?
From a small business perspective, there’s both advantages and disadvantages to clustering. Small businesses in many different industries could see advantages including but not limited to:
But what about the disadvantages? Unfortunately, there is a downside to clustering, and that’s business costs. Most notably, it’s the cost of business space for rent. Businesses in successful clusters are like celebrities – everyone wants to move in next door – which puts the cost of business space for rent sky high. Clustering is one of the contributing factors towards the rising cost of business space for rent all across the UK, especially in areas such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Bristol, and South Wales which are all emerging as popular regional clusters. The Government has even announced that South Wales has been ‘one of UK’s fastest growing tech clusters’ this year. So how can businesses get the best of both worlds – the advantages of clustering, without tying up essential financial resources?