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Start Your Business - Week by Week

Start Your Business - Week by Week

How to plan and launch your successful business – one step at a time

Steve Parks

Nov 2004, Paperback, 232 pages
ISBN13: 9780273694472
ISBN10: 0273694472
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"Start Your Business Week by Week is written in such a clear and friendly way that you can't help being drawn into the excitement of becoming an entrepreneur. Breaking down the process into weekly steps makes it suddenly seem more achievable, and I'm sure many more people will be encouraged to turn their ideas into their own businesses as a result."

Prime Minister Tony Blair

"I wish I'd had this when I started the gadget shop."

Jonathan Elvidge, founder of The Gadget Shop

Setting up a new business is a daunting task, 400,000 in the UK do it every year , yet millions more are put off before they ever begin to trade. Once you've done it, it seems actually quite straightforward. But knowing where to start and what to do is impossible, there is a mountain to climb and you are lost at the bottom.

Not any more. Each week for six months this book will tell you what you should be doing. Split into weekly sections that include explanations of the weeks' requirements, a checklist, useful contact information, a glossary, a case study of an entrepreneur, and suggestions for further reading material. This book will take you through the whole process from brainstorming and refining your business ideas, registering your company, opening a bank account to finding your first customer and keeping records.

This book will ensure you know what you should be doing and when, it’s like having a super-efficient project manager by your side as you tackle one of the biggest projects of your life.

The book will have 26 sections, with one for each week in a six-month period.

Each section will include:

  1. Narrative describing what needs to be done in that stage, how and why.
  2. A checklist of jobs to do during the week for you to tick off.
  3. Contact details that you will need to complete the stage, eg Customs and Excise, Inland Revenue, etc etc. In some cases these will refer to a section at the back for local information in different UK regions, such as Business Links, Business Angels clubs, Banks etc. The narrative will include advice on what questions you need to ask these people, what to tell them etc.
  4. Glossary of terms used in this section, and that might be used by the people you call.
  5. Quotes from inspirational people, entrepreneurs etc.
  6. A list of common mistakes people make in this stage, including examples from well known entrepreneurs.
  7. Tips from entrepreneurs who have been there done that, and professional advisers.
  8. Notes on differences, or extra things to consider, if your business is in specialist sector e.g. retail, manufacturing, catering.
  9. If necessary, examples of letters and forms you have to write or fill in.




How to use this book

The Website

A few warnings before you start…

Week One: Getting Ready


Using your workspace

Identifying your local business support service

Scan through this book and prepare for the weeks ahead

Week Two: Think About Your Dreams

Think about what?

How do I do that?

What should I daydream about?

So many questions!

Turning mind pictures into real pictures

More than pictures

Is there really any point to this?

What do I do with this picture of the future?

To finish the week

Next week

Week Three: Where Are You Now?

The current reality




What do you know?

Who do you know?

Week Four: Start Learning and Start Work

Sharpening your entrepreneurial skills

Find out about local banks and accountants

Week Five: Find and Develop An Idea

Your business idea

Emma's idea

Following up from previous weeks

Week Six: Take Your Idea to the World

Communicating your work of genius

Test your pitch on yourself

A word of caution

Telling other people about your idea

Improving your idea

Starting to think of a name for your business

Arrange meetings with bank managers

Week Seven: Customers

What type of business are you?

What industry are you in?

What marketplace are you going to be operating in?


Becoming an expert

Looking for customers

Look your customer in the eyes

Your business plan

Writing the 'Customers' section of your business plan

Week Eight: Management

Decide on roles

Decide on pay


Writing the 'Management' section of your business plan

Week Nine: Sales

Meeting the bank managers

Selling your services

Emma and Alan

Week Ten: Resources 1

Remember you are flying a kite



Week Eleven: Resources 2



Writing the 'Resources' section of your business plan

Meeting your shortlist of accountants

Week Twelve: Suppliers

Getting information

Understanding pricing

Writing the 'Suppliers' section of your business plan

Week Thirteen: Competitors

Who are your competitors?

Writing the 'Competitors' section of your business plan

New ideas?

Week Fourteen: Planning to Avoid Trouble

What could cause a challenge to your business?


Planning for these challenges and trends

Don't panic!


Week Fifteen: Forecasting for Profit

Will you register for VAT?

Setting your prices

Forecasting your sales

Emma and Alan

The Profit Forecast

The moment of truth

Think about your company structure

Week Sixteen: Forecasting Cash Flow

The Cash Flow Forecast

How does it look?

Funding your business

Back to your forecasts

Emma and Alan

Week Seventeen: Finishing the Plan

Executive Summary

Test your plans on others

Week Eighteen: Send the Plan Out

Time to reflect

Decide on your company structure

Emma and Alan

Send it off!

Week Nineteen: Sell and Promote

Get selling

Press coverage

Plan your weekly cash flow

Week Twenty: Raise the Money

Meeting the bank managers

Investors: external

Investors: family and friends

Keep selling

Week Twenty-One: Start Your Business


Get legal advice

Registering your company

Domain names

Start getting your other resources in place

Keep selling

Week Twenty-Two: Do the Important Things

Opening supplier accounts

Register with the Inland Revenue

Is there anyone else you need to register with, or comply with their regulations?

Keep selling

Week Twenty-Three: Last Few Forms

Registering for VAT

Issuing shares to investors

Emma and Alan

Keep selling!

Week Twenty-Four: Final Preparations

Taking stock


Emma and Alan

Week Twenty-Five: Launch!

B2C business

B2B business

Emma and Alan

Week Twenty-Six: Up and Flying!

Keep selling

Keep your customers

Keep learning

Keep proper records

Keep checking your progress against your plan

Keep going

Keep in touch

Racing Greens

  • The author is a former BBC journalist with great PR contacts.
  • Over 400,000 people a year actually start a business in the UK, and The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports that 39% of the adult population in the UK believes they have a business opportunity.
  • This is the first book to take the budding entrepreneur step-by-step through the process of starting up. This book breaks the work into manageable chunks, and navigates the reader through each stage.
  • Famous names such as the founders of Microsoft, The Gadget Shop, Yo Sushi, and Freeserve are featured as are lesser known entrepreneurs - providing real, down-to-earth advice.
  • The book makes everything clear and easy, listing the contact information you need, giving examples of correctly filled in forms, business letters and telephone conversations.
  • Steve Parks began his career as a journalist and presenter for BBC Radio. His work has been broadcast on Radio 4, Radio 5-Live, Radio 1, Radio 2, BBC TV and the ‘Today’ programme. He left the BBC to form his own company, initially to continue producing programmes for BBC Network Radio, but the company then evolved and grew into Red Audio, the UK’s leading publisher of business audio.

    Expert Reviews

    "recommended reading" - Edge, November 2006

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