When you run a business, no matter what size or however long you’ve been operating, support is always key for sustaining, growing and developing. But did you know that there are dozens of fantastic business support services you’re missing out on here in the UK?
Lots of them are free, subsidised or backed by the government and can be a fantastic boost for your business development, it’s just a case of seeking them out and engaging with their services.
Here are 10 support services you really should take advantage of:
The Government is investing in 39 growth hubs around the UK. Led by their Local Enterprise Partnerships – a private sector consortium – that brings together local business leaders, councils, business bodies like Chambers and the Federation of Small Businesses, universities and others with an interest in supporting businesses to start and grow. They want to make advice and support accessible to all, so search for your local hub to see how they can help you.
If you’ve got a question, query or need support on a whole range of business issues, you can call the free helpline on 0300 456 3565. They also offer free email, web chat or social media support for aspiring and established businesses to help you set up, run and grow your enterprise.
You can search the government portal online to find local organisations offering business advice, mentoring and support. Each town or region has something to offer, many in person mentoring schemes or group workshops you can attend.
There is 52 accredited chamber of commerce across the UK offering advice and support to local businesses. Chambers provide practical advice and support to British companies trading around the world and on a practical level often provide networking, workshops and training as well as consultancy and advice to their members. Use the website above to find your local chamber.
If you’re self-employed and struggling with debts, don’t struggle alone. You can contact the free and impartial business debt line for advice and guidance on how to deal with your debts.
A mentor can really help you generate new ideas and grow your business. But finding one can be tricky, which is why the MentorsMe hub is such a great portal. With over 115 organisations registered and a free search tool to help you find a mentor whatever stage of business you’re at, it’s a great resource to get you the 1:1 support you need.
The FSB is a membership organisation for small businesses, giving advice and support as well as championing small business and bringing important issues to Government. As a member, you get access to impartial advice, finance, networking and support and costs from £130 per annum.
If you’re self-employed and want to get a handle on register your new business with HMRC, keeping records, sending your tax returns and payments – or even just handling your expenses then you’ve got a series of free webinars run by HMRC available for you to watch and learn from.
An app and a comprehensive website with information and advice on finance, employment, skills, new markets, ideas and regulation for small businesses in the UK. You’ll find lots of helpful blogs and it’s a good starting point when looking for advice.
If you’re looking for funding to help you start your business, this website is a fantastic starting point. Their goal is to help improve access to finance for small businesses and make it easier to make an informed decision.
Finally, we’ll throw in a bonus free service for business owners based in London…
The British Museum Business Centre offers a wealth of free information help and advice to small businesses. This includes support around trademarking and intellectual property but also up to £10,000 worth of free advice to small businesses looking to scale-up.
For a comprehensive guide to getting your business up and running, download our how to start a business in 20 days eBook.