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How to start an Online Technology Business in the UK?

Starting a business based on technology has its positives in today's time. From sending basic emails to ordering a meal on a mobile app, the evolution of technology has been phenomenal. The rapid growth of mobile technology has pushed many entrepreneurs to drive innovation that helps solve customer problems. Often, starting an online business in the UK will require you to create websites and/or mobile applications.

Online-only businesses have been found to have advantages over brick-and-mortar businesses in the current pandemic. Online companies didn't have to shut down and witnessed phenomenal growth during a lockdown. Pandemic contributed £5.3bn to UK ecommerce in 2020.

There are several advantages to starting an online business in the UK. Official UK retail sales figures show that internet sales accounted for 27.9% of total retail sales in the United Kingdom (both goods and services). The upward trend is expected to continue in the years to come.

On a global scale, the figure for online sales also skyrocketed. In 2020, retail sales from e-commerce alone had reached 4.28 trillion USD worldwide, and in the UK, it was projected to touch £80,678 million in 2021.

You may wonder how to start an online business and whether you can do it now. Well, there is no time better than the current scenario and market demands if you are thinking of starting an online business in the UK. In this blog, you will learn how to start an online business in the UK.

Pick up the bare basics before kick starting the processes that inch you closer to launching your dream startup.

1. Conducting Market Research

Most individuals who start their own company believe they've found the next big thing in the startup fraternity of the UK. But, do keep in mind that 55% of new businesses don't survive for five years, and the most common reason for their failure is that they couldn't prove demand for the product or service.

This is why it is important to conduct market research before starting an online business in the UK. This step will help you know the real market demand and where your product/service can fit. Accordingly, setting up an online business will need you to test your offerings and gauge how much demand they can generate.

also helps you identify whether or not it is economically viable. Make sure you have the right set of information before moving on. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself in this phase before setting up an online business in the UK.

  • Is your product or service offers a cost-effective way to solve customer problems
  • Would you or your loved ones consider buying what your business intends to sell?
  • Does the product or service meet the needs of anybody you know?

If the answer to all the above questions is 'yes', they have a viable business opportunity. So, you'll want to see whether anybody else has the same thoughts.

2. Run Competitor Analysis

You need to research direct and indirect competitors since it provides a new perspective on your company or client base. Understanding your competitors can help you better position your brand in the longer run.

You can use tools and websites like product hunt and Crunchbase to identify your competitors starting a small online business in the UK. It is always a good idea to identify as many competitors as possible to better analyse.

Once you are done identifying your competitors before starting an online business in the UK, it is always a good idea to check out their social media presence, websites, prices and even customer reviews.

With effective digital marketing and e-commerce tactics at the forefront of most companies today, a fantastic way to stand out amongst your competitors is by having an easy-to-use, comprehensive website and connecting with your consumers on social media.

Consider the following in this step:

  • Frequently analyse your competitors' strengths and weaknesses and potential market gaps.
  • Improve your product or service, better serve your target market, and increase your income through competition analysis.

In competition analysis, know about the features, market share, pricing, marketing, differentiators, strengths, weaknesses, location, attitude, and customer feedback.

3. Test your business idea with MVP

A solid business concept is constantly tested. Minimum-Viable Product (MVP) refers to launching a website or a mobile application with the least amount of material essential to start generating traffic and generating leads. You don't want to spend time and money developing a product without first seeing whether the market wants it.

When setting up an online business, you don’t want to launch the website/app and then think of improving it. This is why MVP is reliable as it is designed to be a proof of concept. The first step is to determine whether or not the product is worth developing in the first place. Making this decision about building the product or not is an important step for every entrepreneur. Building a minimum viable product has the following advantages.

Benefits of MVP development when starting an online business in the UK

  • You'll be more successful in your business and less likely to waste time, money, and resources on unproductive endeavours.
  • Close the gap between strategy and experimentation/validation.
  • Use the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas to identify and test your core business assumptions.

Why does your business need a website?

Like in the old days, when customers expected businesses to have contact numbers and addresses mentioned in their information brochures, customers nowadays expect businesses to have a website or online presence.

When starting an online business in the UK, this is a crucial first step in establishing trust. From this perspective, for a new business, web development for your business is highly important.

Provide rich content around a business:

Your website is where potential customers can learn more about your business. When people visit your website, they seek answers to basic questions like what you do, your products/solutions, location, contact details, etc.

Leverage Search Engine:

Get listed on search engines. Build your website incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) techniques so that you can easily be found by people searching for relevant keywords.

Go Global:

Moreover, it’s one website that caters to audiences all across the globe, without the need for a native staff.

Integrating Social Media:

Implement a social media strategy to reach a larger audience and create more buzz about your biz. Establish your presence on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook likes, and shares can drive people to your website.

4. Build your website

Starting an online business in the UK will need you to create a business website which seems like a daunting task. But, it is really easy to get started if you have the right approach. The cost of developing an ecommerce website would involve buying a domain name, hosting a site, and developing the website apart from the fixed cost of maintaining it.

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There are three main ways to go about getting a website up and running:

A. Build website by yourself

Once your plan is ready, a technology business will need you to create a website. The first option is to build a website on your own by hiring on-site resources. This includes onboarding a dedicated team for UI design, development, QA testing, and project management.

This is a rather expensive affair considering the time and money you put at stake. Also, your project will need your involvement at every point to check if things are in place.

