Your business idea
Got an idea for a business? Great! Whilst there is a lot to think about to develop your idea into a viable venture, you are not alone. Our advisers can help - from avoiding common mistakes, to business planning, to finding funding, to skills training.
Business Planning to succeed
Writing a business plan is very important for the development of your new business, but with our help it need not be scary!
A robust business plan will not only help you to focus, stay on track and evaluate how your business develops; it also lets others know your intentions. For example, if you're trying to secure external funding.
Your written business plan should cover your business objectives, strategies, markets and financial forecasts. You don't need to know everything before you start, however - as your business progresses, the plan can grow and evolve too.
Our advisers have a lot of experience of assisting businesses to develop realistic and sustainable business plans and have templates to help you. Contact your local adviser to begin.
Workshops and Events
We run regular 2-day Start-Up workshops across the Highlands that can help new business owners learn the essential facts of starting up on your own. There are also entry-level workshops to help you learn new business skills such as Marketing and Selling and Record Keeping.
Highland businesses can access additional support as part of our Local Growth Accelerator Programme.
Making sure your new business is going to be relevant and desirable to clients is key to its success. Our free Market Insight Packs can help. These let you know what your customers want, what your competitors are offering, and even profile the key players in your field. They also look at market size and the current issues affecting your market.
Finding relevant business information and market research can be costly and time-consuming, but we can quickly do this for you for free. Contact your local adviser, or find out more below.
Funding your business
Most businesses need money when starting up. Business Gateway Highland can help you work out how to finance your idea. This includes assisting you to find the source of funding best suited to your business, know where to go for a loan, and understand how to tap into other potential sources of finance, such as grants, crowd-funding or external investment.
Entrepreneurs in Highland are also now able to access personal loans through Business Gateway to help start their own business thanks to the new government-funded Start-Up Loans scheme and through the Highland Council Loan Fund or Business Loan Scotland.
Loans are available to fund businesses that have not yet started trading, or have been trading for less than 12 months, and that cannot get finance through a bank.
Contact your local Business Gateway office to discuss your needs. We can help you find, and apply for, the source of finance best suited to your business.