Skip to main content
We're here with practical information for your business. Learn about business planning, running a business and more.


For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

How I met my start-up IT needs

David Hathiramani of London-based A Suit That describes how he overcame the IT-related challenges facing his new business

"I saw my friend and now co-director Warren in an awesome suit and he told me he'd had it tailored while travelling in Nepal. I thought it would be great if people could order them from the UK - that's how A Suit That started.

"Previously, I was an IT manager at a recruitment firm. This meant I had a lot of knowledge to draw upon, which was handy, because we wanted to sell online as well as from our London stores."

Identifying software needs

"We started A Suit That when a lot of open-source software was already available, which meant we didn't have to spend much on software. Our main IT costs involved staffing and management.

"We didn't want to programme each page separately, so we used a free content-management system called Joomla in connection with the secure PayPal system, which meant we could take payments online.

"We also needed email capability for customer and supplier contact, so we subscribed to a free Google email account and we also use the calendar, applications and tasks on there, too. We use a system called OTRS as our customer information tracker, which is highly effective.

"However, our main IT tool is a wizard, which we developed online using our previous skills and growing knowledge of tailoring. Customers can enter their measurement and it translates that into the information our tailors in Nepal need to know so they can make the suits.

"At first we used a very basic online ordering system and we would enter the suit measurements on to an Excel sheet and email it to our tailors. Now our tailors can access our online system, too.

"We sell about 600 suits a month and each one of our customers is on our system, which enables A Suit That to deal with any queries really quickly."

IT solutions

"After six months, to save money we outsourced our IT work to India and Vietnam, but that didn't work out for us in the end. Due to the amount of time we spent trying to communicate, we realised it would be quicker to do the work ourselves.

"We learnt from our mistakes and we now have a great in-house IT team. We have a chief technology officer (CTO) who manages the team, which consists of one full-time and three part-time programmers.

"If you lack IT expertise, I'd strongly recommend working with an out-of-house consultant or employing an IT specialist, depending on your needs and budget, of course. It's not always about looking for the cheapest solution - the important thing is how well your system works and whether it enables you to reach your targets.

"Because we had the expertise in-house to configure servers, we only needed to find a reasonably priced dedicated server leasing company. We also hire back-up space on a monthly basis, so each day important data is stored safely off site.

"To ensure our IT system is secure, each staff member has a unique password and they must be logged in to view customer information. Our CTO is responsible for ensuring that the business complies with data protection regulations, which is an important consideration if you store personal information about customers."

David's three key lessons

  • Use as much free software as possible
  • When buying IT hardware, go for value rather than the cheapest deal
  • Whether in-house or out-of-house, make sure you have people on hand to help you should you experience serious IT problems

Update: This case study was first published in 2009. Since then A Suit That Fits has gone from strength-to-strength and now has over 30 local studios across the UK in addition to its online service.

Join Launchpad