Starting a business is an exhilarating experience, but it can also be quite treacherous if you’re not entirely sure where you’re going. Luckily, there’s a wealth of information out there to help you prepare.
Ever on the pilgrimage to make your business endeavours easier, we’ve collated a list of the best places to look for startup and small business advice. The best part? Most of them are free!
1. Startup advice
Gov.uk provides a range of business and financial support options, including advice on writing a business plan, help with advice support, and financial help from government backed schemes. These vary depending on where you are in the country so why not take a look at what is available.
The government isn’t the only place you can find funding for your business – at Crunch, we have a range of start-up guides to help you get yourself ready to take the self-employment plunge. Here are a small taste of the articles and guides you might find helpful as a new starter:
- Setting up as a sole trader guide
- Starting a limited company guide
- Becoming self-employed – 13 things to consider before going freelance
- Startup funding options available
- What are unsecured and secured business loans and how do they work?
There are other more niche options open to you as well. Startup Britain is characterised as a “national campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs” and provides free events and advice for budding businesses. They also work with the government in order to create better initiatives and funding options for startups, which aims to give small businesses the opportunity to have their say.
99u is an Adobe-backed site that aims to empower the creative community. The site offers a selection of articles, interviews, videos and advice on innovation and creative thinking. If you’re feeling a little depleted and you need some business motivation, 99u is a great place to start.
2. HR advice for small business
At Crunch, we have a wide array of knowledge articles and business guides to help answer your HR questions. Some of the articles we’ve penned in the past include:
- Working Time Regulations – Working Hours, Rest Breaks and Holiday Entitlements Guide
- Travel from home straight to a customer? The rules have changed
- Statutory sick pay, sickness and fit notes.
As well as our invaluable Knowledge articles and guides (such as this one!) there are other great resources around the web.
ACAS provides information, advice, training and other services for employers and employees relating to employment and HR issues. As well as advice and training, ACAS offers online modules to help you achieve the ‘model workplace’ and get to grips with employment law.
Early conciliation is a particularly useful section of the ACAS site if you find yourself in a workplace dispute. The free service offers the opportunity to resolve issues without having to go to an employment tribunal.
HR Zone has a decent mix of informative blog posts, white papers and employment law features. They also have a library and online resource centre, which offers a 14-day free trial for all new members. It’s free to join and you’ll be alerted of all up-and-coming events in your area.
Human Resource Solutions support small businesses who may not have the capital or need to hire HR professionals. The website offers free and professionally-written resources, as well as downloadable HR policies and procedures templates.
3. Accounting advice
If you’re after accounting advice, then you’re already in the right place. At Crunch, we have tons of articles and guides on the subject of accounting, with dedicated support available on tap to all our clients.
Among our range of articles you’ll find the answer to most, if not all, of your accounting questions, explained without the messy financial jargon. You can get a taste of our accounting support articles below:
HMRC is the almighty ruler of all British tax issues and has all of the financial information required to set up your business and manage your finances. It’s not the easiest website to navigate, so here are some of the most useful areas for you:
- Starting a business – Help and support for new businesses, including what you need to register to get set up, limited company, VAT, PAYE for employers, record keeping etc.
- Corporation tax – Information on how to register, calculate and manage your corporation tax
- Import and export – Tax laws on international trade, import control system and how to apply.
The new HMRC section on the gov.uk website is much more user-friendly.
4. Business mentoring services
Mentorsme is designed to help you find a business mentor as quickly and easily as possible. You can also find a range of useful resources on their website, including accounting a business advice, better financial control and how to complete a lending request.
If it’s accountancy advice you’re after then you’re in the right place – find out more about how the benefits of an online accounting service and see how it could save you time and money.