Starting a business is one of the most exciting and challenging things you can do. But, with so much to think about, many people just don’t know where to start. We’ve put together an action plan to help you get your business up and running – and a free eBook to refer to along the way.

First step: Get your free ebook

One in four SME owners took longer than a year to feel confident in running their own business, while the Telegraph claims that 50 per cent of start-ups fail within five years. 

It doesn't have to be that way. 

Our free how to start a business in 20 days ebook is the definitive guide to getting your business up and running. 

Compiling all the activities on this page with further guidance from fellow business owners and industry experts, you can use the checklists on this page to keep track of your day-by-day progress.


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Days 1 – 6: Doing your homework

We’re going to assume you’ve got a business idea already. If not, here are some of the most popular business ideas right now and, also, how to know if your idea will work.

Once you’re set on your idea, your first week should be spent conducting research. We’re going to call this the homework period. Each day should be spent focusing on a different research activity that will help shape your product offering. Afterall, you don't want to overlook a major part of your proposition that could impact on your business once it's launched. 

Days 7 – 10: Building business relationships

The research you’ve conducted puts you in a good place for the next stage of planning. The next four days are all about putting in place key components and processes that will have a major impact on your business’ day-to-day operations and overall stability.

Days 11 – 14: Selling the sizzle

While there are thousands of ways you can promote your business, you can easily misspend your time and precious money focusing on ineffective tactics. There's no magic formula and every business will be different but these marketing activities should be essential for any startup.  

Days 15 – 20: Getting ready for launch

Launch day is nearly in your grasps but there are a handful of essential tasks you’ll need to undertake before then. Most of these are to do with planning and administration but there are also some legal requirements you’ll need to fulfill before launching. 

Next Steps

How do I write a business plan?

Whether you are setting up or looking to grow your business, a good business plan will help you focus and plan for the future.

Read more

How do I get funding for a new business?

Your funding requirements will depend on the nature of your business. While some startups can operate with minimal launch costs, others will require a more significant funding injection. 

Read more

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