Seeking support for your business idea
“What helps people, helps business.” – Leo Burnett
Small business support
When starting a business it is unwise to be totally self reliant. Sure, the idea, the execution and the rewards will be down to you but there is a vast amount of support available to make the easy decisions easier and the hard ones manageable to mitigate risk.
Utilise resources as much as possible to maximise your own knowledge and skills in making your business a success. There will be times when expert and specialist advice is needed and being able to access support from trusted sources will be invaluable. Some resources are free and some will require payment but the value lies in the quality of their help.
Some key resources which are openly available are –
- Companies House – provides guidance and forms for businesses setting up a limited company or limited liability partnership. It contains guidance on your obligations for submitting accounts and provides links to the documents you may need. See: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house
- The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) – essential for information on all aspects of tax for individuals, partnerships and companies. From self-assessment to VAT and Corporation Tax to PAYE. You can also utilise HMRC’s online services through the website to file tax returns and pay your tax liabilities. See: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs
- Enterprise Agencies – located around the country and a rich source of support and information. For a national picture see: www.nationalenterprisenetwork.org
- Chambers of Commerce – again, like Enterprise Agencies, Chambers are nationwide and they have many resources to help business start-ups including finance, networking, business events and help with more specific areas such as import/export. See: www.britishchambers.org.uk but also see the links in our footer below where we link to Yorkshire Chambers
Download our business plan template
- Local Councils – business / economic development units operate within all councils and they also provide a wide range of information from research to local legislation which may affect your business.
- ACAS – provides information and advice to businesses on a wide range of employment issues with the aim of improving employment relations. The ACAS website contains a wide range of tools and information as well as details of the nationwide ACAS training courses. See: www.acas.org.uk
- Princes Trust – If you’re aged 18-30, the Prince’s Trust might be able to help you (if you are eligible there is potential for a grant or loan). See: www.princes-trust.org.uk
- Enterprise Funds – provides access to potential finance where banks may not be able to help. There are numerous funds which operate in areas across the country and they often provide start up support as part of the funding package. See: www.gov.uk/business-enterprise-fund
- Banks – many have dedicated business managers for supporting new business owners and although their main area of interest is the finance, (and getting you to open a business account!). Their individual websites often have sections dedicated to start-up business and a wealth of tools and resources that can be utilised. See: RBS | Barclays | Lloyds Bank | Natwest | Santander | HSBC | TSB
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness it is a sign of strength. Find a mentor, hire a business coach and build your business with a great support network.