Starting your own business is an exciting challenge that could be the key that unlocks your true potential in life. 'Unlock Your Potential' will help you to think through your ideas for business and test your commitment before you take the big step and start your own business.
Everyone needs money to support their business idea(s), but sadly there aren’t many Grants (free cash) around and the ones that are available tend to be for small amounts of money, or very specific about what they will or won’t pay for. Therefore, instead of looking to cover all your costs with Grants, it’s much more likely that you will have to finance your enterprise from a range of sources listed here.
Writing a business plan (or project plan) is a great way to gather all your thoughts and ideas together in one place, no mattter how poorly formed they might be at this stage.
Whatever your business it will only succeed if customers like your product or service and are prepared to give you money in
exchange. People rarely buy things just for the sake of owning
them; they buy things to enable them to do the things they want to
do to fulfil their needs. That is why it is important to undertake thorough market research and to assess the results of that market research carefully.
If you want to start a business, but don't know how to come up with an original and innovative idea, this guide will introduce you to some brainstorming and idea-generating ideas that may help inspire you.
Innovation and creativity are vital ingredients for anyone in business but new ideas mean nothing if you can't execute them and bring them to fruition. Find out how you can turn your idea into a business with commercial return.
The term Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the ownership of (new) ideas, and the rights of the people who had those ideas to exploit them commercially or artistically. These rights rarely apply to the ideas themselves, but to the material or artistic forms that they take. In other words, in most cases, the idea has to take some kind of ‘physical’ form before it is protected. Examples of intellectual property include: inventions, musical recordings, computer programs and books.
To put your business on a proper footing with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and other authorities, you need to make sure that it has the right legal structure.
To stay in business you need to make money by selling your products or services. This section is about some of the types of marketing and promotion you can use.
Nowadays, it's easier to network than ever before. With the huge success of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter everyone is doing it. The advantages of networking can improve your businesses chance of survival during those hard early months dramatically.
Perhaps the most important aspect of running your business is selling. A marketing plan may help you to think about your overall approach to marketing and may focus your mind by setting targets. But to achieve sales:
you need to know what is the message that you wish to communicate to potential customers;
you need to communicate it effectively; and,
in most cases, you need to complete the sale through personal contact.
An introduction to eCommerce and accepting online payments for your business.
This section will give you an overview to the legislation around finance in business. However, since this is one of the areas which small businesses often get wrong- we would strongly advise that you get professional help if you are in doubt.
When it comes to exporting, small firms have some important advantages over their big business counterparts. There is a general tendency for smaller firms to be more creative, more responsive to their customers, and certainly more adaptable than large firms. Faster decision making, greater flexibility and direct personal contact with top management are factors that can be very attractive to overseas customers. So as you can see, small firms can, and do, succeed in exporting given the right product or service, a positive attitude and structured approach.
If you work with personal data, then you should be aware of data protection issues, particularly your requirements under the Data Protection Act 1998.
As an owner manager, it will undoubtedly be necessary for you to delegate work to others and to appraise their performance. How you handle such situations will have a very great bearing on how you are perceived. In addition, there is more to each process than simply to sit down and have a chat to tell someone what you think of them or what you want them to do next.
When you are planning to start in business you may wish to work from home or find you need to take on premises and consider the additional obligations this entails.
In addition to the general business advice available in this Business Library and on our Discussion Forum, the sections below contain information on specialist enterprise programmes for sub-sectors of the 16-30 age group.
Apart from Shell LiveWIRE, there are numerous organisations around the UK that can help you start up in business.
This section of the Business Library includes Shell LiveWIRE research and official logos to use on your website.