Help to Grow: Management Course | Kingston University

Why start your own business?

There are many reasons you might want to start a business, and it is important to find out what is motivating you to take this step. There is no one correct reason to branch out on your own, perhaps you are passionate about something and want to share it with others, you have an issue and know of a solution that isn’t currently available, perhaps you think you can do something better than how it is currently done or perhaps you want to earn more money, be your own boss and desire a level of independence that you don’t currently have. – A useful list of reasons why you may want to start a business Start with why- watch this edited TED talk from Simon Sinek to find your motivation.

I want to start my own business but don’t know how or what…

Think about what you love to do and what you are good at that. Then using those consider how you can channel them into a way that will allow you to make money. The Hedgehog concept or Ikigai method can help you do this.

Before you begin any business you must understand what market there is available – if you have no customer base or your product does not stand out, then how will your idea be a success? Remember fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

You will want to do a variety of research through both desk research (the internet, newspapers and magazines, business and marketing databases) and field research (taking your product to your customers and gathering feedback). Work out a minimum value product and test it.

Some useful resources for desk based research are:

Desk base research can be done using a variety of internet and database resources like Cobra (also useful for general start-up information and support), Mintel, Frost & Sullivan, Ibisworld, e-marketer, FAME etc. Many of these are available at local libraries, or on site at The British Library and the Small Business research and Enterprise Centre. The Office for National Statistics Nationmaster contains a variety of industry stats Aroq has business information about the fashion, food, drink, and car industries Statista can give access to industry reports Factiva can also provide you with business intelligence Data Ai allows you to research and compare popular apps

Some useful resources for field based market research are:

How to Approach Strangers for Customer Interviews:


Good and Bad Examples of Customer Interview Questions:


Rob Fitzpatrick, How to Learn from Customers when Everyone is Lying to You:


The Entrepreneurs Library: A Look Inside ‘Lean Customer Development’ by Cindy Alvarez: and Free cards to test your business idea

I have a business idea what do I do next?

There are a number of things you might want to consider doing when you have an idea for a business. Deciding on your business structure is key- are you a sole trader? A limited company? A partnership? Or perhaps a CIC or charity? There are pluses and minuses to all business types and it is important you do your research to work out what best suits you at this current time. If you are unsure then finding a recommended business advisor or coach early on can really help structure your business.

You will also need to work on a business plan, whether this is a traditionally written out document or a business model canvas (examples of both can be found in the links below). Business plans are key in ensuring the sustainability of your business and providing you with a map of what you are doing and where you want to grow to. As your business changes and grows, they help you keep your focus and mission.

A business plan will cover everything from the market need for your business, to your financial structure, to your marketing plans. You may also want to create separate documents looking at your value proposition and profiles of your customers. You can download a free business plan template from the Portbello Business Centre Strategyzer offers free templates for both creating your value proposition and business model canvas (and a great quick explanation of the different areas of the Business Model Canvas here:

We’ve compiled a list of useful resources for starting up

Legal formation A guide on setting up as a soletrader register your business as a limited company A guide to setting up a partnership A guide to set up a limited liability partnership Information on setting up a community interest company A guide to different social enterprises (‘Social enterprise’ is not a legal formation) If you are struggling to set up your business on your own a formation agency may be able to help you.

Finance- accounting and support The Institute of Chartered accountants, those marked BAS will give start-up businesses a free hour of their time The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) HM Revenue & Customs Responsible Finance Useful tool for working out tax The Small Business Commissioner, they help small and medium sized businesses to chase payment and outstanding invoices Free cash flow forecast template Free personal survival budget

Accountancy software: Xero, QuickBooks, Sage, Kashflow, FreeAgent.

