Prepare your new businessDiscover ideas, inspiration and free online learning designed to take your business idea from dream to reality
Preparing to launch is when you brainstorm ideas, research the market and pull together a business plan. Help get your business off the starting blocks with:
- Business ideas and inspiration – expert guidance, tips and learning with the Open University on coming up with winning business ideas
- Market research – how to learn about your customers, investigate competitors and test your business idea
- Taking the leap – discover the transferable skills you need to run a business, whether it’s from your kitchen table, office or shop
Explore our guides, inspirational interviews with successful start-ups and business experts, and our hand-picked free online training courses from The Open University.
Dedicated guides, interviews and tips to help you prepare to launch your business. From funding guidance to making the most of your skills, our guides include insight from people who’ve funded their new business with a Start Up Loan.
What skills do you need
to start a business?
Identify where you’re lacking, learn ways to fill those gaps, and use your transferable skills to get your new business off the ground.
What does it cost to
start a business?
One big consideration when launching a start-up is working out how much money you need. Learn what you’ll have to spend to start a new UK business.
7 ideas for small businesses to launch after lockdown
Looking to start a business after the pandemic? Get inspiration for types of business you could set up and run straight out of coronavirus lockdown.
Start Up Loans has partnered with the Open University to provide free, in-depth courses that cover a wide range of business essentials. Learn what it takes to get your business going, expand your commercial awareness and discover start-up skills such as project management, finance and bookkeeping.
Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality
Wondering how to make your idea a real, working venture? Discover more about setting up and running your own business.
Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting
Learn the essential numerical skills you’ll need, and how to produce a balance sheet and profit and loss account.
Need more practical guidance? Our business support guides show you how to make your venture a reality – from creating a business plan and incorporating your business to finding premises and hiring staff.
Kitchen table start-up – how to run a business from home
Creating a start-up business from the kitchen table can be a recipe for success. Read our expert tips on how to set up and operate a business from home.
9 tips for starting a business on a shoestring
Looking to start a business on a tight budget? Need help making your money go further? Read our expert guide to being a cost-effective start-up.
What type of start-up would suit you?
Perhaps you’re keen to launch your own business but not sure what to start? Read our guide to the type of start-up that best suits your personality.