We know how hard it is to start a business, so we have selected some videos to give you useful advice, information and support when starting up.

The videos were made by Business Wales. Whilst the videos occasionally refer to Welsh examples of documentation etc, they are still very helpful and pertinent to entrepreneurs and businesses from across the United Kingdom.

Starting Up

Is self-employment for you?

A new business starts up every minute in the UK. Starting a business is now more accessible and affordable than ever before. Look at the advantages and disadvantages of being self-employed and think carefully about your reasons before you take the plunge.

What’s an entrepreneur?

The folk at Big Ideas Wales know that there’s no one better to tell you what’s an entrepreneur and the skills you’ll need than: entrepreneurs. So they asked some, and here’s what they had to say…

Do you have what it takes?

Let’s look at what it takes to be your own boss. In this video, we’ll help you think about how the skills and experience you’ve got that could help you when you start up your new business.

Have you got what it takes to be your own boss?

There’s no set criteria that makes up the perfect business owner, it just comes down to you, your skills and characteristics. Think of what your good at and build on your strengths. Most successful business owners are positive people, they have a goal, they plan and get on. Here are a few pointers to get you started on running your own business.

Developing new products

A step-by-step approach

How you can increase your chances of success of developing a new product and minimise the risks. Follow this structured development plan. This gives you a framework so that you can see where you are in developing your new product.

Idea screening

You may now have a list of ideas which you need to reduce into a shorter more manageable list that you can examine and evaluate in greater detail. Set aside the ideas that don’t score high enough, you may want to keep them for the next time you’re looking at new product development.

Concept development and testing

There are 2 main sorts of market research, quantitative and qualitative. Once you’ve gathered all the information, use it. You might want to adapt your idea or refine it in light of what you learn. That will help you improve your chances of success.

Business Analysis

A business analysis involves doing a detailed analysis of your idea. You want to uncover all the costs involved in producing and marketing your product, then you can find out what kind of profit to expect. Here are the things you need to look at.

Test Marketing

Test marketing means launching your product on a small scale and in a limited area that’s representative of your market. It gives you a chance to evaluate consumer response, do they like the product or not and would they buy it or not. It also means you can monitor the marketing strategy and adjust it to make sure you attract the highest number of customers possible.

Market Research

What is market research?

Sizing up the market and understanding your market.

Understanding your market

Sizing up your market and identifying your customers.

Planning your market research

Coming up with a new idea

So you’ve decided that you want to start a business, now you have to decide what sort of business you’re going to have. If you haven’t come up with an idea yet, and don’t know exactly what you want to do, you’re probably wondering where to start. How do you come up with a business idea? Well…

Evaluating resources

Evaluating resources includes making decisions on where you work from, the equipment you use, how you select suppliers and how you manage stock. But it’s not just for businesses producing products, operations and managing resources are equally important for those providing a service.

Identifying your customers

Winning and keeping customers

Customers are really important to any business. The way to get customers is through marketing. The 4 P’s, Product, Price, Promotion and Place. This useful model gives a quick way to define your marketing.

Keeping and growing your customer base

One of the greatest assets in your company is your current customers. How you leverage your current customer base is key to driving your business forwards. It’s far more cost effective to sell to existing customers.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

There’s a well-known saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail” and that’s certainly true as far as marketing’s concerned. A marketing action plan pulls everything together. It helps you to plan, control and keep track of what you’re doing. Here’s how you can keep on top of marketing and your business too.

Types of market research

Promoting your business

Email marketing, leaflets, exhibitions, Facebook, networking, advertising, press releases – the range of marketing tools and techniques seems endless. You may be wondering what to do – which one should you choose and what works best? Here are some hints and tips for you.

Improving your focus

Marketing is making sure the right people know about what you have to offer. Getting them to come to you and getting them to buy your product or service. It’s not always easy to make this happen and you may need to re visit the who, why, what, where, when and how of marketing.

Measuring your marketing

If your business is to be successful it’s crucial that you understand what in your marketing is working and what isn’t. In order to maximise the value you get out of your investment you need to test activity before you roll it out.

Attracting more customers

To get more customers you want to first get more leads or enquiries, the next step is convert those leads into customers, and then you need to keep your customers for as long as possible. Let’s look at this process more closely…

Turning leads into sales

Your marketing is starting to produce a flow of leads or enquiries, now let’s look at how to convert more of those leads into sales.

Making your website the hub of your digital world

A website is often the first contact with a business. Most small businesses benefit from having a website, although some still question whether they need one. Here we explore if having a website is really beneficial.

