Business Planning


Financial Planning


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Starting Your Business

To help you with starting up your own Business you will need to prepare a Business Plan. This is not only required in order to obtain funding or loans to start and maintain your business but is also key to making sure that your idea will work and your business be sustainable .

If you wish to start up in  business or self employment while you are receiving Job seekers Allowance or Universal Credit you will need to apply to the DWP and arrange an interview with there the person responsible for agreeing that you can enrol on the Enterprise Allowance scheme  which will allow you to stop claiming unemployment benefit and instead receive payments at a slightly reduced level for 6 months as a business start up entrepreneur as well as being able to apply for a small loan. This requires you to fill in their own quite simple Business plan.

After years of successfully advising 50+ unemployed people to start up in business or as as social enterprise or become self employed  it has become clear that the work required to start up a business which must be carried out in order to fully understand and then present your Business plan is absolutely crucial if you are to succeed. Carrying out proper research into your idea, the range of products or service you will offer, to research your market in depth, to understand what your potential customers want and need, how they go about purchasing, where they look for advice is key. You will also need to research your competition which is now not just local but also international through the internet. You will need to know your costs , what your pricing will be and what turn over you will need to make even a small profit.

You will need to calculate not just what invme your business needs a but what income you need to live on. You will need to find out who else you will need to help you, such as family and friends, experts in areas you require assistance ( legal, accountancy, websites and internet, marketing and sales ) and how you will go about involving them in your business.
One of the most important benefits of doing this work and writing up a real Business plan, not just a promotional effort to get funding, is that you may find that your idea and your plan will not work. This is just as important a finding as if you re able to prove to yourself and others that you can make it work, because if you start and fail ( and many do) you will be worse off then before. You will have lost your own start up money, you will have outstanding debts and you may well not be able to return to being registered as a job seeker for some time.
But after this warning you do decide that this will work and get the finances you need then it can transform your life for the better , being your own boss, controlling your life and hopefully becoming far better off than you are now. It will be hard , and as rule of thumb you can double the amount of time you will need to run your own business compared to how much time you actually spend on actually doing what it is you are good at ( building. ,making things , cooking ,advising etc). Because in addition to that there is the finances, accounts, marketing, sales, administration, legal issues and a lot more, so if you are now ready to go here are some links to help you, including an initial draft set of start up business questions for you to frame your idea and work plan. There are many outline Business plans, most all banks can provide with one. The one here is a modification of a very good and detailed Business plan template which we have drawn from the Prince’s Trust.


You may have previous experience of working for yourself or of being self-employed, or it may be entirely new to you. If you get it right, being self-employed can be exciting, rewarding and challenging. To make sure you get it right, it is essential you obtain proper advice before putting your own time and money into self-employment.

There is a lot of information, advice and practical support available, and most of it is free. From planning a business and raising finance, to making sure you have enough to live on while you get your business off the ground, this section gives you some ideas of where to turn.

There are a range of sources of advice that provide practical information and support for new and existing businesses. They will help you meet all the legal and financial requirements of being self-employed. 

Practical Advice on Starting a Business