According to Theo Paphitis, writing in The Guardian, 50% of all UK start-ups fail in their first few years. The reasons behind this statistic are numerous, but the entrepreneur believes that most new startups collapse because they don’t ‘carry out their homework.’ Here, then are a few useful pointers for online business start ups to bear in mind.
Form international alliances
Online start-ups will be dealing with a global rather than local community. In order to maximize efficiency and source valuable local knowledge, many UK based online start-ups have forged partnerships with other companies in different parts of the world. UK based firms – for example, Vanner Perez Notaries – will be able to help with registration with overseas commercial bodies and any of the other complexities often encountered when forming a partnership with a foreign company.
This knowledge will be invaluable for any start-up.
Carry out your research
Just because your business is online, it doesn’t mean that life is going to be any easier than if you were to set up a conventional business. All start-ups can encounter very similar problems. The UK Government has a useful website that talks about how your brilliant business idea can lead to a successful opportunity. The government echoes Paphitis in that it talks about the necessity of good research into your chosen market, and how to engage with potential customers to evaluate the possibility of future success. Finding partners and suppliers is just one part of the jigsaw.
Evaluate your software
After discovering that there is a real need for your product you must ensure that your software and payment systems are robust. The customer must feel secure and also reassured that their personal banking details aren’t going to fall into the hands of scammers and fraudsters. You will need to be confident that your website will be always be operational and that any possible technical glitches can be ironed out quickly.
The website Start up Donut has evaluated that by 2020, 90% of all transactions will be carried out online. In order to make sure that your business stands out from this crowded global market place try to ensure that your website looks attractive and is always kept up to date. You will have to include your trading address, contact details and information about the quality of your goods and your returns policy. This information will help a customer assess whether they trust your website, and is a legal requirement.
Link your website to social media accounts
Encourage your customers to review your services and products on your Twitter or Facebook page. Companies that respond to negative and positive comments from their customers are more respected than those that don’t. Just because your business is online isn’t an excuse for poor customer service.
An agile business is a successful business
Your suppliers may go out of business or produce a shoddy batch of goods. You should always be prepared for any potential problems, and if necessary, have a back-up plan. Very often years of hard work can be undone by complacency, but if your research is up to date and you let your customers know what’s going on there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a successful online business.