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Do I need advice for my business?

When growing your business there are a number of professionals that you can turn to for a variety of advice.  This page gives you an overview of some of the advisers that may be able to support you.

Who can give me advice on my business?

Whether you are just starting out or have been running a business for a few years, there will be times when you will want to call on the guidance of an expert. Here we list the more common types of professionals who will be able to help you. 

  • Accountant

    An accountant may provide a number of services depending on the size of their practice.  As a rule, they will help you prepare accurate financial records that comply with government legislation. Typically they will help calculate taxes and ensure filings are submitted on time. Accountants may also prepare management information to help you make business decisions.

  • Legal adviser

    Legal advisers are engaged or employed to provide legal advice and services to the organisation and its employees, to ensure it operates within the bounds of the law.  This may be on topics as broad as securing your first premises, or ensuring your business is operating within employment and health and safety regulations.

  • Payroll agency

    Payroll can be quite a complex area for a business to manage.  The last thing a business owner wants is for an employee to be paid incorrectly!  A payroll agency will manage all aspects of your payroll, including ensuring that information is submitted to HMRC on a timely basis.  If your business needs it, they may also manage all aspects of your pension auto-enrolment.

  • Insurance broker

    An insurance broker is a specialist in insurance and risk management. Brokers act on behalf of their clients and provide advice in the interests of their clients. A business will use an insurance broker to advise on the specific levels of insurance cover they need for public liability, professional indemnity, buildings, and many more.

  • Business mentor

    A business mentor uses their expertise and experience to assist businesses in achieving their goals. They will typically work with you to develop and implement strategies to ensure success.  There are a number of options for engaging a mentor – some free and some paid for.  Whether you choose to use the services of a free mentor, or choose to pay for one, ensure that you have a good rapport and working relationship.

  • IT adviser

    As technology plays more of a role in every aspect of our lives, it is important to ensure that your business has access to the right level of IT support. An IT advisor may advise on the software you need or may even offer remote support to manage all the IT needs of the business.

How much will this advice cost?

This is tricky to answer as the cost of advice really will depend on the type needed, its complexity and the quantity required.  It will also depend on the organisation giving the advice. 

Searching for an adviser based on cost alone could mean you don’t get the advice best suited to you and your business, so it’s advisable to do a bit of research on the type of support you’ll need.

For example, if you are looking for an accountant, get in touch with a couple of different firms to discuss the type of help you need, the services they can offer you and the costs they charge. This will give you some idea of what you will get for your money and the level of help you can expect to receive.

Are there any ways to get free business advice?

There are numerous free business advice sources, both from government bodies and resources freely available on the internet.  

Here are some websites that can be of help to you:

  • Companies House is basically the registrar of UK limited companies. When you start up your business you will need to register it will Companies House. You will also need to file your company accounts with them. Guides on registering, filing and disclosing information with Companies House can be found here
  • Acas gives information and advice on employment issues. It is a Crown non-departmental public body of the Government
  • The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website contains information on all aspects of tax
  • The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) protects and promotes the interests of all small business owners by offering advice and support. It also has a powerful voice in Government. 

A word of caution: when searching online be careful as some free advice found on the internet may not always be correct – you should aim to ensure that the person giving you advice is qualified in their field. 

Survey: Which advisers did you use in your first year of business?

Which advisers did you use in your first year of business? Select all that apply.

This vote is not an opinion poll, but a way for you to compare your views with other small business owners who are members of the Informi community. 

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