Thinking of creating your own company but need some business startup advice?
There are many factors to consider from finance to branding to legal regulations. And don’t forget the main question: how do I get funding for my new business?
SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) account for 99% of the UK’s business population. But, up to 80% fail within the first year of trading.
Key to their success is getting sound business advice at the very beginning.
That’s why we’ve created this business startup advice article to highlight where you can get the best assistance for your startup. We look at business plans and networking and how to best brand and market your new company.
Where do you go for business advice? Read on for the right answers.
1. Business Plans
Successful companies all begin with one essential document – the business plan.
The UK Government recognised this fact and introduced a great free business plan resource on its website.
You can download templates along with a cash flow forecast. Need inspiration? You can read examples and get advice on how to write a business plan and present it to investors.
If you’re aged 18-30 then visit the Prince’s Trust site.
Their Enterprise Programme offers startup workshops spanning four days. You’ll meet like-minded people and get a full overview of building a business.
Their Business Plan Pack is a great free resource to download. It offers twenty-three pages of useful advice and breaks down how a business plan should flow.
2. Networking Events
Business is built on relationships but where do you meet potential customers and suppliers?
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) helps small businesses in the UK. They provide advice, government lobbying, and financial expertise.
But FSB also offers networking events for its members.
There are hundreds of events held across the nation with no additional fee. You’ll develop strong business ties with like-minded people. And you’ll benefit from all of FSB’s services like low-cost business insurance and tax advice.
One of my personal favourites is also the meetups, which I find more relaxed and informal. Of course, I haven’t been to all of them as there are hundreds. From empowering women to networking and courses. It’s also good to go outside your niche, as you will then get a broader understanding.
3. Grants and Loans
For great advice on small business loans and grants, visit Startups.co.uk.
StartUps breaks down the difference between the two. But more importantly, it provides links to financial assistance resources.
You’ll learn about training grants, tax relief, soft loans, and business grants for women. Even if you have bad credit, there’s advice to help get you onto your feet.
Business for London is made up of a consortium of 6 business support groups and is another great resource. If you are about to start a business or have been trading for less than 2 years, then you can apply for a start-up loan which is a government initiative. The amount can go upwards of £25,000 and the average given is £5,500.
4. Business Advice Forums and Business Mentorship
UKBusinessForums.co.uk lets you interact with businesses from around the country.
The forums are divided into topic areas like Accounts & Finance and First Steps To Starting A Business. You can read the content for free but need to join to post comments.
MentorsMe.co.uk is a mentor directory offering help and advice for any business life stage. It’s free to use and shows local mentors in your area.
Years ago, if you told me to find and use a business mentor, I would have probably ignored you. But now, I’ve matured and learnt the harsh lessons of humility. I have had a few mentors over the years and at the moment I have someone who fits perfectly with my values and we get along. I am so grateful for the help and advice I have been given.
I used to run around chasing my own tail, wasting energy and time. Let’s be honest, there are two main reasons that stop you from getting a mentor – the first is pride and the second is embarrassment. Drop them both. You and I both don’t have time to faff around. Other people have done what you are trying to achieve and these guys understand and care.
5. Branding and Marketing
Your business brand acts as your identity so it needs to be right from the outset.
You can download their beginner’s guide on how to market yourself for free. Just sign up to their newsletter.
6. Other Available Help From My Own Experience
NWES is a not for profit organisation, who provide a vast range of help. They have been around since 1982 and are based in London, Kent and Nottingham. They provide office spaces with easy in and easy out tenancies. Therefore, you won’t be stuck in a contract. They have stunning buildings almost everywhere in the UK, from a converted church in Great Yarmouth to modern new builds in Tilbury, Essex.
But, they don’t stop there as they also give business startup advice and mentoring. For example, ‘Enterprise Steps’ helps start-ups throughout their creation and establishment and ‘Croydon Enterprise Loan Fund’ is there for businesses in Croydon to access loans.
I haven’t even scratched the surface of what they can do for you, but take a look at their website for more information: https://www.nwes.org.uk. Alternatively, give them a call on 08456 099991.
Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs is another heavyweight institution. And, to prove that help isn’t just for novices, these guys also have membership packages for those seasoned, warrior, business owners like you. Yes, even you guys could do with help, every now and then. You have the same benefits as others – courses, online mentors, networking events, plus more. You can also be a mentor yourself. Give at least 5 days a year, and you could use the letters FIOEE after your name!
There are packages starting at £5 per month for people starting a business, and it goes up to £27 per month for the heavyweights among you.
Delivering More Than Just Business Startup Advice
These business sole trader advice tips will guide you on the road to a successful business.
But along the way, you’ll need help. You’ll need a team that assists businesses of all types to build and grow.
Boss Cat Web Design London offers a full range of services to help your startup. From branding to website development to SEO and social media, we are here for you.
Although based in England, we’ve created brands for companies around the world. We specialise in developing Google-friendly websites for SMEs and small businesses can benefit from our all-in-one control panel to manage their social media content.
Contact us today to get more than just great business advice.