starting a business

Written by: BUSINESS

A Guide to the support available to anyone starting a business

If you’re planning on starting a business, chances are you’ll need some help along the way. As well as trying to make your idea a success, there’s the small matters of funding your venture, keeping records of the books, making tax payments, running marketing campaigns and much much more! Quite an undertaking for one individual!

Fortunately, you’re not alone. With this guide, we’ll identify all the support that is available to start-up businesses. From business loans to growth ideas, we’ll go through the support currently available to your business.

Accounting support

One of the very first things you need when setting up a business is a great accountant to manage your small business accounts. This is because they can help you go through the company formation process, as well as ensure you and your business remains compliant when it comes to accounts and tax obligations. Furthermore, if you choose a great accountant, they’ll even be able to provide detailed financial reports and advice, helping your business grow faster!

The government has also introduced a making tax digital scheme. This means, if you’re company is VAT registered, you need to submit your VAT returns digitally. You can get support via the making tax digital page on the Government website.

Ensuring you get paid on time is also critical for small businesses. Unfortunately, there are many instances when clients do not pay their invoices on time, and this can have a strain on cash flow. Happily, there is support available. For instance, you can contact the Small Business Commissioner, who will provide advice on how to resolve late payments. They’ll also provide support on resolving disputes.

anyone starting a business

Marketing support

Once you have your business set-up, you’ll need to drive customers. Now, your expertise will probably be within the industry you operate, not marketing. Fortunately, there are a number of marketing agencies for small businesses that you can contact to help set you up with a website, social channels and drive customers.

If your business relies on contracts, then why not check out the contracts finder on the government website? This allows you to discover contracts worth over £10,000 for various different jobs. It can be a great way to provide an injection of work into your business!

Financial support

To help fund your marketing or start-up costs, there are a range of schemes available to small businesses. For example, you can take out a start-up loan of up to £25,000, which has a fixed interest rate and even includes 12 months’ worth of free mentoring. This can really help kick-start your business and scale your operations up.

In the UK, there is also the British Business Bank, which specialises in supporting small businesses with finance to manage cashflow and grow.

Aside from loans, there are also venture capital schemes that help you attract investment from various different sources. The government backs these schemes, offering tax relief to those who buy shares in small businesses, so its an attractive offer for all parties.

Furthermore, if you’re a young person aged 18-30, you could be eligible for a grant from the Princes Trust. This organisation has supported over 86,000 young people start their own business, and has a wealth of support, not just financial, to help you launch your business.

Helping your dream become a reality

Got an idea but don’t know how to put it into practice. Innovate UK helps businesses that have a great new idea launch through funding and research. They’ll be with you every step of the way through patent processes and even product sourcing and prototype production.

Get support improving your business

Sometimes we look at our own businesses through rose tinted spectacles. That’s why it can be a good idea to reach out to services such as Be the business, who provide business improvement services. They’ll benchmark your company against your competitors, outlining actionable ways in which you can improve your productivity and business as a whole. What a great service!

If you still feel like you’re on your own with your business, why not reach out to your local growth hub. These local teams will help guide you in terms of local support available to your business, including funding and mentoring.

There is also a completely free business support helpline which can provide help to all types of businesses. It is worth giving them a call to find out more about how you can beat your competition and grow your business.

Get an extra pair of hands

Apprenticeships can be a great way to help improve your productivity, at a lower cost. Apprentices are often young and hungry to learn, so you’ll get a willing worker within your workforce. Plus, the Government will even subsidise some of the cost of training the apprentice, so there’s even more reason to take on an Apprentice!

In Summary

Starting your own business can be daunting. You’ll no doubt question whether you’ll be able to make enough money to pay the bills. If you’re a sole trader, it may also feel quite lonely running your own business.

However, there is no need to fear. There is such a wealth of financial and advisory services available to small businesses, that you’ll never be alone. Our advice is to ensure that you team up with a great accountant as well as a marketing expert to help you make the most of the digital marketing opportunities out there. Then check out the various funding and support organisations to get as much as advice as you can. This will help you feel much more confident about your venture as well as ensure you remain financially sound.