The BDC is home to many budding businesses and entrepreneurs, which is one of the many reasons we are such a great place for promoting business growth. So with that in mind we wanted to highlight a start-up that now calls the BDC its home. Going from operating from his living room to a new office with us. We sat down with owner of The Market Network, William Cutteridge, to find out the secret to his start-up success.
Will’s entrepreneurial journey began as a teenager selling cheese at farmers markets around London to earn some extra cash. This is where he got to see how markets operated and what inspired him in creating his own weekend market locations that are helping other start-ups in London.
The Market Network serves as a platform for various market traders to come and sell their wares ranging from street food to artisan crafts. With its first location in Wapping the business is growing fast and has now expanded to another location opening in Canada Water.
A Start-up for Start-ups
Owner Will says he is passionate about supporting individuals like himself who start their business from humble beginnings in what he terms ‘living room start-ups’
“I got to see a lot of market operators and how they ran things and I just thought they could be better run. There wasn’t terribly much investment going into the traders who are effectively your clients. That’s how it all started really.” He explains.
Although there are a lot of markets in London Will says they can be challenging for new traders to get into and saw a gap in the market for a location to support less established traders wanting to sell their products.
“It’s super rewarding to see people coming from the local community to create their own street food business or candle making business or whatever it might be”, he says.
Will says that The Market Network invests heavily in its traders making the market a go-to destination for customers rather than just a place to buy your fruit and veg.
Along with an eclectic mix of market vendors the weekend locations host live music and have expansive seating for visitors to dine al fresco and try the many delicious food options available. There is also a variety of craft beer, wine and cocktails to try, making it not just a place to shop, but a great day out.
Advice for Start-ups in London
So what advice does Will have for aspiring entrepreneurs eager to start their business?
“Make sure you are passionate about it. If you are not passionate and don’t put 100 percent effort into it. It will fail. You can’t make a quick buck, you really have to invest into your business model and be passionate about it.”
“The other thing I would really say is test the market. Have a niche and make sure you are bringing something different.” He says.
Having successfully run his start-up in London for over two years now, Will thinks that it is one of the best cities in the world to start a new business.
“London is the place to be if you are going to start a company there is so much opportunity here for people who can think creatively and have an ideas mind.” He says.
Networking and Community at the BDC
In November 2022 Will decided to take the jump from working out of his living room to a more professional headquarters and thus joined the BDC as a new tenant.
For Will, finding an office space for his business wasn’t a quick decision as he wanted to be sure he made the right choice.
“We took our time and I think the reason we chose the BDC was that the rent is very competitive considering you’re in Angel, the community here is great and the people really look after you. You feel like you are part of something and it’s just a wonderful place to be.” He says.
Even though moving his business from his living room into a new office was a risk, Will thinks the benefits far outweigh the cost.
“The thing I learnt moving out to an office is that networking is more important than you could ever think and meeting people here has opened up opportunities for the business, so it was a really good move for us.”
Events at the BDC
Now that Will is settled in at the BDC he has also been enjoying some of our many events here.
So what next for Will and the The Market Network team? They are now looking to expand even further and are on the hunt for a new market location that will be launched next year – so watch this space.
Here at the BDC we love shining a spotlight on some of our amazing tenants and the Market Network is no exception. We can’t wait to see what’s next for this grassroots company and look forward to having Will and his team at the BDC for the foreseeable future.
If you are interested in finding out more about The Market Network then visit their website or you can find their office at Unit 145A in the BDC.
If, like Will, you are one of the many startups in London looking to take your business to the next level and want an office space with excellent facilities and great networking opportunities then get in touch.