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Branson Backs Startup Business

It has never been tougher to get a new business off the ground, with traditional forms of funding all but cut off. Now, however, perhaps the most famous entrepreneur in Britain, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, is determined to change the landscape with Virgin StartUp loans for the next generation of business leaders.

Branson famously started his empire from home and, against the odds, with no funding built a business empire that now spans the world of music, telecommunications and internet, finance, air and even space travel. But the serial entrepreneur has campaigned for more support for startup business for years and now he is putting his own money where his mouth is. Anyone under the age of 31 with a British visa is eligible to apply for the loans and PNE, the company that has partnered with Virgin Money and Virgin Unite to distribute the funds, has already allocated more than £600,000.

“For many years I have campaigned for more focus on small business and start ups as the way to get growth in the economy and to create more jobs,” said Branson. “This needs to be backed by more bank lending and start up loans for entrepreneurs.”

The funding isn’t just for a startup business either, companies that wish to expand can apply for funding, and the other benefits of the Virgin StartUp programme. A business mentor is part of the deal and Virgin has partnered with the Cavendish Consortium, which has bases throughout England and Scotland, to ensure that the startup business receives local advice and support.

It’s still not easy to succeed in the depths of a recession, but Branson’s programme should at least make it possible for some to go against the grain and make a go of their business. If Sir Richard himself is prepared to back your startup business, it stands a better chance than most.

Web Designer Needed in Hale, Manchester!

We’re looking for a Web Designer to work at our offices in Hale, Manchester! Are you a talented designer, or know someone who is? See what we need below!

We are a rapidly growing, creative agency based in Hale, Altrincham (just south of Manchester) and have an exciting opportunity to join our quickly expanding team in our Hale offices.

This role will be for a Web Designer and you will be creating the front end design and layout for various web based projects which are mostly on WordPress.

We’re looking for someone with that pixel-perfect attention to detail and ideally skills in HTML5 and CSS3 and they are beneficial to your application, however the most important element of this role is design and you need to be an expert at using the Adobe CC.

You must be able to design sites with usability and accessibility in mind.

Great opportunity to join a small established creative digital team with like-minded people.

This is a middleweight role with a salary bracket of £24k – £27k to be used as a guide and we expect 2+ years experience in the industry, although all applications will be considered.

You need to link to your portfolio in the application so we can assess your designs ahead of the interview stage.


  • Designing websites to clients spec
  • Designing new elements for our in-house master website template
  • Designing client materials (business cards, flyers etc.)
  • Newsletter design and build
  • Logo design for clients
The Startup Guys was established in 2011 and has experienced rapid, global growth since. We are a proactive group of individuals and The Startup Guys is a privately owned company run by 2 very easy going Directors.
You will be working in a great environment using modern technology. There are real career opportunities as the business grows quickly over the next 12 – 18 months for the right individual.
Salary: £24k – £27k Per annum

Why brilliant business ideas need startup finance

Perhaps you need some cash to set up a home office? Or is there a particular bit of kit that is integral to running your new business, but that is just beyond your budget? Either way, a start-up loan could be the perfect option to get your venture off the ground and making money in the shortest time possible.
At The Startup Guys, we have seen first-hand how start up loans can give a much needed boost to burgeoning startup businesses. The idea of borrowing thousands as a personal loan can be daunting, but it can enable you make crucial progress in turning your brilliant idea into a workable business.

These days, there are lots of organisations based in specific areas that offer finance to people just like you. If you are looking for a startup loan in Kent, Sussex, Surrey or Hampshire, then startup loan specialists Capitalise Business Support could help.

Even if you have already started your business, you can still apply provided you are still in your ‘start-up phase’ and have been trading for less than a year. Capitalise Business Support don’t just put money in your bank and forget about you. They also offer support. By choosing them for your startup business loan, you will have the opportunity to work with one of their global partners – either for free or at a reduced cost. The specialist global partners provide core business services that you might need, from telephone call handling to access to specialist mentors.

The application process is simple and starts with an email describing your business idea. If they like the sounds of what you plan to do, they will send you a Startup Toolkit and ask you to put a business plan and forecasts together. You also have to complete a loan application form. And that’s pretty much it!
So if you’re sitting on a great business idea and are based in Sussex, Surrey, Kent or Hampshire then consider using Capitalise Business Support for your startup loan.

Visit for more information.

Looking for a startup loan? This could be the perfect option…

The first year of running your business is often when you might realise that you need a financial helping hand. Short of friends and family with lots of cash to invest? Don’t worry. There are specially designed business startup loans you can apply for that can help.

Finding the right finance can be confusing, but at The Startup Guys, we can help you see the wood from the trees – or the good deals from the bad.

Transmit Startups is based in County Durham but helps entrepreneurs aged 18-30 from across England. They specialise in helping businesses that are less than a year old to really get off the ground by offering unsecured loans of between £1,000 and £10,000.

Each founder of your business can separately apply for finance, so you are not necessarily limited to the maximum of £10K and repayments can be made over 24-60 months, depending on what suits you best. Like lots of startup loans, the finance provided by Transmit Startups is backed by the government as part of a plan to boost UK economic growth through supporting the development of new businesses. It means you get a better than average interest rate for this kind of loan – with Transmit Startups it’s 6% APR.

The organisation has Dragon’s Den star and serial entrepreneur James Caan at its helm as chairman and there is a team of business experts who provide free mentoring to those who choose to use Transmit Startups for their finance.

