Helpful dog

Starting your own business can be daunting, you’re bound to face a time where you want to ask questions, get some guidance or see what other people are doing. There are a number of good resources out there, here we have put together a selection of our favourites. (SB) is a knowledge hub, a forum, an arena for brainstorming and inspiration. Here you’ll find news, tips and tricks across a range of easily navigated categories. From business planning, to advice about funding, setting up a company and achieving work-life balance – SB covers all bases. There is also a section on success stories – great inspiration when you feel a bit stuck. There is a whole section on financing your business – an area we know can be scary, but this gives a good overview of everything you need to know.
Similar to SB, Smarta is an extensive resource with guides and how-tos for a wide range of topics. From essential knowledge like how to register your business, to the more specified like how you become a freelance photographer – Smarta has it covered. In addition to their website they also host regular panel evenings and network events – a great chance to get out there and meet other business owners in a relaxed setting. Worth checking out is also their video-section – with interviews from an impressive group of people. Smarta is all about encouraging you to take the leap, they also provide loans to start ups and helps their clients with mentoring and follow-up.

The Donuts; and are two other excellent resources for those owning or working for a small business. They offer s high amount of practical advice and guides on a varied set of topics – e.g. how to write a press release, case studies and interviews with people in the industry. The donut-websites also have offers on services you/your business might need, as well as being a portal for you to contact experts in your field.
For inspirational reading and all the latest news – is a great source of knowledge for anyone running, or thinking of starting, their own business. Packed with great tips and tricks, this is a great place to expand your knowledge and to stay on top of what’s happening in the industry/entrepreneurial space. With great articles on everything from SEO to discussions about current news and updates, entrepreneur is a highly readable magazine-style site with good quality content.
Forbes’ section on entrepreneurship and small businesses is extensive. Case-studies and news in a fresh packaging – the tone is conversational and the topics diverse. Like Entrepreneur, this is a good place to go for staying in the loop of what is going on.
Bira is the British Independent Retailers Association and offers a range of advice and services to their members. Bira has approximately 7000 members and says of itself to be a ‘champion of independents’. Services on offer range from legal to web design; they also offer training and discounts for a range of products you might need as a small business – e.g. packaging, card processing and stationary. Membership is priced depending on your annual turnover, see their website for more information.

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