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 advice, 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 advice 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 advice to making the most of your skills, our guides include insight from people who’ve funded their new business with a Start Up Loan.
6 traits of successful
start-up business owners
Starting a business demands certain characteristics. Find out from some current entrepreneurs what it takes to be successful.
21 winning business ideas for 2021
If you’re considering starting a new business but aren’t sure what to sell, here’s our list of business ideas that you could launch with success during 2021.
From employee to business owner – taking the leap
Looking to switch from regular employee to owning a business? Discover how new business owners went from 9 to 5 to seeing their start-up thrive.
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 advice? 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.
What skills do you need to start a business?
Find out how to identify where your skills are 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 in the UK?
When launching a start-up, one major consideration is establishing how much money you need. Learn what it really costs to start a new business in the UK.
How to test your business idea before blowing a fortune
You have an idea for the Next Big Thing, but is it realistic? Before you spend a fortune on launching, test your idea to make sure it’ll work and to spot potential issues.