Being in business is about having an idea and the confidence to run with it. The support networks out there will do everything they can to encourage you – and make it a success.
With the economy in the doldrums, small and medium-sized businesses, not large multi-nationals, will drive recovery. Getting finance, premises, advice, staff, stock… the list is endless. But help is out there. Make the most of it and have a look at these sites to find the best support advice and information – and get your business idea off the ground.
Business Link – www.businesslink.gov.uk (please note, website is changing to GOV.UK)
This website it the UK Government’s main site for businesses. It contains virtually everything you need to know about starting a business. It’s a terrific resource for information on the law, finance and regulation – no matter what size you want your business to be. There are also lots of tools and calculators to guide you through the various stages and processes involved in running or starting a business.
Business In You – www.businessinyou.bis.gov.uk
A new site that aims to capture the spirit of the UK’s successful London Olympics and inspire start-up and growing businesses. The site is a partnership between private enterprise and the Government and as well as case studies, there is mentoring advice and tips from successful business people.
The Prince’s Trust – www.princes-trust.org.uk
With more than 35 years’ experience helping young people who are not in education, training or employment, the Prince’s Trust offers help when established networks don’t. The Trust’s Enterprise Programme can help young people get a start in self-employment.
Department for Business Innovation and Skills – www.bis.gov.uk
Another UK Government site focusing on business development, skills and growth. Whatever stage your business is at, this site is a useful place to check in with. It’s full of news and information regarding every aspect of business and education.
HMRC – www.hmrc.gov.uk
There are rules and regulations regarding taxation for business and it’s important that you understand what’s involved. Make sure you don’t fall foul of existing or incoming legislation by checking out the pages of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
DirectGov – www.direct.gov.uk (please note, website is changing to GOV.UK)
Similar site to Business Link (and the sites are merging) full with essential information to guide you on the road to self-employment.
Start Up Britain – www.startupbritain.co
Start Up Britain is a national campaign to promote entrepreneurs – started by some of the country’s brightest talents. The campaign is backed by the UK Government and organises events, seminars and initiatives across the country to promote enterprise.