Starting your own business is a huge step,
and one that can throw up many problems in areas where you may not be an
Even if you’re starting life as a one-man
band in a profession you know well, you will still need to deal with
complexities such as contracts, taxation and payroll, and not just once but
many times each year.
While this can be very stressful, there are
organisations around to help the thousands of people in your position, and
we’ve listed three of the best below:
1) The Federation of Small Businesses –
The FSB bills itself as the UK’s leading business organisation and claims to
have more than 200,000 members. It isn’t affiliated to any political party
(unlike some unions) and doesn’t aim to turn a profit, so you can be confident
you are getting the best, unbiased help for your situation or query. While it
does have a campaigning arm, it also offers legal and tax help and support, as
well as special offers aimed at members (including discounts on hiring meeting
rooms). Members also benefit from free business banking and help accessing
2) The Forum of Private Business –
Aanother useful resource, which offers services to small businesses including:
an employment law guide, help appealing if you are turned down for bank funding
and advice on common human resource issues.
3) Startup Britain â€“ A reasonably new kid on the block but was set up in 2011 by entrepreneurs
with the aim of helping others in the same boat. In their words, they want to
harness ‘the expertise and passion of Britainâ€™s leading businesspeople to
celebrate, inspire and accelerate enterprise in the UK’. They offer expert
tutorials, classes and regular inspiration via their site and social media
platforms to encourage and celebrate businesses of every description.
All the above organisations (and other
similar ones such as the Confederation of British Industry and the British
Chamber of Commerce) can be very useful at all stages of running a small
business, but don’t forget the wealth of experience and advice offered by your
own personal network of friends and professional contacts. From needing someone
relatively cheap to do occasional bookkeeping, to a media specialist to help
with press releases and promotion, through to an ad-hoc HR specialist who can
talk you through a one-off question, asking your network can save you a whole
heap of both time and money.
Whatever you’re going through, chances are
someone you know has the answer, so don’t be afraid to seek help locally as
well as from dedicated organisations.