Business planning resources

Whatever type of self-employment you are considering it’s important to have a business plan, this will help you consider the viability of your venture and enable you to plan your finances.

Planning your finances

  • How much will initial set up costs be and where is this money coming from? Buying products, marketing, travel, infrastructure costs – computer, phone, setting up a website, premises etc.
  • Insurance: Depending on the nature of your business you will need different types of insurance e.g. Professional indemnity insurance, Employer’s liability insurance, Public and or product liability insurance.
    The broker or insurance company you use should be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • Wages and pensions for yourself (and your employees if you are going to employ staff)
  • What are your projections for turnover and profit
  • If you are leasing or buying property for your business you will pay business rates. The way these are calculated has changed recently and can have big implications for businesses small or large. Make sure you have the proper permissions to work from your chosen property. Business properties have designated uses and you may need permission to change the use of a building, even if it is your own house. Check with the local council, your landlord or mortgage supplier, etc.


When you are self-employed or running your own business it is likely that you will have different levels of income each year. Because of the way tax is calculated this can make life tricky if your good and bad years are massively different in terms of finances. Put money aside each month for your projected tax bill – if you are having a good year remember don’t spend it or reinvest it all, you will need it next year! You will need to do a self-assessment – it might be advisable to engage an accountant (factor these costs in).

There is an online learning module that you may find useful.

Funding your startup

Local sources of help

  • Masood Entrepreneurship Centre Learn about how businesses operate by undertaking one of the Enterprise course units as part of your course, or built in via the University College, offered at all levels by The Masood Enterprise Centre. They also offer a variety of enterprise-related postgraduate courses and a wide range of extra-curricular activities such as competitions, workshops and a summer school.
  • Business Support and Advice at Manchester Central Library
    and free access to business and intellectual property databases and publications, including market research, company data, business news and information on intellectual property Start up advice drop ins and web chats, patent and intellectual property clinics, workshops and networking events.

National sources of help