One of the most challenging decisions I had to face when starting my business in 2009 was which location to choose. I knew that this decision would not only affect the efficiency of my business and the wellbeing of my staff: it would also be a key factor when it came to our ability to grow.
I found that this daunting task became easier when I looked at a map of Greater London. As a supplier of steel fabrication services to many high-profile construction projects in the capital, Polsteel needed to occupy a large site in an accessible area benefiting from excellent road and public transport links.
In considering potential locations it was vital to take into account the travelling distance into our regular delivery hotspots such as Central London, Fulham, Barnet, Putney, Wandsworth and Kingston upon Thames whilst also ensuring easy access to Surrey towns located inside the M25 boundary.
It wasn’t long before my attention was drawn to Isleworth, in the borough of Hounslow, as a possible location.
With the M3, M4 and A4 at its disposal, Hounslow occupies a strategic position in the capital. Its close proximity to the M25 is also a huge advantage, providing access to suppliers and clients across the whole of the Greater London area.
The borough does lie at some distance from London’s centre, but we consider that the journey time is reasonable, both in terms of our daily deliveries to customers and for clients wishing to visit our office. The industrial estates in the area not of great size and we can therefore avoid the high levels of congestion found at larger estates around the capital. Another advantage lies in the excellent public transport links to London via British Rail and the Piccadilly line, making it easy for our employees to commute.
The Borough offers a vibrant environment for businesses. Brentford and Hounslow Chambers of Commerce hold regular business breakfasts, factory tours and networking events and the council actively supports SMEs by running events for business owners. Isleworth High Street provides all the necessary shops and services to support the day-to-day running of a business organisation, including a post office, stationary suppliers, grocery shops and many high street banks plus cafes and restaurants for informal meetings. The town also boasts a shopping centre and plenty of outdoor and multi-storey car parking spaces.
Hounslow Council does an exceptional job in maintaining the local infrastructure. It is currently resurfacing a large number of roads in the borough and replacing out of date street lighting with new LED lights. All of these improvements make the area more appealing for clients who wish to visit our premises, and this helps our business to thrive.
At present we are searching for a new, larger headquarters for our expanding company. Having examined our delivery patterns, the number of clients visiting our offices, accessibility for suppliers and the wellbeing of our staff, we have concluded that Hounslow remains the best possible location for our business.
We consider that the council’s long term development plans, when taken together with the prospect of a third runway at Heathrow, cannot fail to guarantee a prosperous future for Polsteel and for any other business wishing to operate in the borough.