Start Your Own Business

Let us help get your business idea off the ground.

Starting your own business can be an hugely exciting but daunting experience.

With so many things to think about; creating a business plan, setting your prices, attracting your first customers and so on, it really helps to have someone experienced to guide you through.

That’s where we come in. With over 20 years’ experience helping people start and grow their own businesses we know what it takes to get a business idea off the ground.

Throughout Devon (excluding Torbay, Plymouth & North Devon) we are able to offer up to 12 hours of bespoke business support worth £600 for free, thanks to funding from the European Development Fund.

If you’ve been thinking about or are in the process of starting your own business, get in touch and find out how we can help.


Enter your details below to talk your business idea through with us.

What’s in the course?

The course is split into four sections, each three hours long. It is designed prepare you for self-employment and take you through the whole business planning process from initial idea to launch.

The course is flexible and tailored to your specific business and needs. For some modules you may attend a workshop instead of a one-to-one meeting if it’s more appropriate.

Below is an idea of the type of content you will cover during the course.

An initial one-to-one meeting with an experienced business advisor including a detailed assessment of your business idea.

  • Basics of self-employment including company types.
  • Your personal financial requirements and budget.
  • Viability of your business and testing the market.
  • Understanding the basics of a marketing and sales plan.
  • Your business goals and how to avoid potential pitfalls.

This session will focus on helping you to develop an effective marketing plan as well as setting prices for your products and services.

  • How to carry out effective market research and interpreting the results.
  • Identifying your target audience.
  • Carrying out a SWOT analysis to understand about your business and your competitors.
  • How to price your products or services.
  • Marketing strategies to attract customers.
  • Preparing your marketing plan using SMART objectives.

The third session is all about finances. You’ll get guidance on how to successfully manage your finances and importantly, how to make a profit.

  • Developing financial confidence and understanding terminology.
  • How to prepare financial forecasts.
  • Calculating business income and expenditure.
  • Understanding the difference between profit and cash flow.
  • Funding options for your business including how to apply for loans and grants.

This final session will see you on your way to launching your new business, armed with a comprehensive plan of action.

You’ll look at the practicalities of running your own business as well as the boring but vital legal stuff.

  • Registering your business with HMRC.
  • Understanding how to prepare and organise tax returns.
  • How and when you have to register for VAT.
  • Business premises and insurance.
  • Health and safety legislation.
  • The basics of becoming an employer.
  • Finalising your business plan.

About us

BIP Team

We’ve been helping people start and stay in business throughout the South West for over 20 years. Since setting up as an enterprise agency in 1993, we have worked tirelessly to support self-employed individuals and small businesses with our blend of practical, down-to earth advice and interactive workshops.

We’ve helped thousands of people realise their dream of becoming self-employed. More importantly though, we’re proud to say that over 90% of those that start trading continue to do so after six months. Many of these continue to grow and provide employment opportunities for the local communities. That’s a fantastic result, if we do say so ourselves.

Here’s what some of our clients have to say

I would give BIP 10 out of 10. I’ve had a lot of support, confidence building, all my questions have been answered fully with 100% support! Without BIP I would never have had the confidence to take the big step of starting up my own business. Thank you so much BIP!Bethany Neely - A Touch of Elegance
Our overall experience with BIP has been amazing, we have been given all the help and advice we could possibly need, and their advisors always have time to sit down and listen to ideas you have and give their advice on them. From simple things such as registering a new business to advanced online marketing, BIP has helped us 100% all the way!Ben Bailey - Tally Ho Brewery

How this support is funded

The Start Up & Grow project is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.