Start up business ideas

For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

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Start up business ideas - overview

For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

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Running a business - overview

A viable business idea is only one factor in business success. Learn how experience, knowledge and skill are also crucial to running a business.

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Types of business - overview

You have satisfied your business idea is viable. The next step is to decide what form your business should take. We explore the options.

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Testing business ideas - overview

To avoid starting a new business that's doomed to fail, you must test your business idea rigorously. Discover how to test your business ideas.

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Buying a franchise

Franchising allows you to set up a business following a proven formula - although you'll be subject to restrictions. Our guide to franchising.

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Developing new products - checklist

Use this checklist to help to develop new products, from developing new ideas to setting budgets, deciding on product specification and prototyping.

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Managing your stress - checklist

Running a business is a big responsibility, and can often lead to stress. Read our hints on how to manage overwork and associated health problems.

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Managing your time - checklist

Poor time management causes stress and longer work days. This checklist will help you get on top of your schedule.

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Market research

Market research helps you spot opportunities, reduce risks and make better decisions. How to find the information you need.

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Profile: The Ethical Businessman

Although Friska founders have big plans for their takeaway with a difference, as Mark Williams finds out, profit is not their only goal.

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Profile: The Website Pioneer

Many millions of websites have been created using Moonfruit's software since it launched. But sometimes you've got to fail to succeed.

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Can you be too bossy in business?

Few of us like to be called 'bossy', a term that is usually applied negatively to women. But why can being a bossy boss be bad for your business?

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How I started my café business

Djamel Ait Idir opened Algerian café-restaurant Khamsa in Brixton with his wife Sabrina - and a decade later, it's still going strong. Djamel tells us how he got started, and what he's learned along the way.

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Profile: The Ideas Man

Henry Buckley is the entrepreneur behind the highly successful leaflet delivery firm, JogPost. Mark Williams finds out what inspires him.

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Profile: The Organic Farmer

Mark Williams finds out how one man's belief in organic farming turned into a prosperous business delivering food to thousands of UK homes

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Profile: The Publicity Queen

If she ever tires of running her vehicle rental business LINGsCARS, Ling Valentine could probably teach others how to promote their businesses.

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Profile: The Record Breaker

Not many people have been in the Guinness Book of World Records and established their own business. Adam King is still trying to be a world-beater.

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Q&A: Business partnerships

Some people prefer to retain full ownership of a business and call all the shots, but having a partner can provide a way to share responsibility.

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Q&A: Buying a business

Buying a business can be less risky than starting one. If the business has customers, then it has income. But it will need upfront investment.

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Q&A: Ethical trading

Being an ethical business can reduce the negative impacts on people, animals and the environment. It can also boost your bottom line.

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Q&A: Family businesses

Fiona Graham of the Institute for Family Business explains why it can pay to keep it in the family when starting and running a business.

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Q&A: Market research

In the rush to get your product to market, it's easy to get carried away, but you must carry out thorough market research to check there's a market.

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Q&A: Market research for start ups

Before you start a business, you must carry out market research on your prices - it can be the difference between success and failure.

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Q&A: Should I employ a family member?

Employing a relative is quite different to recruiting someone else. There are some important tax and legal considerations which we explore here:

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Ten steps to developing your big idea

Many of us have a 'big idea': the idea that fuels our entrepreneurial dreams. But how can we make the transition from dream to business reality?

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How I became an older entrepreneur

Suzy Kilgour charity work to become a specialist fitness instructor, setting up Walking Workouts. She explains why age is no barrier to success.

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How I came up with my business idea

In this article, Henry Virgin of London-based Green Boar OrganicTea takes a look back to explain how he came up with his idea for a new business.

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How I found my market niche

After being made redundant, Allie Astell decided starting a business was preferable to finding another position in an uncertain jobs market.

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How I run my seasonal business

For seven months each year, Hester Moore runs Festival Postcards, a unique postal service for those who go to music festivals. Here's how she does it.

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How to deal with stress

From making sales to managing staff, as well as balancing the demands of home and work, being a business owner is full of challenges.

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How to start a part-time business

Part-time businesses are booming. According to research, 20% of UK adults use their spare time to grow a new business or earn extra income.

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Profile: The Balancing act

It is a problem many working mums face: how to balance a highly demanding job with the responsibility of looking after young children?

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Profile: The Ex-City Man

Hedge fund manager, Edwin Lloyd, left the world of finance behind to start his own eco-friendly products business. He tells us his story.

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Profile: The Ex-Offender

It was during yet another stint inside that repeat offender Derek Jones got his big idea: a special email service connecting prisoners with family.

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Profile: The Gothic Accountant

You don't come across many Goths who run their own accountancy practices. Meet Psyche Coderre, owner of London-based Death and Taxes.

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Profile: The HR Innovator

It's rarely plain sailing for a new business owner, but some entrepreneurs face more complex challenges than others. Sue Tumelty tells her story.

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Profile: The Music Man

Musician, producer and business man Jamie Giarraputo lives by the Italian motto 'vivere senza rimpianti' - live without regrets. He explains here.

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Profile: The Pro Sportsman

Falling out of love with life as a professional road racer led Yanto Barker to start his cycling apparel business Le Col. Here's what he did.

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Profile: The Wedding Photographer

It's not easy to be a wedding photographer, even if you're as talented as Guy Hearn. Many couples seek to save money on photographs on their big day.

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Q&A: Can I start my own business?

Wondering if you can start a business? Sarah Giblin, founder of RiutBags, answers common start up questions from would-be entrepreneurs.

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Q&A: Social enterprises

Unlike even the most ethical of other start-ups, social enterprises have environmental or social values at the very core of everything they do.

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Ten golden rules of home business

Thinking of setting up a home-based business? Intended to help you succeed, here are ten tips from one of the founders of StartUp Britain.