How I started a business in... Reading
Every day our startups prove there are amazing businesses flourishing all over England; each region has its unique benefits for business. One of these is Golf God Clothing, based in Reading. Founder Eduardo Battifora provides stylish and high-quality golfing clothes for men. He launched after his business after receiving £7,450 from us. Here's how he started a business in Reading.
Who did you speak to in Reading for advice, and how did they help you?
Everyone has been brilliant - the bosses at work, my close friends, the landlord, the lads at the golf course. Everyone has contributed greatly to making it happen, with great advice and free labour. What more could I ask for?
My local golf course, Downshire Golf Complex, let me use their premises to take the photos for the website. One of the lads from the club Mark Lawrence, from Mark Lawrence Photography, chipped in with the super fly photos featuring pretty boy, “ Wogie”, Paul Wogel . My mate Pedro Hernandez lifted a fair few boxes and has done most of the IT set up for the website. And my flat mate Joe has put up with all the mess and spreadsheets!
Did you go to any networking events in Reading – what were they, and were they any good?
I didn't go to any specific business networking events. I don’t know if playing golf counts as a networking event, but through golf I have met lots of different interesting people that have helped my business. It's such a nice informal way to engage with people.
Why is Reading a good place to do business?
There are many reasons! Its proximity to London and Heathrow, for a start - it only takes 25 minutes to get to Paddington by train and Heathrow aiport is only 30 minutes away by car. Prices are much cheaper than London too. There is a reason why most of the big software companies are based in the area. The economy is one of the fastest-growing in the country, and that always helps a growing business.
Being so close to London and Heathrow, and having so many big companies being based here, attracts people from all over the world - you get the cosmopolitan sophistication of a big city like London or New York in a smaller town.
Where in Reading is your business, and why did you base it there?
It's based in the town centre; I didn’t have a choice really, as I’m a home based business and this is where I live! But to be honest there are so many golf courses around the area - more than 30 busy Golf courses in a 15-mile radius that it can only be good for business. Being so close to London doesn’t hurt either.
What advice would you give to other people looking to start a business in Reading?
To go for it! It's a great town to do business in with great people, a healthy economy, and it's very cosmopolitan - so there's pretty much a market for everything.
Is it expensive to start a business in Reading?
No, Reading is relatively inexpensive, considering it's so close to London and Heathrow.
What types of businesses do well in Reading?
Apart from the big software and high street companies, small independent companies generally do well in Reading. There's a real variety of restaurants and, being a university town, there are lots of bars and nightclubs.
Any other tips?
There are two types of people, people that talk about doing things and people that actually do them - so be a doer! Plan properly, be prepared for adversity, and most importantly stay positive and have good people around you.