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How to Start up a Business - A Definitive Guide

Updated on June 29, 2012

Start-Up Business

A Definitive Guide

"you fail to plan, you fail to plan"

Did you know that 30% of all start-ups without a business plan fail in the first year. Also after 5 years that 95% of those that are still around had a business plan.

Now I know this is a negative start to this guide, but the point I am tring to make and I urge you to follow is this. You need to PLAN! Not just in your head but write it down. What happens if you have an accident and can't come back to this for 6 months, there's no way you remember all the details, this leads me onto me first topic:

Business Plan

You business blan will help shape your business aiding in growth and profits.
You business blan will help shape your business aiding in growth and profits.

Great books on Staring up your own Business

Business Plan

Now this is not information on how to write a business plan, but it is to show you the importance of a business plan and sources of information how to complete a business plan.

Firstly I'd like to make a bold statement, that your Business Plan is your new companies MOST important document. Without it you are much more likely to fail in the short, medium or the long term, and this is why, what is you business plan about and what are it's features:

  • Reflects the ethos and purpose of your business right when enthusiasm was at it's highest...conception.
  • It gives clear targets and milestones, allowing you to evaluate performance against indicators specific to your business.
  • It clearly defines your business practices, management and gives room for future expansion.
  • Gives potential investors an insight to your business.
  • Has a detailed marketing plan to help you get your product/service into the market.
  • Has financial projections, to help you secure funding, and understand the costs, and potential profits involve...BE REALISTIC!

These are just a few of the benefits of having a business plan, and remember that a business plan is a "working" document, it is supposed to be used and reviewed so that it is always in line with your current business model.

There are many sources of information on the internet some of them free and others cost. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The free ones obviously, you have a template and you can input your information as required, however this takes a substancial amount of time and also advice is limited, however the major advantage is that this is free. However if you are pushed for time, or you don't have the support to create a great business plan then quite often it is a good idea to go to a professional business writer, these vary in price from £300 to many thousands, however as a start up should never be more than about £1000 and more often around the £500 mark. These companies have the expertise and experience of writing many business plans, and good ones will ensure you are involved in every section, to ensure that it reflects your business cleaarly and accurately. Below is a few links to some free sites and some business plan writers whi will help you with writing a business plan.

Business Advice

Now getting advice is a tough business and there is an age old saying "you get what you pay for". However with respect to starting up a new business this dosn't have to be true. There are lot's of initatives throughout the country which provide support and guidence to new business'. A lot of these initiatives com through the county councils, and they will pay for a business advisor from a local enterprise company to help you through the first few difficult months.

These business advisors are an invaluable source of information and I would highly recomend talking to your local council or your local business enterprise office. They will be able to tell you what and how much support is available.


Networking is a necessity, meet with your potential competitors, clients and other business' to give you a wide view of the market.
Networking is a necessity, meet with your potential competitors, clients and other business' to give you a wide view of the market.


This is a often overlooked aspect of starting a business. Networking is very important! This is with your customers, arrange meetings, attend functions to try and find out what the customer "really" wants.

Meet with your competitors, look at their products, services and work out what makes your product stand out from thiers. If you can meet you competitors directly, knowing what sort of person is behind a product can really help when it comes to marketing and working out where your competition may go next with their product.

Meet with suppliers and other business' which compliment your own, offer services and advice and try to get on good terms with them, as saving a few pence on 10000's of products will soon mount up. Also sending business to them, that you are unable to do, can sometimes lead to them sending you business, this can mount up to a reasonable amount as word of mouth advertising is probably the best you can get.


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    • dipless profile image

      dipless 6 years ago from Manchester

      @headexposed, it is not only smart but vital. Hope you find some of these guides helpful more are to come.

    • headexposed profile image

      headexposed 6 years ago from New York

      noteworthy! i agree... a business plan must be SMART!