It’s never been easy to take the plunge and set up your own business, even with the best ideas and sound business knowledge the biggest hurdle for most is the financial side of it. With so many struggling to even get on the property ladder, saving up to kick start a new business idea can seem far from your grasp. For budding designers creating a startup is a whole lot of hard work, even when you make a name for yourself it is no guarantee your business will thrive without a sound business plan. Virgin Startup is a not for profit organisation set up to help over 18s in England not only with funding but with resources and advice in setting up their own businesses.
ÔÇ£For many years I have campaigned for more focus on small business and start ups as the way to get growth in the economy and to create more jobs. This needs to be backed by more bank lending and start up loans for entrepreneursÔÇªÔÇØ Sir Richard Branson
As someone who has had a few business ventures over the years I cannot tell you how valuable the service Virgin Startup is offering would have been to me back then. Its not all about getting the funds but knowing what to do once you have them. Whiles the scheme offers help applying for funding there is also help in developing your business plan, help with marketing and how to create financial projections. The help doesn’t stop there, if funding is granted for a startup loan support is continued with training, workshops, master classes, peer-to-peer networking and one-to-one mentoring. The mentoring really appealed to me as not everyone has someone to turn to for advise, as much as friends can provide support having someone independent and expert in the field is priceless in giving you the hard truth as well as rallying along those fabulous ideas. There is even help on tax and insurance, yes the boring side but absolutely necessary in a financial plan. How about business and staffing laws? Nope not a topic I know much about either but the easy to use online Toolkit has introductions on all the aspects you will need to consider. If you want to find out more there are also some around the country ‘Houthouse’ tours which you can book onto, a great place to take those first steps.
Check out the video to see the bright sparks Virgin Startup is already helping including stylists and designers – could this be you?