UK Tech Start-Ups are not the usual hunting ground for buyers, unless they have a particular new skill or approach that is unavailable in the market. They come with commercial risk, can be nuanced around the personalities of the owners / shareholders, and are generally looking for funding or an exit to a new structure within a short space of time.
All that said, the tech sector in the UK is thriving and with technology moving so quickly, sometimes finding a new company to work with can add competitive advantage to your own business. Start-ups are usually desperate for revenue, and as a result will provide excellent services in some cases tailored to their initial “anchor” customers, to both help them build their proposition to the market and ensure these early revenue streams are secure for the long term.
Within Embedded Intelligence we track Start-ups to follow trends and monitor the industry. With 3,000 new IT start-ups being formed in the UK every month, there is a lot to choose from. Not all of these are businesses, these include limited companies established for personal contracting, but more and more the thrill and excitement of realising a founder’s dream is attracting new ideas and innovation to the sector, and this shouldn’t be ignored.
Within the UK economy something in the region of 97% of companies are Small or Medium Enterprises, and it would be churlish to ignore these potential suppliers. They are the lifeblood of the economy, and working with SME’s is a significant focus for UK Government to ensure the growth of the economy overall. Just buying from corporates does not provide the employment opportunities a new company provides, if anything it just expands the existing wealth within the current investor pool.
So if you are looking to do something different, consider a start-up technology supplier. Make sure you have resilience plans in place to support any changes in their trading status, but leverage your valuable custom to secure services that you truly desire that are likely more malleable than when you buy from a more established business. Think creatively in your engagement with the SME, offer them support / references / case studies / good payment terms for improved service. I can guarantee you will get ambition and focussed service in return.