Just over a year ago I handed my notice in and gave up my role in HR for a London based accountancy firm. My heart was no longer in it and I was forever dreaming of working for myself. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss I’ve just never had the courage to quit what I suppose is ‘comfortable’ and take a risk. Until one day I had truly had enough of my long day and the overcrowded, dirty tube station.
Aware that I would be unable to fund my start-up company in London, I decided to head back to where I grew up, where my family and friends still live – Peterborough. As a university graduate London was calling my name. The excitement of new people, endless bars and nightlife had me hooked. A few years along the line and I realise that this doesn’t fulfil me anymore and I miss those closest to me.
With some savings in the bank I moved back to my parents until I found a place flat sharing with young professionals of a similar age group. Some of whom worked locally, some commuted into London.
For the first few months I worked from my flat, it was tough and I struggled. I lived with four other people and space was minimal. That’s when I started to look for commercial office space in Peterborough. I needed a studio to work from in peace and quiet. I managed to find a great office space, just the right size for what I required.
If you’re thinking of setting up your own business but can’t afford London prices, Peterborough is a great option, in my opinion, and here’s why:
It has great transport links I can be in London in just over an hour which is great if I need to head into the city for meetings. The train line takes me straight there without having to make any changeovers which is ideal.
Rent is relatively cheap compared to London prices which I simply couldn’t afford. I have a decent sized space in a fairly central location. Something I wouldn’t have in London.
There are lots of networking events and opportunities here including clubs and exclusive networks. Most are relatively cheap to join and it’s a great way to get your business known to other professionals and spread the word. I’ve made some great contacts who have helped me build my business at a reduced cost which has been more than helpful!
There’s a diverse an interesting culture in Peterborough. I’ve met so many interesting individuals with great stories to tell. It’s a very social place and although I still have a few of my core friends from school days around, I’ve met lots of new likeminded people.
Buying my own property doesn’t feel like a million miles away like it did when I was in London. I wouldn’t have been able to afford a London house in my lifetime. Owning my own house or flat simply wouldn’t have happened, although I’m still a way off, I’ve begun to save for a mortgage which is very exciting.
The surrounding villages are lovely and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, going for a long cycle and stopping off in a nearby pub for a delicious lunch.
I’ve been very lucky with my move to Peterborough to begin a start-up, fortunately for me the business is doing well and I’m able to pay my bills and even bring home some profit. Good luck and I hope you enjoy my tips if you’re thinking of re-locating to Peterborough!