Good Resources for Business Advice

For a small business owner or starting entrepreneur, the issue is no longer where to find any advice at all, but rather how to sort through the mass of information available in order to find the best advice possible. A simple search engine enquiry reveals hundreds of sites dedicated to small businesses and start-ups. Here are just a few of the most useful.

As you might expect, the government itself has a number of dedicated websites giving advice on varied issues to business owners. Perhaps the most useful, and one which should be high on your favourites list, is www.businesslink.gov.uk. Packed with resources on every aspect of business life, it will help you keep up to date with the latest legislation and business issues, as well as potential funding opportunities and legal pitfalls.

Speaking of government funding, if you are trying to sort through the many different grant and loan programmes offered by the state, why not check out the UK Business Funding Centre? Their online ‘funding finder’ might be just the thing you need to identify the programme that is right for you, and can be found at www.ukbusinessgrants.org

Alternatively, you might be looking for a ‘one stop shop’ of advice, given by independent experts and supported by a community of small business owners and entrepreneurs. As long as you’re not put off by the slightly strange name, then StartUpDonut may be the site for you. To be found at www.startupdonut.co.uk, this site not only contains a host of useful resources for both start-up and well established business owners, but also boasts a forum of like-minded people, and a regularly updated blog. The site also has a number of spin off pages, such as The Marketing Donut (www.marketingdonut.co.uk).

A similar website, with access to expert Q+As and regular articles, can be found at www.smallbusiness.co.uk. Many commercial sites also offer significant amounts of free advice to the small business owner, such as that which can be found at www.experian.co.uk/small-business/. While such sites are obviously trying to sell services to you, there is no reason that the discerning business owner cannot take the sales pitch with a pinch of salt and partake of some free articles at the same time.

Of course, advice isn’t all that is available on the Internet. There are useful products and services to be found as well. For example, if you are looking for the best way to draw up a crucial business plan, you can browse a whole range of pieces of software designed to make the process easier. The number one selling program is currently Business Plan Pro UK, which can be found at www.paloalto.com/uk/business_plan_software/. Alternatively, perhaps you are looking for demographic information to inform that business plan. You need look no further than one of the many sites which analyse local neighbourhoods across the UK, the biggest of which is currently www.zoopla.co.uk.

The sites mentioned above are just a taster of the useful information you can find online. Happy searching!

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