Starting a web development business

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web development business

The digital industries are often recognised as the future of the UK economy. If this is true, now is the time to invest in a web design and development franchise and secure your career in the long run. High demand for web development services means that there will always be plenty of work for your company, while the support of an experienced franchisor will help you surpass the competition.

The web development industry

In an increasingly digital economy, workers with web development skills are increasingly important. The vast majority of businesses are now at the point where they understand that it’s almost impossible to succeed without a strong digital presence. Whether it’s providing customers with essential information, making online sales or simply advertising their existence, even the smallest of businesses use the web to increase their profits.

The impressive growth of the web development industry reflects our dependence on the internet. Today, 57 percent of web developers operating out of the UK capital earn more than £50,000, while 40 percent of all contracted positions provide an annual salary of more than £100,000. The growth in IT salaries has also outpaced the rate of inflation, increasing by 1.7 percent compared to a rate of 0.5 percent for annual inflation.

Currently, the web development industry is highly localised, with the vast majority of work found in London. This is understandable – the UK capital is the country's economic hub, home to its most prestigious businesses and renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit. However, the discrepancy between the number of jobs available in London and other regions is significant. A recent study suggests that 210 new jobs requiring Javascript skills are advertised in London every day. In the North West of the country, this drops to just 38 positions a day.

Web development in the UK

This regional discrepancy may give budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to kickstart a successful career in web development. The centralisation of the web development industry within London means that there are large markets outside of the capital that still require servicing. If an individual was able to move relatively quickly to launch a web design and development company in these markets, they would have a good chance of successfully establishing themselves.

The franchising system is purpose-built to facilitate this type of expansion. The way in which franchisees are guided through the business start-up process by experienced franchisors ensures that they have the best possible chance of turning a healthy profit. It also allows them to set up their business far more rapidly than they could on their own.

Advantages of starting a web development business

  • As you’re unlikely to need office or retail space, it’s possible to run a web development business from home. This means you can reduce your monthly outgoings and improve your work-life balance, spending more time with family and friends.
  • Although web development is a technical field that requires a lot of specialist knowledge, it does leave room for you to be creative. To make sure clients get the best possible service, you’ll need to bounce ideas around and try out new approaches. So, if you love getting creative and experimenting, you’ll enjoy web design.
  • There is scope to increase your offering and, therefore, your income. Once you’ve established a profitable business setting up clients’ websites, you could offer to continue managing and servicing their websites in the long run. You could also branch out to help with blog posts, social media platforms and SEO (search engine optimisation) strategies.

Disadvantages of starting a web development business

  • Of course, you’ll need specialist knowledge before you can confidently offer website development services. It may take time to gain the qualifications needed to give your brand credibility, so you’ll need to be patient and have the capital or means of income to survive until you have the skills required to set up your business. However, if you don’t have a background in web development, you may be able to set up a successful business by joining a franchise. They’ll be able to train and support you until you’re fully qualified, which can save you time and money in the long run.
  • If you dislike spending hours on end staring at screens, this won’t be the sector for you. Many professions involve a lot of screen time, but this can take its toll on your health and mood. The vast majority of your day will be spent on a computer, so you’ll need to be able to do this without becoming ill or irritable.
  • The job can get repetitive. Gone are the days when people had access to one family computer. Now, there are numerous different kinds of computers, so you’ll need to test every website you design and develop on various devices and browser types. You will want to make sure your product works well for everyone who uses it, so it’s likely you’ll spend a lot of time trialling it – over and over again.
  • Competition is rife in the web design and development industry. There are plenty of companies vying for the same clients, so you’ll have to make sure you can offer something different. You’ll need to develop a USP and ensure you’re putting yourself in the best possible position in the sector. This means there may be a lot of pressure on you to come up with a fantastic product for each client at an affordable price.

Web design and development companies

In recent years, web design and development companies have become increasingly popular amongst investors who want to own a business that provides a high-demand service but also allows for a flexible approach to work/life balance. A large number of these franchises offer part-time franchisee positions and even more encourage their franchisees to work from home. This cuts down on overheads and permits a more relaxed and adaptable work schedule.

While the vast majority of web design and development franchises can be run remotely and do not require a dedicated office, they all offer a slightly different franchise package. This means that it’s vital you perform thorough research into every franchise opportunity to ensure that you receive all the help and support you require to make your business a success. To illustrate the differences between franchises, we’ll take a look at two of the most popular investments on the market.

SpotOn boasts a franchise network that encompasses over 30 franchisees. As a franchisee, you’ll be promoting, consulting on and selling It’seeze websites to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in your local area. You'll also supply a wide range of support services that allow you to top up your income at the same time.

A franchise requires a minimum investment of around £14,000 and up to 70 percent of this amount can be borrowed from a reputable source. However, it’s likely that you’ll need additional working capital to see your business through the first few months of business.

In return, you’ll receive access to an exclusive territory and’s extensive database of local businesses. You’ll be equipped with a franchisee website and supplied with marketing and promotional materials – the franchisor team will also provide you with advice on how to use them. A professional CRM system is also offered, allowing franchisees to manage sales, monitor customers and automate a large number of customer processes. Finally, you can also benefit from the franchise’s comprehensive training programme that equips you with all the knowledge you require to run the business successfully. This lasts for five days and takes place at franchise head office.

Activ Net Marketing

Activ Net Marketing is of a similar size to and also runs a franchise network that encompasses approximately 30 franchise units. It was one of the first UK digital marketers to adopt the franchising model and now has more than 11 years of experience working in the industry. As a franchisee, you'll be tasked with helping individuals and businesses in your area develop their websites and improve the amount of traffic landing on their site.

An Activ Net Marketing franchise will cost you around £10,000 to set up. This provides you with the basic franchise package and will ensure your business gets off the ground. Regarding the returns you can expect, the franchise’s pricing system ensures your client has the flexibility to choose which services they want. This allows them to pay the price they want to and maximises the number of sales you can expect to make.

In return for your investment, you’ll be designated an exclusive territory and spend time with experienced franchise professionals creating a three-month business development plan. You’ll receive regular invitations to training programmes, workshops and seminars and be assigned your very own mentor to guide you through the franchising process. You'll be provided with all the digital tools you’ll need, and the franchise support network is always there to lend you a hand if you need it.


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