Whilst Reading was well known for its biscuits, beer and bulbs during the industrial revolution, today it is a vibrant metropolitan town and the ideal place for any thriving small business. Within Reading itself there are a good number of resources suitable for those small to medium-sized enterprises who are looking to establish themselves. With so many resources to offer, you may be wondering if Reading is the best place for you and your small business and if so, what resources could be best for you. Our guide has been put together to present you with some of the useful resources you will find at your disposal in Reading. This should give you a good starting point when it comes to considering future possibilities for your business.

University of Reading Buildings

Getting around Reading

Location is key when it comes to setting up your business in Reading and this means choosing an area that will not only allow you to attract employees from both in Reading and outside of the town, but also that will provide you with a suitable meeting space for client visits. The efficient bus network makes this the most popular method of getting around Reading; however it is also served by a very good rail network.

Reading railway station (RG1 1LZ) is a major junction point in the national rail system, providing excellent links to London and other nearby cities.

Reading is served by four park-and-ride services connecting to most areas of the town. The main one, Mereoak Park and Ride (RG7 1JL), offers fast connections which run every 15 minutes. The park-and-ride service is a fast and much more sustainable option for travel around Reading particularly at peak times when its aim is to reduce traffic in the city centre.

Business and collaborative Hubs within Reading

Sometimes referred to as the Silicon Valley of the UK, Reading, and on a wider scale the Thames Valley, is one of the most successful Fintech hubs within the country. There are a number of business hubs within Reading as well. Campus Reading International, Basingstoke Road (RG2 6DA) is a brand new, amenities rich collaborative community for all types of business offering contemporary workspaces and creative studio offices. The site has been designed with health and well-being in mind and offers green spaces, a jogging track and event spaces in addition to a range of working environments.

The University of Reading is not only a world centre when it comes to innovation and research but is also home to Henley Business School (RG6 6UD) and ICMA (RG6 6DL) through which it actively supports local businesses via its Intern Scheme, Graduate programmes and Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

Meeting spaces in Reading

There is often a need for a meeting space beyond your office space, whether this is somewhere to meet clients, launch a product, have a board meeting or hold a seminar

If you want a meeting space that is certain to impress your clients then the De Vere Wokefield Estate (RG7 3AE) offers a range of rooms, including their very impressive boardroom which is suitable for up to 8 people.

For larger events the Green Park Conference Centre (RG2 6GP) is a contemporary green accredited venue that can easily be tailored to meet the requirements of any event.

If you would prefer a central location with easy transport links for your clients, then The Curious Lounge in the centre of Reading (RG1 1NH) offers a range of smaller meeting rooms with highly adaptable layouts making it an ideal choice for client meetings or even small product launches.

Accommodation in Reading

Depending on the distance that your clients are travelling to see you, they may require some overnight accommodation in Reading. Fortunately, you will find a very comprehensive range of hotels available, including:

·        Malmaison Reading (RG1 1JX) – A stunning converted railway hotel steeped in history but with all of the contemporary style you might expect from a hotel in the Malmaison group. This centrally located hotel is a fantastic choice.

·        Beech House Hotel (RG30 2AY) – An independent hotel that offers something a little bit special for visitors with its stunning grounds and slightly more rural location towards the outskirts of Reading. A peaceful retreat, that is certain to impress yet is still ideally placed for the business facilities in the centre of Reading.

Dining Options In Reading

Entertaining clients often forms part of any good business meeting. Reading is a thriving town with fantastic array of eateries where you can take your clients to dine, including:

·        L’Ortolan, Shinfield (RG2 9BY) – if you are looking to impress then this Michelin star restaurant in the village of Shinfield, just outside Reading offers a unique culinary experience in historic surroundings. They also offer private dining facilities and a chef’s table.

●        The Reading Room (RG1 3EJ) – for a more relaxed and contemporary dining experience this restaurant and bar has an award winning team who showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients, sourced locally in a range of modern European dishes. This is the perfect choice for a corporate or private dining experience.

Accountancy services for small businesses in Reading

Finding the right accountant is an important part of your business journey, whether you are just starting out with your new business or you are ready to showcase your first products. For many small business owners, outsourcing the accounts, along with HR and payroll, is an obvious choice in the beginning.

As a small business it is important to be on top of everything, ensuring that you fulfil your legal obligations and give your company the best start possible. This means that dealing with an accountant face-to-face can be preferable, particularly if you have little to no business accounting experience.

You will find plenty of small business accountancy firms based in Reading who will have plenty of experience when it comes to assisting small and medium sized enterprises. These include:

●       Raw Accounting (RG1 3AR) – Serving Reading and nearby areas Raw offer a range of services for SME’s particularly those in construction, trade, property development, consultants and those who offer a professional service.

●       TaxAssist (RG6 1LT) – Offering assistance with a number of small business, accounting and tax issues. TaxAssist are part of a larger chain and offer an accounting service that is tailored to each client on an individual basis that takes into account their requirements.

With so many fantastic resources available for small businesses in Reading there really is no better place to set your business plans in motion and take that first step towards being your own boss with a thriving business in Reading.