The digital world is expanding more than ever; citizens of the UK are more engaged online when it comes to carrying out day-to-day activities. This extends to the business world, and the implication is that every business-oriented individual who wants to achieve success in the UK needs to utilize the powerful tool that is the internet. The best way to do this is to set up an online business in the UK.
This requires that you make the internet a main or subsidiary branch of your formation company in the UK. But how do you go about this? What knowledge and tools do you need to acquire to properly register your online company in the UK? The internet is taking over the world in more ways than we know. With the added effects of the Covid pandemic, physical trade has become limited and sometimes unattainable in certain areas of the UK.
This has led to the increase in shopping and carrying out business activities through the means of online platforms. In fact, 87% of consumers in the UK engage in e-commerce as of 2021. This number is projected to even increase, and according to data collected, one-third of all retails in the UK will be done online by 2024.
So let’s get you started.
Steps To Building An Online Company In The UK
These include strategic planning and careful execution to arrive at a desired and profitable result. We’ve compiled the best steps you need to follow.
1. Decide On Your Business Idea
Like every business, you need an idea of what you want to provide in the market to kick start your e-commerce in the UK. This entails offering a product or service that is in demand in the UK.
Once you have this sorted, you can proceed to work on other factors such as business name, costs of starting up your online business, payment methods, etc., which help you set up your online company in the UK.
2. Carry Out Market Research
This is one of the most vital steps to take note of. Intricate and detailed research on the UK business market provides insight on how to build a solid foundation and maximizes your chances of success.
This extensive research is vital for gaining tangible knowledge on online business factors such as:
- The rate of demand of the product/service you’re offering
- The target audience and how they feel about the service you’re offering
- Competition in the market as well as gaps and profitable opportunities
- Trends and shifts in the market
- Customer service and behaviour
Carrying out a proper research is vital for creating a substantial business plan.
3. Create A Business Plan And Structure
After detailed research on how the UK business works, the next step is to set up a business plan. This involves designing the blueprint for your online business in the UK. This plan does not have to be static and can be worked on as time progresses.
Coming up with a business strategy involves choosing the structure that works best for your online business. There are two ways to go about this in the UK, which include the Sole Trade Option and Limited Company Option.
The sole trader option is exclusive to UK citizens and is best for those starting on a very small scale. In this case, the business owner and the company are seen as one entity. Therefore, any profit/loss made will affect your personal finances.
However, non-citizens of the UK only have the option of limited company formation. This offers you protection as your company is seen as a separate entity, which means you have limited liability.
Certain benefits contribute to a limited company being considered as the best business structure. They include:
- Reduced personal liability in the case of loss or debt
- Professional and credible image
- Can be owned by single or multiple individuals
- Benefits of extra tax reliefs and so on.
With this in mind, you can proceed with your company registration in the UK either by registering your business name as a sole trader or setting up a limited company online.
4. Create A UK Business Bank Account
Regardless of if you decide to register as a sole trader or set up a limited company, it is necessary to create a UK business bank account. Though it’s not a legal requirement, it is best to keep your business funds separate from personal finances.
Creating a business account dedicated to your company provides that much-needed assurance about the legitimacy and transparency of your online business to your target audience. It’s also much easier to monitor cash flow, identify transactions, and maintain accurate accounting records.
5. Create A Business Website
Building a website is an incredibly important tool for marketing and promoting your business, providing important information about your brand and products, and reaching a wider audience. You can choose to employ a web designer or take the Do-it-yourself approach with the aid of a web developer. The latter approach is more economical and widely used.
6. Build Up A Social Media Presence
This is incredibly important if you want to get your brand out there and start attracting potential customers. The use of social media is the best marketing strategy you can employ in the UK.
Once you’ve set up, it’s time to invest in social media. If you already have existing social media accounts because your online website is an addition to your existing business, you need to promote your new website.
There are more consumers than ever before choosing to shop online. The UK boasts of the largest e-commerce market in Europe and the third largest in the world. Therefore, setting up an online business in the UK is a great option for expanding your business and achieving greater success in the business sector.