Social Media

If people don’t know about your business, it’s very difficult to attract customers and make sales. Social media offers an opportunity to reach a huge audience. But like any marketing activity it’s important to approach it with care.

Email marketing

Email marketing is quick, efficient, affordable and accessible to every business. It’s estimated that 90% of us look at our email several times a day and 78% of us have purchased something as a direct result of an email. Here are some key reasons to make email marketing part of your digital strategy.

Going digital

The internet in continually evolving, new technologies and tools appear every day. All of this is changing the dynamics of business. To be successful in your business you need to adapt to this digital way of thinking.

Connecting with the community

How you can increase your chances of success of developing a new product and minimise the risks. Follow this structured development plan. This gives you a framework so that you can see where you are in developing your new product.

Preparing for growth

Business growth is important for all types of businesses. It’s important that you’re prepared for it, consider the implications as well as the benefits of growing your business before you put your plans in place

The multiplier effect

There are 3 main ways to grow your business, firstly get more customers, secondly get customers to spend more and finally get customers to spend more frequently! The key to success is to increase all 3 areas at the same time – the multiplier effect…

Increasing customer profitability

Calculating customer profitability can be complex and requires detailed information, however a simple review is still very useful. Here’s what you need to do…

How to write a Business Plan

It is essential to have a realistic, working business plan when you’re starting up a business.

A business plan is a written document that describes a business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts. It has many functions, from securing external funding to measuring success within your business.

This guide will show you how to prepare a high-quality business plan using a number of easy-to-follow steps, and includes a template business plan.…

Your business plan step-by-step

Taking the plunge. A step by step approach to writing your business plan. See below for a word template.

Managing Your Finances

Personal Survival budget

How much money do you need to live on? It’s important to know. Here are a few templates that will help you work out your personal survival budget.

Understanding the basics

It’s important that you understand your finances and that you keep on top of them. Financial management is about making sure you have enough money coming in to the business and at the right time, to cover all of your expenses and to make a profit.

Understanding costs

The first step in setting your prices is to establish your costs, your prices need to be high enough to cover your costs and make a profit. Business costs fall into 3 main categories – fixed costs/ overheads, direct/variable costs and capital costs. Here we look at these in a bit more detail.

Balance Sheet at a glance

A balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial state of your business at a given moment in time. It’s used to assess the value of your business and is one of the first things a potential investor or a bank manager will want to see.

Business Analysis

A business analysis involves doing a detailed analysis of your idea. You want to uncover all the costs involved in producing and marketing your product, then you can find out what kind of profit to expect. Here are the things you need to look at.


Pricing can be a tricky issue, you need to set your prices so that you make a sale and also make a profit. There are 2 ways you can use to set your prices. Cost-Plus Pricing and Market-Based Pricing.

Costs, price and value

How much to charge for your products or services? Pricing is not just about the numbers, you also have to take note of what your competitors are doing, how much they’re charging and most importantly the value you’re giving your customers. Here’s some advice…

 Costing your product or service

Make sure you know what your costs are, and those of your competitors.

Factors that affect price

Now you’re faced with setting the prices for your products and services – it’s not easy! Here we look at the basics of pricing as part of marketing.

Cashflow Forecast at a glance

The cashflow forecast is one of the most important financial statements in your business. It shows you the amount of cash coming in and going out of your business each month. This is a quick walkthrough of a cashflow statement.

Profit and Loss at a glance

The profit and loss account is another one of the key financial statements in your business. It shows the financial performance of your business over a specific period, usually 12 months. It’s also used by HMRC to check your calculations for Tax and NI contributions.

Calculating your Break-even point

One of the most important numbers to know in your business is your breakeven point. The breakeven point is the point at which your costs and your income are equal. Anything you sell above breakeven generates a profit and anything below you make a loss.

Keeping track of your finances

One of those critical areas of success in business is understanding your finances and keeping on top of them. Remember it’s your business. No matter how much support you have, you need to understand your financial situation.

Find the right finance for you

All businesses need money. But we know that working out where to go to find finance and then choosing the right type can be tricky.

Building a team

When you run your own business there are decisions to make and new challenges to face every day. It can be quite lonely and you could feel out of your depth. The answer is to build up a solid support network of people you can call on when you need them.

Staying in control

Being a business owner can be challenging. It’s really important that you’re in control and able to keep your business on the pulse. The key is to stay organised, this helps the business run smoothly and helps everyone in the business to be as efficient as possible.

Protecting the environment

There are 2 key aspects to protecting the environment, the legal requirements and the voluntary/proactive aspects. Here we explore both.