Starting your business
Whether you’re thinking about starting a business or becoming self-employed or you’ve already started, we can help to point you in the right direction.
Start with an idea
If you’re thinking of starting a business, you first need to come up with a realistic idea you can turn into a product or service.
Find local support, including help with developing business ideas:
- Midlothian - Business Gateway
- East Lothian - Business Gateway
- Start Up Loans Fund - www.startuploans.co.uk
Protect your intellectual property
You might already have an idea for a business, or have invented something you think people will want to buy. Find out how to protect your intellectual property to make sure nobody copies it without your permission.
Turn your idea into a business
Research your market - identify potential customers. Talk to them and find out if your idea is meeting a real need.
Develop and plan - test your product or service with real customers, make changes, and test it again. Keep doing this until you’re sure there’s a demand for it.
Find partners and suppliers - think about who you’re going to work with to develop and sell your idea.
Get funding - explore different sources of business finance, from bank loans to government-backed schemes.
You might be able to get support and financial help from Jobcentre Plus if you’re unemployed.
Contact the business support helpline in your area for help and advice on starting or growing your business.