The jury’s still out on whether or not the UK’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ will ever grow to rival Silicon Valley in the US, but it is clear that this area is buzzing with exciting new tech start-ups. In fact, hundreds of new companies have been born there over the past two years. Reading about the experiences of Songkick’s CEO this week on Guardian.co.uk, got us thinking about exactly what is involved in setting up an online business. A few pointers, based on our own views and those of serial entrepreneur, Kevin Partner, who shared his advice with PCPro, can be found below.
1. Think about what business model will work best for you
Are you selling a service, a product, a subscription, an information resource, an online wholesale offering or something completely different? There are a multitude of business models out there and, whatever your online business idea is, you’ll need to think carefully about the approach you take to selling and marketing it.
2. Think about your point of differentiation
There are very few fresh business ideas out there but luckily you don’t need an entirely new product or service to create a successful online business. What you do need is to make sure you can offer a new angle or a better service or differentiate yourself in another way. You must have a clear idea of what this differentiator will be or you’ll struggle to get your company off the ground.
3. Think local
Even in the online world, people want to know that they are interacting and working with businesses which operate locally and they’ll often search for companies in their area. In fact, Google states that 97% of consumers search for local businesses online so you’ll need to make sure you can be found easily if someone is searching in your local area. GooglePlaces can be a great starting point allowing you to fill in the information about your business to ensure you appear on a map of the region.
Of course, there are plenty of other things you need to know before starting an online business but we hope this has given you some food for thought. Why not share your own experiences and advice on what to do when starting an online business with us?