B. Hire Freelancers

Having the freedom to work with independent contractors is an advantage. Your website development project can involve one or more expert freelancers. Finding freelancers in the same place and time zone may be a challenge for you.

It's possible to manage freelancers from all around the world simultaneously. However, if you're unprepared, it might pose project management difficulties. Short-term jobs and specialised skills are the most common reasons firms use freelancers. But, this also means lesser control, a higher amount of uncertainty, and less reliability.

C. Hire web development agency

Most businesses in the UK hire a website development company to execute their online business to the next level. Working with a website development company may avoid the fixed expenses of employing in-house programmers. It also avoids the costs and difficulties of managing a team of independent freelancers.

Most such website development companies will have dedicated resources for the business looking to establish their digital presence. There are a few considerations to consider while looking for an app development company.

Ideally, you should be searching for a website development company on Google. Despite its many advantages, Google is not without its flaws. Occasionally, your local search results may contain firms from other countries.

Therefore, if you are starting an online business in the UK, hiring a website development company from the UK is always the best idea. Such an approach will offer you the website development cost beforehand and accordingly plan your finances.

It is always a good idea to speak with the company. And always ask for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before discussing your business idea. Also, a best practice includes speaking to previous clients and inquiring about their experiences.

Once you hire a website development company in the UK, get an estimate for a full proposal. This should include a complete cost of ownership and not just the hourly rate when selecting. Who you hire for creating your app can make a huge difference in the outcome. This is the most critical decision you will have to make.

5. Build Mobile Apps

If you are looking for a short answer on how to start an online business in the UK is creating a mobile app. Today, smartphone users are expanding by leaps and bounds. It is thought that around 80 percent of the population of late utilises mobile phones. And people utilise their mobile devices to complete their day to day demands, whether it is a cab booking, shopping, online ticket purchase, or whatever.

So, starting an online business in the UK will need you to consider mobile apps as the ideal alternative to uncover their prospective clients. A mobile app development company can help you with the estimate of app development cost, necessary features, navigate design options, and ensure security in place.

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A. Create iOS Application

Creating an iOS mobile app for your new business idea offers you the option to cater to a niche audience. As an entrepreneur, you can consider the advantages of the iOS application development for your new business idea to leverage the iPhone's global popularity. As a business, having an iOS app is a must if you want to reach your target audience in an easy and accessible manner.

iPhone apps are well-known for their excellent quality and ability to generate income. iPhone app development is being used by both startups and established businesses to satisfy their business goals and provide a speedy return on their investment.

It might be difficult to build an iOS app from scratch or master app development. Working with an app development company like Intelivita is a great idea.

The benefits of creating an iOS app for your new business include:

  • Better flexibility
  • Design aesthetics
  • Effective pricing and strategy
  • Cater niche audience
  • High ROI

B. Create Android Application

iOS and Android collective make up 99% of the mobile app market in the UK. Therefore, catering to both audiences is necessary to improve your business reach. Driving revenue growth of your new business will require an android app development service that caters to global users on a larger scale. Because globally, Android users occupy 70% of the market, allowing you to cater to a wider market on a large scale.

When choosing to go with Android app development, go for a trusted partner with a knack for creating a flawless application. At Intelivita, we provide quality android app development services to startups in the UK. You can count on our Android app developers to assist you with conceptualising your app and the planning, testing, and eventual release of your app.

The benefits of creating an android app for your new business includes

  • Penetrate your brand deeper
  • Leverage users’ loyalty
  • Get better customization
  • Create a unique brand image
  • Fast and cost-effective development

6. Increase your social media presence

Creating a digital presence for your business includes leveraging social media platforms. This way, your business can connect with the desired set of audiences and drive home the business visibility.

The different audience uses other social media presence. For instance, middle-aged people use Facebook more than platforms like Snapchat and TikTok. However, once you have the website and mobile application ready for your business, creating social media presence adds more value as customers can stay connected to your business.

Setting up an online business will also need you to create social media profiles on the sites where your target audience spends the most time, and then post new, relevant material there regularly. For instance, you can create short-form visual material for Instagram, like stories and posts. Leverage hashtags, Gifs and memes (trendy) that go well with your brand image.

Encourage your customers to follow you on social media by offering them benefits (like exclusive discounts or previews of new products). The best way to build a relationship with your customers is to respond to any queries they may have about what you do or how you do it.

When starting a small online business in the UK, think of social media as a place to hold meaningful dialogues with your customers on social media, and this is one of the most effective methods to advertise it.

Few of the key social media platforms include;

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok

Bottomline

When you are starting an online business in the UK, you must consider the above-mentioned factors. Making the right choices at the right time helps you sail through some of the obstacles easily. The best course of action is to write at least a brief roadmap paper outlining your key milestones before launching you to start an online business in the UK.

If you are planning to launch such a business in the UK, connect with the experts at Intelivita. Our team will guide you in setting up an online business in the UK. The services include website development, MVP development, and mobile application development.

Posted In:
  • Web Development
  • Dhaval-Author
    Dhaval Sarvaiya
    Co-Founder

    Hey there. I am Dhaval Sarvaiya, one of the Founders of Intelivita. Intelivita is a mobile app development company that helps companies achieve the goal of Digital Transformation. I help Enterprises and Startups overcome their Digital Transformation and mobile app development challenges with the might of on-demand solutions powered by cutting-edge technology.

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