Starting a new business is always an exciting time for any new entrepreneur, but unfortunately no-one ever said that it was going to be easy!
Granted, there are many online resources that can help with general help and advice, but unless you know where to link or more importantly, you know what it is you actually want, then you will never really be able to find out the information you require.
So if you are a new startup business, where are the best places to get help and support from? Here is a quick rundown of the most common options available to you.
Public sector assistance
Although you might not think it, there are a number of government agencies within the United Kingdom that you can contact for help and support:
Business Link (England) – scaled back these days due to state funding cuts, it is still a good source of help and advice. The old Business Link website has been absorbed and redesigned as part of the gov.uk portal, and even though you can no longer see any business advisers in person, you can still contact them on the Business Support Helpline by telephone;
Business Wales – designed specifically for Welsh business startups, this online portal offers information on a number of topics such as starting and running a business, and where to get finance and funding;
Business Gateway (Scotland) – this easy-to-use website is a great resource for all Scottish startup businesses and features a number of articles that will help you establish, run and grow your new business. They even have local advisers that you can meet to help you with any specific areas of your firm that you be struggling with;
Invest Northern Ireland – an economic development agency for Northern Ireland, it is responsible for ensuring that there is adequate help and support for entrepreneurs in this part of the UK.
In terms of financial assistance, there are also a number of sources where you can apply for grant funding for your new business. It is worth contacting your local council, as they may have details of grants provided from the European Regional Development Fund.
Private sector and non-profit organisation assistance
Although the government agencies can offer help and advice on a number of areas when it comes to starting up a new business, there are also a lot of private sector firms and charities which can also offer help, with some being entirely sponsored by private companies for the purposes of encouraging economic growth in Britain.
Here are some of the most common private sector organisations that can help:
Shell LiveWIRE (16 to 30 year old entrepreneurs) – set up by the petroleum firm back in 1982, it offers free online business advice to young entrepreneurs as well as awarding startup grants of up to £10,000 to many new businesses;
The Prince’s Trust – this charity has an Enterprise Programme which is designed for people aged 18 to 30 who are unemployed and cannot secure all of the funding or support they require to establish their new business;
ActionCOACH – many new businesses struggle to achieve their full potential, but these obstacles can be overcome with expert help and advice from experienced and knowledgeable business owners who work with new startups as business coaches. Check out the ActionCOACH reviews to see just how good they really are, and how they can benefit your new startup business!
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