Every successful business starts with a good idea. To turn that into a venture that survives and thrives requires help and support along the way.
From researching your market to registering your company, there are steps you'll need to take. Our guide below takes you through some of the types of support available and you can use our Support Finder to discover specific schemes which could help your business.
If you are thinking about starting your own business, or need guidance through the first stages of setting-up, you can also access support and advice through a dedicated phone line and website, backed by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
Business Support Helpline on 0300 456 3565,
Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm
The Business Support Helpline offers a team of specialist advisors who can provide a personalised service for complex business cases. You can choose a convenient telephone appointment time and get up to 60 minutes of free, expert advice.
Finance & Funding
There are loans available for start-up businesses and you'll need a good business plan in place if this is the route you're looking to take. You might be able to get help from a government-backed support scheme if you need some initial funding to test and develop your business idea. If you can show that there’s a market for your business, you can consider a loan from one of the high street lenders. Alternatively, you could sell shares in your enterprise and secure funding in return for equity in your new venture.
Networking & Events
Millions of pounds worth of transactions happen every day thanks to business networks. Local branches of national networks, such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Federation of Small Businesses, hold regular meetings and events across the Marches region. As well as being a great way to meet potential customers, network expos and conferences are a great place to learn more about different aspects of managing your business and perhaps make partnerships with organisations which compliment what you offer.
Advice & Support
Whether you're starting an enterprise from the spare bedroom or the kitchen table, you'll need a plan. There is support out there to help you make that start, beginning with what should be in a business plan and how it should be presented, through to managing other key projects in your development, such as creating and launching your website or finding those perfect first premises. Don't wrestle with doubts – ask an expert!
Employment & Skills
For many start-ups, the owner of the business may also be its only employee. Entrepreneurs need to be able to turn their hand to a number of business tasks, focusing on everything from accounting to marketing. However, successful start-ups can soon find themselves looking at how to make their first hire or maybe to take on an apprentice. It's an exciting time, as well as being a stage of development that can benefit hugely from expert guidance in taking all of the right steps while avoiding common pitfalls.
There are a number of resources available to start-up businesses which cover the A-Z of launching a new enterprise. From start-up business blogs to 'how-to' videos on YouTube and collected guides to laws and regulations on the Business is Great website, start-up companies can read about the successes of other entrepreneurs, hear their top tips for creating a successful business and learn about the pitfalls and rewards of going it alone to become self-employed or begin a new venture from scratch.
Our news section features stories about the business community in the Marches region and information on schemes which are launched to support businesses. There will be news on opportunities for business growth and more on events held by business support teams. Our blog, which will be open to businesses to share their experience, will provide helpful guidance and tips and you can also read about how real businesses are growing in our case study section.