Internet Franchise UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running successful UK Internet Franchises.
‘Online’ businesses are in better health today than ever. Given the astonishing rate at which the internet has disrupted every sector, is it now the right time to invest in an internet franchise UK?
The impact of the internet on our lives doesn’t really need to be talked about – it’s there for everyone to see. Few aspects of modern lifestyle remain untouched by the digital revolution, from banking and shopping to eating and entertainment. It’s no wonder then that businesses across industries and sectors have been enthusiastic about adapting to these trends. Even the smallest of businesses can now boast of their ‘online presence’, complete with a handy website, local business listings and aggregated reviews.
In tandem with these changes, franchising has evolved – not just in its reach and market penetration, but also in its adaptability. The internet has made communication barriers obsolete, and that has allowed more and more businesses to franchise their operations across the length and the breadth of the country.
This brings us to the point in question – online and internet franchises UK. This is a young and somewhat niche sector, but that hardly means it doesn’t have its perks. In fact, some of the most consistently profitable franchise businesses have been internet franchises. Low levels of investment required to get started – and, more importantly, the ability to work from home – are two important enablers of this success.
In this article, we will discuss what a typical UK internet franchise does, how its operations work and how much it costs to buy one.
An Overview Of The Market For Internet Franchises UK
Before we get into the details of how an internet franchise UK works, it’s important to well and truly understand the size of the market, how it’s evolved and what opportunities it might present in the coming years.
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- The most important trend you need to know is the one you’re already familiar with – the access to internet is now cheaper, more widespread and easier to obtain than ever.
- In 2018, approximately 90% of the adults in the UK were active internet users. At the same time, the percentage of adults who had never used internet was the lowest – at just above 8%.
- The 16-34 age group represents the heaviest dependence on the internet. Almost every Briton belonging to this age group is a daily internet user (99%).
- Barring Norther Ireland to some extent, the internet has now penetrated every corner of the UK.
- A significant share of the active internet users in the UK are also regular ‘consumers’ of internet-only services. For example, nearly half (46%) of the adult internet users in the UK use video streaming services on a regular basis, while online shopping has already become a ubiquitous phenomenon.
- Similarly, people’s reliance on the internet to avail offline services/products has also increased. For example, 86% of internet users look up a local business’ reviews online before visiting the establishment.
It’s clear that the internet now plays a huge role in deciding how, how much and on what the consumers will spend their money. More relevant here is the fact that this gives ALL businesses – local, national and online-only – to spend generously on various internet features and products (think of a regular website – it takes at least a few hundred pounds to get started with a proper one!). In other words, this provides a positive, future-facing environment for internet franchises UK to grow in.
What Does An Internet Franchise UK Do?
We have already discussed how computer and IT franchises UK work. The business model used by most internet franchises UK is similar, in that they offer highly specialised (usually B2B) services to their customers.
For the sake of clarity and ease, we can divide UK internet franchises into two broad categories:
A. Internet As A Product Businesses
Internet as a product businesses occupy a small section of the overall pie. The best example of such businesses are internet service provider franchises. Many private companies act as agents of global telecom and ethernet providers, franchising their local units with the help of individual investors (franchisees).
Such businesses are, unfortunately, on the regressive trajectory. Consequentially, such franchise opportunities are few and far between.
That brings us to the next type.
B. Internet As A Service Businesses
Providing a variety of digital and online services is the USP of internet as a service businesses. Quite literally, there’s no limit to the possibilities here. Starting from small-scale, local businesses like digital marketing and web design, we can go all the way up to high-profile IT maintenance and cloud services. As we discussed in the introduction part of this article, every business – however small or large – can use such services, and hence, investing in an internet franchise UK has the potential to provide high ROIs.
Do You Need To Be A Tech Expert To Invest In A UK Internet Franchise?
One of the biggest positives of franchising is that it brings on board enormous flexibility. While you need to have that elusive entrepreneurial spirit, you don’t necessarily need to have the industry-specific skills to succeed.
In other words, you don’t have to be a tech expert to get started with an internet franchise UK. All you need to make sure is that you have sound business acumen; the ability to communicate effectively with your clients and the franchisor; and the smarts it takes to lead a small group of talented staff.
How Much Do Internet Franchises UK Cost?
Since UK internet franchises, for all intents and purposes, are ‘service sector’ businesses, the investment level required lies at the lower end of the overall franchising spectrum.
In most cases, a small/medium sized internet franchise can be purchased for a total initial investment of no more than £20,000. Larger franchise units may require you to put a working capital to the tune of £50,000 or more.
Top UK Internet Franchises
For reference, here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular internet franchises in the UK.
- Minimum Initial Investment: £7,995 (plus VAT)
- USP: Bespoke website development packages for businesses
- Freedom to work part/full time
- Home-based opportunity
- Thorough live training, free course material and learning packages
- Ongoing support
- No coding skills required
- Minimum Initial Investment: £15,000 (plus VAT)
- USP: Virtual assistants for businesses
- Home-based opportunity
- Full training on offer
- Recruitment support
- Marketing and business assistance
- Customer service support
- BFA Associate Member
- Minimum Initial Investment: £9,995 (plus VAT)
- USP: New-age digital marketing
- Home-based opportunity
- No digital marketing experience required
- Opportunity to be your own boss
- BFA Associate Member
- Minimum Initial Investment: £4,999 (plus VAT)
- USP: Payment processing for local businesses
- Work in the lucrative financial sector
- Low start up costs
- Marketing support
- Exclusive territory
Internet Franchises UK – The Takeaways
- Low start up costs mean that the barrier to entry to low. So, be careful while assessing and vetting various franchise opportunities.
- Do refer to the detailed franchisor profiles present on our directory page.
- Go through our important franchise market research tips.
- Prepare a full-contingency business plan if you plan on applying for a loan.
- Talk to active franchisees before you invest.