The web is full of useful support perfect for start-up business owners.
Start Up Guides and Workshops
The Start Up Loan Company run by the British Business Bank have produced a series of informative guides to help you start your buisness.
- An Essential Guide to Starting your Business
- Start Up Toolkit
- Marketing Toolkit
- SEO Toolkit
- PR Toolkit
Learn with Start Up Loans
Start Up Loans, delivered by the British Business Bank, have partnered with The Open University to provide a range of free, useful courses for start-ups. The online courses can be accessed easily by visiting the Start-Up Loans website and have been designed to suit all needs and paces of learning, from introductory to intermediate to advanced. Depending on the level of study, the courses take six, 10 or 30 hours to complete and are grouped into several key areas:
- Career and leadership
- Finance and accounting
- Marketing and commercial awareness
- Project management
- Specialised learning
Business Plan template
Buckinghamshire Business First has put together a comprehensive template that business owners can use to create a business plan.
Business Planning Guide
This guide is to be used in conjunction with the business plan template above and will support you as you put together your plan.
Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that allows you to design your business model and see how each aspect of your business interacts with the next – all on one easy-to-use page.
Marketing plan template
A marketing plan will help you to create a strategy for how to achieve your goals in business. Buckinghamshire Business First has put together a comprehensive template that business owners can use to create a marketing plan.
Amazon Small Business Accelerator
Amazon Small Business Accelerator is a free, online educational programme for anyone who wants to start a new online business or grow an existing one. The online learning is tailored to your experience level, with a comprehensive curriculum covering website building, selling online, social media, marketing, managing cashflow, selling on Amazon, and identifying growth opportunities. Not only is the training free, but by taking part you can access events and offers from partners, and join an intensive boot camp experience. Businesses can apply here.
Information available at Buckinghamshire Libraries
Local libraries are excellent places for developing your business idea. They have resources to help you start and run your business.
- Quick and easy access to databases, legislation, books, newspapers and periodicals.
- Wi-fi is available in all libraries and most offer a scanning and photocopying service.
Get your Business on-line with these comprehensive and easy to follow free guides >
Support from HMRC
E-learning package for those starting a business
This wide-ranging guide will help you register with HMRC and get to grips with what taxes you will need to pay, what records to keep and expense to claim and how to do so, and how to plan for your tax returns and payments.
HMRC Business Forum
Aimed at Start-Up and small business, HMRC have an online forum. Users can post questions about paying tax, tax returns and using HMRC digital service.
The questions are answered by HMRC advisers and other forum users.
YouTube and HMRC
Video guides on topics like PAYE, record keeping, VAT, completing tax returns, taking on employees, motoring costs, patents and more.
Business Help and Education Emails is a free service that provides you with emails from HMRC that are tailored to your needs. You can sign up to receive emails on trading online, trading with other countries, employing someone, VAT, being self-employed, the construction industry and being a director and HMRC will send you relevant information.
Simple record keeping and Income Tax applications
To help small businesses with record-keeping, HMRC has worked with software suppliers that have produced simple record-keeping applications, some of which meet the specifications necessary for documenting expenses or for when using cash basis. Many of the applications are free and are compatible with mobile devices.
Self-employed tax bill ready reckoner
The ready reckoner tool is for self-employed people who have no other taxable income and are entitled to a basic Personal Allowance. You fill in your estimated weekly or monthly profit and it shows you roughly how much money you’ll need to meet your Income Tax and Class 4 National Insurance bill.
Tax help facts sheets
A wide-ranging collection of downloadable leaflets, factsheets and booklets issued by HMRC.
Simpler income tax: cash basis
Using cash basis means that small, unincorporated businesses with incomes of less than £82,000 per annum only need to declare money when it comes in and out of their business. If this is you, it means that at the end of the tax year you won’t have to pay Income Tax on money you didn’t receive in your accounting period. This is opposed to traditional accounting.
Simpler income tax: simplified expenses
Simplified expenses are a way of calculating some of your business expenses using flat rates instead of working out your actual business costs. This is particularly useful where there is a mix of business and private use, e.g. motoring expenses, use of home for business.
Business records for the self-employed
The records you must keep of your business income and outgoings for your Self Assessment return if you’re self-employed.