Supercities must form firms’ thinking

IF THE BUSINESS map’s being re-shaped, are you in good enough shape to keep up?

I ask you this question having read a fascinating piece about HSBC/The Future Laboratory research in the FT today.

The research flags up emerging industries driven by technological innovation, that are in effect creating hubs, or supercities, devoted to particular specialisms.

For instance, plastronics (something to do with microchip manufacturing apparently) hubs are emerging in Durham, Cambridge, Swansea and London.

Sunderland and Norwich are big on low-carbon transport, it finds.

From the business advisor angle, I wonder if these burgeoning industries – full of start-ups and grand ideas – require ‘specialist’ advice?

Does a Norwich-based accountancy practice have the wherewithal to help a low-carbon transport business grow? Are new-industry small businesses any different to handle for an advisor than, say, a startup widget manufacturer?

I don’t pretend to have the answer, if there is a single answer, but I believe that these new industries will have their own idiosyncrasies and specialist requirements.

It will be fascinating to see whether these new hubs will lead to the creation of new, specialist practices, or provide growth/re-focus for existing firms.

I’d really welcome any thoughts on this, please send a comment through, or send a tweet to @goonerreed

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