At The Startup Guys, we know that having an experienced mentor on your side during the important early stages of setting up your business can make all the difference to your chances of success, so we are particularly supportive of finance providers who include this option for free or at a reduced cost, like Transmit Startups and others.

If the idea of filling out a long application form fills you with dread, then fear not. These guys have a team of people available who are more than happy to guide you through the application process, or just to talk you through how it works before you decide to apply.

If putting a business plan together is dragging you down, they also offer templates to make the process easier and simpler. What more could you want!?

Look on the Brightside for startup loans

Whatever your business, whether you are setting up as a personal trainer, a hairdresser or a craftsperson, the chances are you will need some finance to help get you on your feet.

These days, less people are going down the traditional route of talking to their high street bank about a startup loan and more people are turning to organisations that combine finance with expert support for you and your business. At The Startup Guys, we recognise how important it is to have a helping hand during the first few crucial months of starting a business, so we’ve searched high and low to find some of the best companies which offer startup loans and vital support.

For many entrepreneurs one of the biggest initial obstacles is putting together a business plan. Lots of loan providers will require this before you can even apply, which can therefore causes somewhat of a problem. However, organisations like Brightside Startup Loans help you develop a plan as part of their application process, meaning you can effectively kill two birds with one stone. They offer an online training course to help you develop a business plan. If this plan is approved, you’ll then be matched with one of their mentors who will provide you personally with expert advice on how to make your business a success. Of course, you will also be given up to £9,500 to finance the setting up of your business.

We like Brightside Startup Loans because we at The Startup Guys know how valuable it can be to have a mentor at hand during the setting up of your venture. Their mentors are some of the best professionals in their respective fields. On their panel, they’ve got people like Matt Long, commercial director at Saatchi & Saatchi X, and Janet McGuigan, senior manager at global professional services consultancy Deloitte.

Don’t underestimate the importance of having a mentor who has real life experience of what works and what doesn’t on hand while getting your startup business off the ground. You might already have a mentor on your side, but if not it might well be worth considering Brightside Startup Loans for your finance.

Even if you don’t end up choosing them for your startup loan, we recommend visiting their website - and checking out the wealth of really handy information offered in their ‘knowledge bank’.

Launch your new business with School for Startups

If you are thinking of starting your own business, one of the key things to consider will be how to finance your venture. Startup loans are one of the most common ways to pay for setting up. Finding the right start up loan for your needs, however, can be trickier than you’d think. Luckily, at The Startup Guys we can help you find the right type of finance for your business.

Lots of firms combine finance with mentoring and training. Take the School for Startups’ Launcher programme, for instance. As long as you are aged 18 to 30 and based in the UK, these guys could help you get off the ground. Unlike some loan providers, you don’t have to live in a certain catchment area or be setting up a certain type of company – and that’s a big bonus.

One of the reasons this provider is so popular is because as well as a startup loan of £9,900, they also offer access to a free support package which includes world-class teaching, a supportive community and regular mentoring to help give your business its best chance of success.The loans are backed by government, so you will benefit from a lower rate of interest (although we recommend shopping around on this before you commit).

From bespoke tailoring companies to purveyors of organic hummus, the School for Startups Launcher programme has successfully helped scores of entrepreneurs get the finance they needed to get off the ground.

Want to apply? You’ll need to have a few things ready first. There is an initial online application, but you will have to email them certain items of supporting documentation as well.

You should already have a business plan to send them – if not, make writing this your priority, you’ll need it for lots of purposes as you go about setting up a business. They will also need to see a cashflow forecast to illustrate how you will pay them back and some straightforward items of ID. Of course, you will also have to pass the necessary credit checks, so it is worth checking your credit history before you apply.

As experts in helping startup businesses succeed, we thing the School for Startups is definitely worth investigating when you are deciding where to go for finance.

For more information on the help the offer or how to apply, visit

5 Ways to Use Video to Promote Your Business

The use of video to promote your business – via services such as YouTube and, more recently, Vine – has exploded over recent years and it’s more important than ever to use video to promote your business.

A number of small businesses now have their own YouTube channel, and also embed videos on their websites and in their social media pages to create a new way of communicating with current and potential customers, suppliers and other people.
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Customer Retention in Small Businesses and our 5 Secrets

Experts in the business world agree that it costs 6 to 10 times more to get a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, and in the current economic climate it is more important than ever to be skilled at customer retention in small businesses.

Small businesses have to be creative and innovative to keep customers coming back for more, and there are some clever but simple ways of performing customer retention in small businesses to do this.
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Marketing Tips for Personal Trainers

We work with a lot of personal trainers and get asked an awful lot what to do on a low budget! Here are some things we pass on regularly:

Be Social!

Being a personal trainer is all about giving the right advice and building your business on recommendations, and what better place to do that that Twitter?

A lot of trainers we work with don’t know what to say on Twitter, and our advice is to get on it and ask your client if they have Twitter and follow them. Before long you’ll have your circle of clients and friends following you and will quickly expand.

Don’t just use it as a marketing tool broadcasting offers, get involved in your circles.
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Happy 1 Year Anniversary To Us!

What an interesting couple of months it’s been over here at The Startup Guys, full of fun – but incredible amounts of stress and hard work too!

It’s currently 19:50 on a sunday evening and Josh and I have spent the past 4 days straight working long hours to get the office in shape for 2 new team members joining us tomorrow, trying to keep “business as usual” for our customers and trying to bring in new clients too – PHEW!
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