New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, London: prevailing wisdom says that it’s global megacities like these where startups are made. However, with the rise of remote working technologies, there’s a lot to suggest that prevailing wisdom is wrong.
Consider the humble English village. It might look a thousand miles and a few hundred years from the speed and the madness of London, but the reality is that it’s only one email away. The world is more connected than it’s ever been. A teenager with an internet connection in rural India has access to more information that the kings and queens of 18th century Europe.
So, why is it that so many of the world’s most powerful tech businesses have come out of Silicon Valley? According to business journalist Kriston Capps, there’s no real reason for tech startups to be in Silicon Valley — except that they are. Referring to a “chicken-and-egg problem”, Capps points out that tech companies could leave Silicon Valley at any time. The reason they don’t is simply that no-one else is.
The advantage of being so close to your competitors is the ability to hear ideas in the local coffee places or to hire physical employees in the area. All of this is somewhat ironic considering how the internet — the very technology which all of these businesses are helping to shape and develop — has allowed for the rise of remote working, the polar opposite of basing yourself in Silicon Valley.
Remote Working, Rural Workplaces, and Software That Makes It All Possible
Remote working means working from anywhere without an office, but there are plenty of great advantages to building a physical presence in the countryside. Both types of businesses rely on the same kinds of technology.
Screen recording and timing technologies like Hubstaff allow business owners to keep track of their staff’s screen activity, no matter where they are in the world. Task creation software like Teamwork allows for these same business owners — and their managers — to set deadlines and keep track of what’s being done. Then, there is work chat software like Slack, Workplace by Facebook, and others.
Beyond that, there’s always email. A staple of the modern office since the 1990s, a huge amount can still be achieved by sending emails back and forth to clients and employees.
Add all that together and what you get is the ability to manage a remote team from anywhere in the world, as well as the ability to base yourself in an office in a small Irish village while working with clients from China, the US, Canada, or anywhere else in the world.
Precast Concrete Septic Tanks: The Details Unique to a Rural Business
A rural workplace is cheaper, but it’s cheaper for a reason. If you want physical employees in a physical office — or physical clients — you may struggle to find them in a small town. What’s more, if you want a physical office, there are many considerations you will need to make.
For example, is your business connected to a mains sewage system? If your physical office is way out in the countryside, there’s a strong chance that it won’t be. According to the OECD, a quarter of all American and Japanese buildings and a third of all Irish and Turkish buildings are not connected to a mains sewage system. The reason for this is that a lot of these buildings in those countries are in the countryside.
If this applies to your countryside office, you’ll need to install a precast concrete septic tank. What’s more, you’ll need to consider the size of the precast concrete septic tank you’ll need based on the number of employees you have.
Still, if you can work around issues like these, the savings can be immense. After all, it’s more than just the difference between renting an office space in Northumbria as opposed to central London. There’s the fact that you won’t need to pay your staff quite as much as you would if they were working in London, as well as the fact that your cost of living will also be cheaper.
When we imagine startups, we imagine the fast-paced world of the big city. However, so much of the appeal of the big city office is not a necessary part of doing business. The coffees to-go, the stylish lunch breaks, and the after-dinner drinks are all well and good, but none of that is essential to your ROI. The bottom line in any business plan should be about doing what works. A big city business has its appeal, but appeal isn’t what makes your business money.