5 Essential Resources for SMBs and Start-Ups
Getting your business off the ground and maintaining steady growth are not easy tasks when you’re a start-up or a small business. There’s lots of advice out there on how to get it right, but a lot of it is ignored because owners often assume they know best. The best piece of advice out there is…take advice!
There is a wealth of resources out there that are free to use and incredibly useful for small to medium businesses and start-ups. From websites to government organisations, these are the best services that will give your business a helping hand.
One of the best companies offering free advice to start-ups is Startup Britain. Positioned as advice by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, they are a national campaign dedicated to helping people to grow their business smartly.
They feature an informative blog section with valuable articles and tips. A key area of focus is on finding you local support, a function that is available with the use of an interactive map.
An obvious one but the Government’s advice website is a hugely reliable source of information, covering everything from money and tax, employment, business, benefits, jobs and pensions, as well a host of other subjects affected by parliamentary changes.
GOV.UK claims to have simpler, clearer, faster access to information. We would absolutely agree with this. Not so much if you want to get in touch. When talking to someone, often it’s better to do so with your local accountant or business advisor, who is proficient in GOV.UK information.
Again another obvious source but there’s no denying that the information you get from HMRC is going to be accurate and up-to-date. The information on HMRC is free to access and is instructive, certainly in terms of your financial commitments as a business.
HMRC won’t do the monkey-work for you in terms of tax accounting, VAT returns and payroll, that lies with your accountant, but they are a great place to start to identify what you need to do to keep the Tax Man happy. Consider them the Oracle of the finance world.
For something a little more hands-on, Mentorsme offer a great service to locate and get in touch with mentors who can help you out personally.
Positioned as Britain’s first online gateway for businesses looking for mentoring, it allows you to search by area and by the life stage of your business. All mentors are quality-assured.
As well as finding a mentor, you can also register to be a mentor.
Human Resources Solutions
If you’re a start-up then your recruitment process is probably still developing. Many small businesses are unable to justify spend on an HR department early on and this is where Human Resources Solutions is a Godsend.
HRS is a free service that provides employee policy templates for small businesses. They also offer free whitepapers and advice on employment and recruitment where needed.
Learning to take advice is no bad thing, we are always learning. They key is knowing where to look to get the right advice and not diluting this with inaccurate information, which as we all know can exist all over the internet.