Finding A Home
When we were starting our first brainstorming for what was to become our business plan we simply put on paper all that came to our minds. Not just the relevant numbers, important strategies and the vital description of the general concept, but pretty much everything we could think of. Technical equipment, software, business cards, items for our portfolio, speculative projects that might be of interest for our future clients. Or how the perfect studio would look like. With a sofa, obviously!
One issue that quickly turned into a long list was the discussion about the ideal location, both in the larger sense (what country?) as well as in detail (traffic connections?). There were – and still are – many aspects to consider, from target markets to reaching yards, outfitters and suppliers. How will the clients find us? Is it necessary to be geographically close to them? As a matter of fact, even the ways of financing and the legal form of the company may vary considerably if you don’t restrict your planning to a specific country!
But, as it was still early days, we wanted to keep our minds wide open so we wouldn’t overlook any possibility. We practically listed every location with a potential: Australia. South Africa. Brazil. Lebanon. Taiwan. Vietnam. The USA. Italy. Spain…. Then we evaluated: Potential market growth. International flight connections. Work permits. Language. Food.
One very important aspect (if not the most important one) that has not been mentioned yet was of course the question “it might be a good place for a studio, but do I (we) want to live there?”
From a business point of view we are still open to suggestions. If an investor pops up tomorrow (of of the kind that we would ideally like to find, with the concept of a long term relationship and the wish of getting involved) and he would say “I happen to have a really nice place for a studio here in (insert name of city)”, we would of course consider!
In the meantime, in the business manifesto as it stands at the moment, we simplified matters a little bit and narrowed the choices down to the 2 most likely locations : One would be Spain (with a focus on either Barcelona or Palma de Mallorca), the other one is the United Kingdom. Italy sounded tempting, but it seemed like carrying coal to Newcastle… However, we have to admit that already pinpointing a place within the UK is leading to discussions within the coquine![design] team members!
Christian Leyk: “The natural choice is London. The city offers everything we need, from traffic connections to cultural life. London is quite often already on the travel itineraries of our clients. I have to admit, London is hectic but it’s stimulating. People are more likely to come and see you in London rather than drive 2 hours into the countryside. Any kind of networking in general works better in a large city, too.”
On the down side London also offers high costs, noise, pollution, crime… the whole bandwidth of city-life related stress. The current news from London are terrifying, to say the least. But what’s the alternative? “I do love smaller cities like Bath or even Brighton, too. But I don’t think they are as suitable for the studio…” So, which other place would be good for life and work in equal terms? In the UK or anywhere else in the world? As mentioned before, coquine![design] is currently still looking for suggestions and (serious) offers are more than welcome!