Setting up a business is costly. Overheads such as office rent, equipment and stationery will all set you back a pretty penny. On top of this, you’ll need the finances to start producing products and marketing your business.

Running your business from home can be a more cost-effective solution. Be sure to check out regulations governing running a business from your premises, of course, including insurance implications. A business broadband subscription will also be important, particularly if you plan to set up a web-based company or sell your products online.

The web can be a useful resource for setting up your business. Rather than paying a printer to produce your business stationery, you can design and order letterheads, business cards and other branded items online.

Business Advisor

A number of web-based printing firms offer free or relatively inexpensive designs that you can customise to suit your business. For example, online printing service Moo lets you create 50 attractive business cards for £10.99. Moo offers a catalogue of designs, or you can upload your own. Microsoft Word and Works also provide many adaptable templates.

You don’t necessarily need to fork out for business software either. If you don’t already have a copy of Microsoft Office, consider one of the free alternatives before reaching for your wallet. is free to download and offers similar functions to Microsoft’s suite. It, too, offers free stationery templates you can customise to suit your business.

Business How-tos

Design a business card with Moo

Step 1. Head to Click ‘More about Business Cards’ and select ‘Make Business Cards’. You can select one of Moo’s ready-made designs (step 2), upload your own artwork (step 3), or import files from a website such as Facebook or Flickr. You can also create a text-only business card.

Moo business card 1

Step 2. Once you’ve selected a template, click ‘Customise & Buy’. Each template offers several different designs and, by default, you’ll receive equal numbers of each when you order your business cards; click Mix and Match to select specific designs. Click Next Step to customise the other side of your business card.

Moo business card 2

Step 3. If you’d prefer to add your own image or logo to the design, Moo accepts GIF, PNG, Jpeg and PDF files, with a minimum file size of 333x223 pixels at 96dpi. When you’re happy with your design, click Next Step. Here, you’ll be able to preview both sides of your business card. Once you’re happy, press Add to cart.

Moo business card 3

Step 4. Next, choose the paper stock your cards will be printed on. Moo Classic Paper is a heavy card with a silky finish; Moo Green Paper is an unflecked, matt-finished recycled paper. Specify how many cards you want (the more you order, the cheaper they are). Follow the prompts to confirm the order.

Moo business card 4