A FREE, easy-to-understand, comprehensive guide to starting your own business

Let us help give your new business a Flying Start

Flying Start is an easy-to-understand ‘how to start a business’ guide – covering all aspects of starting a business and also offers support for new businesses covering an initial assessment of the business idea right through to assistance with business plans and forecasts, raising finance and the setting up of books and records. All this support is provide completely FREE of charge.

Avoid costly
financial mistakes

Bounce your ideas off us. Having had many years’ experience in looking after new starter businesses, we will give you a balanced opinion on your idea and proposals..
Download your Flying Start guide here

The Law and what
you need to know

We will make a full assessment of your business, personal circumstances, risk and tax planning to recommend the correct structure of your business.
Download your Flying Start guide here

Quick start
guide to marketing

Identify a demand, promote the business to generate sales and make a profit!
Download your Flying Start guide here

Getting you off to a Flying Start

Setting up a business can be as traumatic as buying a house. But it may surprise you that many new entrepreneurs do not give the same amount of planning to a new business as they would to buying a house. The old saying ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’ has never been truer than when setting up in business.

The Flying Start ‘how to start a business’ booklet has been produced by Stopford Associates to enable new business to consider the merits of setting up in business and the requirements needed to becoming a successful one. This package is FREE.


We are proud to have assisted many new businesses to get started and to grow into thriving concerns. Consequently we have used the experience gained into producing this booklet to help new businesses.

Failure to plan is planning to fail

60% of startup business don’t make it to the second year

Starting a business is always risky, particularly when setting up from scratch. Even with the best professional advice from your Accountant/Solicitor, unforeseen problems can occur causing the business setbacks.

Avoid becoming a statistic.

We are conscious of the difficulties that new businesses face when starting up. Stopford Associates have therefore come up with a package designed to get new businesses off to a Flying Start.

Following all the advice and recommendations given in this booklet is no guarantee that you will succeed but it will prepare you properly for the problems you are likely to face.

Download the Flying Start guide

Source: CB Insights

for failure

What's inside

We’ll help you avoid the pitfalls

Your Business Idea

It is the ambition of many people to run their own business, you will no doubt have a good reason for wanting to start a particular type of business. You may for instance…

  • Have spotted a gap in the market
  • Been made redundant and want to set up on your own using your redundancy
  • Wish to invest/buy an existing business or franchise

Whatever your reason or idea, it will cost you both time and money – Flying Start will guide you through the essential questions you need to ask yourself before investing too much in either.

The essential starting point for any business

Writing your business plan is one of the most time consuming and dificult stages of setting up a new enterprise. Whilst all business plans require a considerable amount of guess work, they are an important feature of any start-up situation especially when the need for bank or other funding is required.

Helpful tips for setting your goals

Business structure

Considerations for 'what if' scenarios

Market Research - not just for the big boys

Too many start ups (and for that matter existing businesses) fail to grasp how important market research is to the survival of their business.

Any potential sources of funding, ie Banks, or sources of grants/regional assistance will expect to see Market Research as part of any business plan presented to them.

'Desk' and 'Field' Research

SWOT analysis

Identifying your customers

Funding your new venture

A Bank or lender will want to see that you have considered many of the issues contained in the Flying Start guide when applying for financial support. A lot of emphasis will be placed upon you personally, your business plan/marketing and projections when your lending application is assessed.

Flying Start can help you decide on how best to fund your business.

Types of Funding

Raising Finance

Choosing a Bank

Employing people

If you will be employing one or more people, there are a number of issues to consider such as Income Tax and Contributions. There are laws governing Health and Safety, Employers Liability and Pensions that you will be accountable for. The guide outlines the basics that you will need before employing anyone.

Training your staff

The only substitute to training is more training. We can offer employee training in Basic Bookkeeping, Health and Safety, Managing for Profit, three levels of Sage training and much more. There is a full breakdown of what we offer in appendix iii of the Flying Start Guide. Request your copy here.

Flying Start has been downloaded by more than 1,964 start ups

Here are just some of the success stories…

Glen really helped me with my business plan, cash flow and projections. He was very patient and made it clear so that I was able to understand my own business plan!

BenApp design

I went to the bank with my business plan knowing full well that I was confident that the plan was expressed well in both words and figures.


Secured the funding on a well prepared business plan. It was one of the best plans that the manager had seen!

LouisePost Office

Great product really helped me with key decisions in deciding to go Self Employed.

JohnIT Consultant

Well done Stopfords, couldn’t have done it without you!

DavePlumbing & Heating Engineer

We have just entered a 10th year of trading and thought at times it has been difficult. Our initial meetings and discussions with Stopfords prepared us for the difficulties we have faced. Good planning and keeping an eye on the financials were key to our success.

Mick and MalcolmRetail

Meet the Team

The team involved in the Flying Start have a perfect financial background to help
guide and deliver success to you and your business idea.


Graham Richmond was the original author of the Flying Start Guide. Graham’s background was RBS Bank Manager and joined Stopfords in 2001 to head up the Corporate Finance Department. His idea was to create a comprehensive guide to Self Employment which has evolved over a number of years.

Graham’s comments This is because of the hard work and commitment of the team in understanding the needs of potential Self Employed people, not just the figure work!

Graham’s background was RBS Bank Manager and joined Stopfords in 2011 to head up the Corporate Finance Department. Graham retired from practice in 2014 but the product continues to deliver.


Brian launched Stopford Associates in 1994, he has a wealth of experience in guiding clients to success.

He has worked closely with a wide spectrum of businesses to advise and develop their growth, this results in Brian being able to assist a varied amount of companies whatever their size or industry.


Phil specialises in Corporate Business, and develops Strategy and planning in developing business growth.

His knowledge of the corporate sector continues to be a great asset to new and existing limited clients.


Glen specialises in the Sole Trader and partnership accounts, particularly new business and entrepreneur ideas.

With over 25 years experience of working in the industry he is able to pass on his wealth of knowledge which has been essential particularly with new business start ups.


Martin heads up the Chesterfield office and is very active in networking circles, and hence has a vast wealth of business contacts.

Actively working within the local business community results in Martin being able to advise new and existing clients on business opportunities and reliable contacts in advising new businesses.


Nichola is our Limited Team Manager and potentially develops Sole Trader/Partnership’s into Limited Company status.

Preparing cash flow forecasts for business is a role that Nichola is heavily involved with and this then assists clients with funding and finance opportunities.

Download the Flying Start guide for FREE

Get invaluable expert advice in how to best start your own business

About Stopford Associates

Established in 1994, Stopford Associates is an experienced and trusted firm of chartered accountants and business advisers committed to helping your business grow and succeed.

Our goal is to provide a personal and professional approach together with a reliable and dedicated service to our clients every need. As a result we have developed an excellent reputation in North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire, combining traditional values with forward thinking to offer a different kind of accountancy firm in the area..