Finance- funding The governments Enterprise Investment scheme British Venture Capital Association

Some venture Capital Funds (there are many more)- Capital SFC, Seedcamp, LocalGlobe, Frontline Ventures, Force over Mass, Connect, Playfair capital

Venture builders (again there are many more)- Blenheim chalcot, The Founders Factory, Insurtech gateway The Princes Trust provide business support and access to loans for 18-30 year olds. UK Business Angels Association

Other Angel networks (again there are lots more)- 24 Haymarket, Cambridge capital group, Oion, Green Angel Syndicate, Capital SFC, Cambridge Angels, Angel Academe The UK Crowdfunding association

Crowdfunding websites- Kickstarter, Funding circle, Crowdfunder, CrowdCube, Indiegogo, Abundance, Seedrs and many more

Loans (again there are far more available including through high street banks)- British Business Bank, UKRI Innovate UK,

There may also be grants available and we recommend doing a thorough search online and checking what is available for businesses through your local council and central government. You may also want to invest in to search grants (although some councils can give you access to this or places such as the British Library’s BIPC which offer free membership will also have access for their members on site). See examples of pitch decks from some now very successful companies

Marketing and marketing tools Chartered Institute of Marketing Google Digital garage Facebook blueprint Linkedin Learning Google my business

Manage your social media with tools like Hootesuite, Pablo or Later Free design templates Variety of free templates for different digital marketing channels

Use Unsplash, Pexels or Pixabay to source free to use images rules-for-picking-a-company-name Advice on choosing the right name for your brand (if you plan to trademark your name please also refer to ‘what you can not register’ here:

Intellectual Property

Https:// Templates for NDAs (we recommend always talking to an IP lawyer though!) Intellectual Property Office

Most IP lawyers will give you a free 30 minute session. You can search for patent attorneys in particular at and trademark attorneys at How to register a trademark in the UK Search existing trademarks European trademark registration Allows you to file a trademark across different countries How to apply for a patent in the UK European Patent Office Patent co-operation Treaty- can apply internationally for patents with less forms Espacenet allows you to search existing patents How to register a design in the UK Status of registered designs in line with the Hague Agreement registered design search across Europe and globally What works are covered by copyright in the UK WIPO copyright treaty- what protection is offered across different countries

Other types of intellectual property which you do not need to register include ‘Know how’ and ‘Trade secrets’. We recommend researching these online if you feel they apply to your start-up.

Sourcing and manufacturing

Textile forum – Fashion

Fashion SVP – Fashion

Letsmakeithere -Fashion

Sewport -Fashion

Make it British – UK manufacturers – can help connect you with suppliers, manufacturers etc

You may also want to team up with a product development company (always first make sure you are confident sharing your Intellectual property with them):

Business support and general information Start-up Donut Test your apps designs here with a 15 day free trial Grow your business through Amazon

Accelerators and incubators (again not an exhaustive list, and many of these have a specialism)- ATI Boeing Accelerator, Pi Labs, Techstars, Wayra, Digital health London, BGV, Sport tech hub, L39, Ignite, LMarks, The Bakery, Healthfoundry, Geovation, Eitdigital, Tech Startup Academy, FounersDoor, OneTech, DoItNowNow, Foundervine Business for London Barclay’s connector British Franchise

Association- support for franchises Chambers of commerce (many areas also have local branches which are googable) Chartered Management Institute Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy The Federation of small businesses Health & Safety Executive Institute of Directors The Law Society The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs Trade Assiociation forum Trading Standards Institute Fashion Angel Support and finance for fashion businesses Enterprise Nation Social Enterprise UK The School of Social Entrepreneurs The Foundation for Social Improvement- support for charities and social enterprises The National Council for Voluntary Organisations – support for charities The Law Donut- covers legal issue which may effect your business Use Axa’s free tool to work out what insurance your business needs Employment contracts support Has a variety of legal templates (please do read section 7 of their T&Cs regarding use of these documents) Work place friendly shops and cafes in London with free wifi Hire creative spaces Pop up spaces for hire (it is also always worth speaking to your local council about meanwhile space or searching locally to you) Free and paid coding courses Free and paid coding courses Creative UK- support for the creative sector and Free online development courses