Small Business Advice When Starting Your Own Business
If you are starting your own business there is a wealth of small business advice out there for you to take advantage of. This advice may include help on putting together a business plan, understanding the financial side of running a business, marketing your business and any legislation you might have to adhere to. But what advice should you seek, where is the best place to look for advice and how much should you pay for it?
Some of the areas you might want to seek advice on are:
- Buying a business or franchise
- Company formation
- Putting together a business plan
- Market research
- Financing your business – funding, loans and grants
- Business banking
- Accountancy and bookkeeping
- Buying and leasing premises
- Home working
- Virtual offices
- Pitching For Business
- Internet marketing
- Direct Mail
- Business networking
- Legal issues e.g. health and safety, contracts of employment and employment law, insurance, data protection, intellectual property, equal opportunities
- Human Resources e.g. recruiting and employing people, staff retention, staff training and development, terms and conditions of employment
- IT systems
- The environment
- International trade
Where to look for small business advice
There will be many businesses who are looking to sell their professional services to start up businesses however before you invest your money seek out the free small business advice first.
Yes you have probably already started searching on the internet to find advice and that is the reason why you have ended up here! Try putting into Google search terms such as ‘small business tips’ or ‘small business advice’ and see what comes up - there is a wealth of free information including business tools, fact sheets and guides plus links to various organisations who can help you further. To help you along your way, here's the list of
business information sites
that I use regularly.
Governments like to encourage the success of small enterprises so you will find various agencies set up which give business advice, free seminars and tools such as business plan templates when starting your own business. These enterprises tend to change over time with successive governments so it’s worth just asking around or doing a Google search to find out what is available.
Some organisations such as Business Link in the UK provide free help and lots of useful on-line tools, and is also broker for other services to small to medium-sized businesses.
Banks, Accountancy Firms and other professional service providers
These too often give free business advice and free seminars either for existing customers or for non-customers often in the hope that you will sign up to their services at a later date.
Business networking is a great way to meet with other business people many of whom will be only too happy to share their experiences and point you in the direction. Some events will be, some will have a nominal charge whilst other membership organisations require more of a time and financial commitment.
Chambers Of Commerce
The Chambers Of Commerce are set up to help enterprises flourish and as such will provide a variety of services to help in starting your own business. Many chambers run seminars (often no charge for members) which will give information to help start up and small businesses.
Professional Small Business Advisers and Consultants
There are various professionals and consultants who offer small business advice – some will have an accountancy bias, a sales and marketing bias or legal bias whilst others may provide advice of a very general nature. The point to remember here is that the terms ‘business adviser’ or ‘business consultant’ are such broad terms and cover such a wide range of services that you really do need to check out exactly how they will help you before you sign up to their services.
If you are wanting specialist help then this might be the time when you invest in the services of someone highly experienced who can help you.
Trade Associations and Institutes
Many trade associations will provide information and training for those wanting small business advice specific areas. The extent of free advice depends on the organisation, often with more free help available to paid-up members.
In summary, speak to as many people at the outset to find out what small business advice you need and as you become clearer about the help you want then you can seek out specialist advisers who can help you
Starting Your Own Business
Tips For Starting Your Own Business
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