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Outset Online

Outset Online is an interactive online learning tool that offers a huge range of content and tools designed to support you on your business start-up journey.

Through a unique combination of information, video tutorials, resources and activities, Outset Online will help you navigate
 the steps to starting up you own business: from initiating and refining your ideas and identifying your customers and competitors, to figuring out your marketing strategy and helping you plan your finances. As you navigate through each stage, you can put your learning into practice with a range of activities and exercises that help you construct a ready-made business plan.

Best of all, Outset Online also offers user forums filled with mentors, advisors and other business owners to ensure that you have access to both formal and informal peer support on your journey. Although, valued at £500, 12-months access to Outset Online costs just £85+VAT. The good news is that if you are a client of any of our Outset programmes across the regions, you get access to Outset Online absolutely free for the first year. If you are based in Cornwall, this free access continues for as long as you need it, thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

If you are a member of our Enterprising Women community, access to Outset Online is included for the first year as part of the paid membership package – find out more here

Get started with Outset Online >>

Turn your idea into a
successful business

Whether it’s about pursuing a passion, taking control of your life, supporting you family or trying something new, Outset Online gives you the tools to turn your idea into a strong, sustainable and successful business.

Learn from home,
at your own pace

Outset Online is designed to be flexible so you don’t have to be. No matter what pressures are on your time or mobility, you can still get essential business support anywhere, anytime – you just need access to the internet.

Connect with others in our
online community

Our user forums are filled with other business owners plus a range of mentors and advisors with whom you can brainstorm, network, trade stories and seek advice as you progress through your business journey.

Build your business plan

By completing a range of activities as you work through each stage, you’ll create an exportable business plan that you can use to guide your decisions, apply for finance or track the progress of your business as you go.

Videos, tools and online calculators

We have over 140 video tutorials that help you navigate each stage of starting a business, plus a range of useful online calculators and tools that take the pain out of planning and managing your business finances.

Create your own user profile

When you login to Outset Online, you can create a user profile in which you can share as much or as little information about you and your business as you like, helping you network with other people on the platform.

Watch our video to see how it works:

Stage 1: ‘Introduction to Enterprise’

The first stage of Outset Online is all about helping you decide whether starting a business is really for you. We provide a basic understanding of business principles like start-up costs, how to conduct market research and why it’s so important, and tips for identifying who your customers are. We also include some personal development advice and theory. We try to help you figure out what your strengths are to support you in making the most of the opportunities around you.

‘Introduction to Enterprise’ is broken down into eight key steps, most of which ask you to complete an activity to put your learning into practice. Key topics covered in this stage include:

  • Your business idea
  • Benefits of and barriers
  • Your skills
  • Customers and competitors
  • Time management
  • Goal setting
  • Motivation
  • Money and budgets
  • Stress management
  • Decision making

Stage 2: ‘Business Start Up’

The second stage of Outset Online is a more intensive stage that focuses on core business principles that require a little bit more effort to complete. We’ve stepped up the tone and focus here in order to build upon the basic principles we covered in ‘Introduction to Enterprise’.

This is where we get down to the nitty-gritty of business planning, including how to structure your company, tax advice, financial spreadsheets and how to price your product or service. By completing the steps included in this stage, you will automatically build yourself a business plan, which you can later print or export as a PDF – something you’ll need if you’re planning on applying for a Start Up Loan or other finance.

‘Business Start Up’ also has eight key steps and gives you access to our bespoke spreadsheet calculator tool which makes planning your finances so much easier! Key topics covered in this stage include:

  • Business structures
  • Steps to starting your business
  • What’s in a brand?
  • Mission, vision and unique selling points
  • Pricing your product or service
  • Marketing, promotion and communications
  • Sales techniques and closing the deal
  • Social media
  • Costs, value and cash flow
  • The bottom line

Get started with Outset Online now >>