It’s no secret that London is expensive – all you need to do is hear a Scottish tourist shout ‘How much is a pint?’ incredulously the first time they enter a pub on the Southbank to learn how anomalous the prices are in London compared to other British cities.
The living wage is significantly higher in London than in the rest of the UK, as are the operating costs of the standard business. In part, this is because of the huge amount of profits that can be made by a savvy business in a central area of the British capital. But it’s also because the clientele living in London are willing to part with more cash.
Is the increasing gentrification of London a worthwhile venture, or is it exploitative of the working classes? Is there an increasing need to curb the excesses of wealth boiling over in the capital? Will the financial sector implode again like it did in 2009? These are all valid questions worth asking, but they won’t get you very far if you want to make yourself a success in business.
To help you understand more about the company culture in London, here are three mini profiles of companies which have made a success of themselves in the Big Smoke – and made an impressive profit while doing so.
The Medical Aesthetic Training Academy (MATA), based primarily on Harley Street in Marylebone, has been making waves in the increasingly regulated industry of aesthetic surgery.
This company helps medical practitioners enter the fields of cosmetic surgery with online courses, practical sessions with live models, and Q&A days with seasoned professionals.
The key to their continued success – and their ability to maintain premises in Central London – is that they’re constantly diversifying the range of qualifications on offer. Their newest qualification, a Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma in Facial Aesthetics, has become one of the first in the UK to offer such a high level of academic attainment.
When paired with its sister company Juvea Aesthetics, this is a cosmetics behemoth that’s broadened its horizons far beyond London.
What you can learn: educational attainment is an evergreen product, but you’ll reap rewards if you freshen it up as often as possible.
Deliveroo was established in London in 2013 and has since made an indelible mark on the British consciousness.
Hungry people no longer ‘order a takeaway’. Now they ‘get a Deliveroo’. The brand’s infamous bicycle couriers can be found in over 200 major UK towns and cities, weaving through traffic to get hot food to their purchasers. Part of the company’s success has relied on the controversial way it pays its couriers. The employees of Deliveroo are viewed as freelancers by the company, forfeiting a salary or sick days in favour of flexibility.
It’s an employment strategy that contributed to the ‘gig economy culture’ routinely criticised in some quarters. However, the delivery service is making a profit, and has moved to other countries like the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Australia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.
What you can learn: convenience is a major draw for customers, especially when empty stomachs are involved.
The tech and finance sectors are huge in London – so Transferwise, which combines the two, was bound to be a hit. The financial site allows you to transfer your cash to other countries without incurring the hidden charges levied by large banks. Without the mark-up charged by banks, Transferwise actively benefits its customers. And it’s amassed a huge number of loyal users. This is a service that mimics many of the values of London – globalism, innovation and business knowhow.
What you can learn: despite the calumny of Brexit, globalism in finance is still desirable.
That’s our list! Are there any other London-based businesses you think deserve a shout out? Then let us know in the comments below!