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Start a Business

Last updated 15 March 2022
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Ready to start a business but don't know where to start? Let us help!

Click below to make an appointment to speak to a real human in our experienced team, or give us a call on 01483 478 098.

In the meantime why not take a look at some of our self-help articles below

Ready to start?

Click to book a free appointment with our Growth Hub specialists. 

The most suitable finance option for your business depends on many things, including:

  • How much funding you need
  • Your current business revenue or if you're a new business
  • Whether or not you're willing to offer personal assets as security this can make it easier to get funding but is risky if you're not able to maintain payments
  • Whether or not you own a business property this can make it easier to get funding
  • Whether or not you're willing to sell shares.

A bank loan is far from the only way that you can raise money to fund your startup business. For some businesses, particularly new riskier ventures, equity investment raising capital through the sale of shares in a business may be most suitable. For equity finance, there is a growing number of business angels prepared to back new businesses.The government provides generous tax relief to investors who want to support new businesses.

For less risky types of businesses, debt finance may be more appropriate. If you are struggling to obtain a loan to start a new business, you may wish to consider applying for a start-up loan. For alternatives to the high street banks for both equity and debt finance you could consider raising funding through alternative finance providers such as peer-to-peer lenders or crowd funding platforms.

Click here for more information

Start Up Loans

Whether you're taking the first steps or have been trading for a while and looking to grow, a Start Up Loan can help you achieve your business goals with:

  • A loan of up to £25,000, at fixed 6% interest p.a.
  • Free mentoring
  • Exclusive business offers to help your start up
  • Support with your business plan and cash flow forecast

For more information click here: Start-Up Loans

Looking to register your new business? There are many factors to consider and choices to make which are fundamental to your new business. 

There are a wealth of resources available to help aid your decision, which are provided by some of the most trusted organisations in the country. Read through the below to learn more:

    Click here for more information

Why you need a business plan? 

A business plan is a written document that describes your business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts. 

Your business plan is the key document to set out what aims and objectives you have and how to get there.  

A business plan helps you to:

  • clarify your business idea
  • spot potential problems
  • set out your goals
  • measure your progress

You'll need a business plan if you want to secure investment or a loan. It can also help to convince customers, suppliers and potential employees to support you. 

With a clear strategy objectives and goals that you are looking to achieve, and how you'll measure your progress, your business will continue to stay true to its path to growth. 
 

How to Write a Business Plan

The following website resources provide a series of guides and templates and help on how to write a business plan, along with checklists on how to make a success of your business and how to support the beginning of your business. 

The links provided are from some of the most trusted and respected business information and support organisations in the country. 

Sample business plans and guides from Barclays

A good small business plan defines exactly what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it.

Sample business plans and guides from Lloyds

You'll find it helpful to put together a business plan to plot the future of your business from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future, and how you intend to get there.

Sample business plans and guides from HSBC

A good business plan focuses the mind as well as helping to secure finance and support

Online business planner from RBS

RBS has an interactive online business planner. A similar tool is available from NatWest.

Business plan advice and guide from ICAEW

A pdf download of ICAEW's guide on writing a business plan

CIMA's Essential checklist for making a success of your business

A pdf download from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants guide to writing a business plan

Guides for start-ups and new businesses

Help with a business plan if you're out of work

New Enterprise Allowance offers support with developing your business plan, as well as financial and mentoring help.

British Library Business & IP Centre

The British Library IP Centre has a wide range of business planning resources

Click here for more information

Many businesses start with just one person, known as a ‘sole trader'. If you set up as a sole trader you'll be self-employed, which means you'll be your own boss.

You'll also be responsible for:

  • managing your own time
  • looking after all of your company's admin and accounts
  • taking risks with your own money, particularly if you're leaving full-time employment

Whether you set up as a sole trader, partnership or limited company, your business is likely to involve working with more people to develop and sell your idea - including partners, suppliers, and distributors.

Partners

Finding a co-founder with relevant skills and knowledge that are different to yours lets you focus on what you're best at.

For example, you might be selling a product you invented or a service that uses a particular skill or talent you have, but not have any hands-on experience of running a business. If so, you might want to work with someone who has business and management skills and can look after things like financial planning and recruitment.

Consider working with several partners in a team. You'll be able to share responsibilities including risk, getting funding, expertise and sharing contacts.

Suppliers

Whether you're making a product and you need raw materials or supplies and equipment to run your service, many businesses need to work closely with suppliers.

Search online and talk to other businesses. Draw up a list of potential suppliers. Get estimates, then go and talk to them so you can:

  • negotiate prices
  • start to develop relationships
  • get a sense of which suppliers are reliable and trustworthy

You'll need to agree on payment terms with your suppliers and get them in writing. This includes your ‘trade credit' period (how many days you agree to pay invoices within), and whether they can offer you discounts for things like buying in bulk or quick payments.

You'll also need to find suppliers for the equipment you'll need to run your business, including your information technology (IT) systems.

Watch a video about choosing the right IT for your business.

Getting your product to market

If you're planning to sell your product in shops and expand outside of your local area, you'll need to work with a distributor. If you're selling overseas, consider working with a freight forwarder who can deal with exporting your goods.

Watch a video on the different ways of getting your product or service to market.

Build a website

You can also attract customers and increase awareness by setting up a website for your business. Search online for resources, as well as local web design and development companies you can work with.

You may also be able to sell your product or service directly through your website.

Finding business premises

The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) guides to small business property have information about buying, leasing, maintaining or extending business premises.

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Book an appointment with one of our team

Meet the EM3 Growth Hub and Business Support Team

Jeannie Satchell

Jeannie Satchell

Senior Programme Manager
Ian Martin

Ian Martin

Growth Champion
Paul Scott

Paul Scott

Growth Champion

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