Step-by-step guide to starting a business

Finance for start-ups


When you start-up in business or self-employment you will need money to get under way and to keep the business going until you get paid by your customers. You will also need to cover your personal expenses until the business can support you.

There are many different sources of funding for start-ups including:

  • personal savings 
  • money from family and friends
  • bank loans and overdrafts
  • equity funding from private investors
  • crowdfunding
  • grants and government support

Creative thinking and planning your cashflow might save you money and make it less costly than you think to start your own business.

The following guidance can help:

Managing business cashflow

Managing your cashflow is vital for business survival. To run your business effectively, you need to balance the timing and amount of your costs with those of your income.

The following financial forecasts will help you to calculate how much money you will need to start and run your business:

  • Sales forecast - the amount of money you expect to raise from sales - see plan and forecast sales.
  • Cashflow statements - your cash balance and monthly cashflow patterns for at least the first 12 to 18 months - see cashflow management.
  • Profit and loss forecast - a statement of the trading position of the business: the level of profit you expect to make, given your projected sales and the costs of providing goods and services and your overheads.

For financial forecast examples, download a spreadsheet containing cashflow forecast, profit and loss forecast and sales forecast templates (XLSX, 22K).