Startup Resources 101

Alex Barton  Posted by Alex Barton, Aug 14th 2013, 12:53

Starting a business is about having the best information possible. Some of this knowledge is gained from your hard work and perseverance and some of it (as much as possible) can be learned from the experience of others.

Here is a run down of, in our opinion, some of the best resources for starting a business:


Design your business Get money Get amped Find a name
Find an office Know your stuff


Design your business Top


Let's have an introduction to design in business from the guys at This is how design works:

It’s a state of mind. It’s an approach to a problem. It’s how you’re going to kick your competitor’s ass. This handy guide will help you understand design and provide resources to help you find awesome design talentWells Riley


The what The why The where
Service Design Tools An outstanding selection of design tools to help you better understand your customer/user. Possibly the best link on this page.
Stanford design processes An overview of the design processes that Stanford are using. Being one of the best design schools on the planet, it's a good place to start!
This is how design works A fantastic overview about the importance of design in a startup and how it should be a part of everything you do! Read it. Now.
Good design is good business An "exquisite" guide to free design resources for startups. All the links for understanding and using design in your startup.


Get Money Top

The old and wise business people of days gone by used to sing "cash is king". Unfortunately this has been replaced with cries of "content is king" and other non-cash related salutes.

Here is a run down of a few places you can get money from to start a business or project and we'll let the Wu-Tang Clan kick this section off:

Cash, Rules, Everything, Around, Me
Get the money
Dollar, dollar bill y'all Wu-Tang Clan


The what The why The where
Bank comparison Speak to most startup people about banks and they'll not have much to say about them. However, they are still a huge supplier of finance to businesses so they are worth checking out. Also, you'll need a bank account to store all that money you'll be making.
Family, Fools & Friends Commonly known as the three Fs, it's the group of people who could possible lend or give you money to start a business. Typically this is between £1,000 and £10,000. Your address book.
Grant finder A grant is the best type of money as you don't have to pay it back and you don't have to give away a percentage of your company. It's often quite an arduous process to get a grant but it's worth it!
Startup Loans A government initiative to help ideas get off the ground Startup Loans
Angel investors Angel investors are typically business people who have started and sold a business and are now looking to invest in other companies. In exchange for a percentage of your company (often 30%), you can raise between £10,000 and £2M but £50,000 is a good figure to have in mind., networking events, friends of friends etc.
Accelerators & Incubators Accelerators & incubators are pretty much as they sound. They are designed to give you and your business the best possibly chance of success by providing you with funding, help and support., networking events, friends of friends etc.


Getting amped Top


Just like everyday life, in a startup you have good days and bad days. Lack of sleep, often a feature of an entrepreneurial lifestyle, can lead to a lack of motivation. Finding quick ways to boost motivation and positivity is good.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts Winston S. Churchill


The what The why The where
Youtube One of the best locations to get excited, inspired and motivated about business (and everything else). Youtube: Guy Kawasaki "The Art of the Start"
Stanford Podcasts Inspirational podcasts to listen on the way to work. Incredible stories from well known and not so well known companies that work or visit Stanford University Stanford Podcasts
Ted Talks Ted talks will change the way you view the world. It's as simple as that! Ted Talks
Tech Crunch A pretty good overview of what's new in the world of tech startups. A lot of people swear by this website. Worth taking a look to see why. Tech Crunch
The Verge Interesting views, reports and opinions on the intersection of technology, science, art, and culture. The easy way to stay on top of stuff.
Hacker News This site will keep any startup geek content.
Startup Britain The UK entrepreneur campaign involving bus tours, pop ups and much much more!


Find a name Top


One of the hardest things about starting a business is finding a name for the company. Trying to find a name that is relevant to what you do, that you like and with an available domain name is a challenge. Here are some resources to help you!

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


The what The why The where
Panabee An easy to use, nicely laid out way of discovering names based around the description of your idea.
Instant Domain Search Pretty much self explanatory. Search for domain names and it provides instant feedback if they are available or not.
Domainr An interesting way to find interesting names with different endings such as or
Knowem Knowem checks over 550 social networks to see if your name is available. A very useful tool.
Gov UK company name advice Guidance and advice from the Government on choosing a company name including the types of names you are not allowed to use.
Different ways of creating a name A list of different ways of coming up with names including appropriation, merged, mimetics and portmanteau.


Find an office Top


Working from home gets old quickly. Here are a group of places you can work without breaking the bank!

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.Robert Frost


The what The why The where
Near Desk Near Desk is a simple way to access office spaces around the UK.
Desk Near Me A similar service to Near Desk, aimed at helping you find a desk, rather than office, near you. Desk Near Me
Office Space Ordinary office space that you rent. This is often an expensive way to start out. Perhaps you could offset the cost by subletting the office? Estate agent, Internet


Legal Stuff Top


Compared to many places, it's pretty easy to set up a company in the UK. However, there are still quite a few rules and regulations that you have to be aware of.


The what The why The where
Docracy An incredible resource that shares legal documents. Remember, you should always get a lawyer to finish your work but that doesn't mean you can't start it. They use templates too!
Gov UK Starting a business An overview on the requirements for starting a business from the point of view of the UK government.
Professional Services Lawyers and Accountants. Perhaps your a member of your family or a friend is a lawyer or accountant. That would provide a considerable saving to your yearly accounting bill. Your address book.


Know your stuff Top


Knowing everything about the area you are working in will allow your customers, employees and investors to trust you to be the person to solve the problem.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.Wernher von Braun


The what The why The where
Google Forms Google forms are part of the Google Apps suit. Easy to use, easy to share and free. Pretty solid win.
Wufoo TBC An incredible company from San Francisco allowing your create very useful and customisable forms to collect data.
Survey monkey A widely used data gathering tool. Not as pretty as Wufoo. TBC
University resources Your university library will probably have access to resources like Mintel and Business Source Premier as well as lots of journals. Literally tens of thousands of pounds worth of free data! Check your university website or ask in the library.
Gov UK Market Research The government's position on market research. Tools and techniques to get you started and keep you going.
Pen and Paper Still the best technology we have got in terms of flexibility and diversity of applications. Use it how you want! Shop.

Have we missed something? Top


If you have better or additional suggestions then let us know below.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.Ken Blanchard