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Business plans

If you’re thinking about setting up your own business, then your first step is to do some research and write a business plan.

A good business plan should keep everything as simple as possible.

You will need a business plan if you are looking to secure any funding to support your start up. Even if you don’t require funding, a business plan is an essential working document to go back to and reflect upon once you have started trading.

You can also find lots of information on starting and running businesses, including marketing, finance, sales and human resources, on the ‘Start a business’ section of the Entrepreneur Handbook website.

Use your business plan to:

  • Set objectives and show how and when you will measure your performance against those objectives.
  • Consider the steps you need to take to develop your business and what barriers might get in the way.
  • Think about the potential risks and how you will manage those. Do you have a Plan B?

You can also get help with writing your business plan by attending a free business start-up course, like the courses suggested on this page.

Nottingham Urban Business Support Programme 

This programme supports the start-up and growth or development of existing micro, small and medium-sized businesses based in Nottingham City, Broxtowe and parts of Gedling, Rushcliffe, and Hucknall in Ashfield. Grants between £1000 and £2500 are available which covers a 25% of your eligible project costs. Minimum spends for any projects to be considered are £4000, but once it’s been approved you can use this grant to purchase services or equipment to help your business expand or diversify.

The Prince’s Trust Free Enterprise Programme 

This is for 18 to 30-year-olds living in the UK who want to start their own business. There are 4 stages to the programme, including a 4-day workshop, business planning and idea testing with help of a mentor and a business launch stage with access to a low interest business loan of £5000.

Kick-Off Business Course 

This is a free online course to help individuals that are interested in becoming self-employed. The course will explore useful topics such as, the formalities of setting up, legal requirements and insurances, finance, money, and grants, opportunities and risks, business planning, branding, creating an identity, finding a USP, building a proposition, social media, and marketing.

The Big House Programme 

This is a free bespoke package of support for creative and digital businesses with the aim of providing tailored mentoring, workshops, and grants to help with pre-start, start-ups or established or growth staged business. This programme works with other business support organisations such as NBV and Nottingham Trent University.