5 free resources every business owner needs to know about

Running a business is expensive, but with these free government funded resources, you could stand to save a lot and get the jump on your competition.

It’s never been easy to set-up and run a business, and it’s safe to say that the current economic climate isn’t helping to buck that trend. Nearly 20% of SMEs are using their own savings to stay afloat, which isn’t sustainable and puts a huge amount of pressure on entrepreneurs.

Large companies have the financial security to initiate their digital transformations, but for small businesses, it’s a different story. So, how exactly can small business owners catch a break? And how can aspiring business owners find the inspiration and information that’ll help them pursue their dreams?

The UK Government has the answer. Through its Digital Service platform, it’s not only showcasing the public sector as a digital pioneer, it’s providing entrepreneurs with the information they need to start and grow their businesses. Check out the five online resources that you should be using right now:

GOV.UK

Launched in 2012, GOV.UK is a public sector information website created by the Government Digital Service. No matter what stage you’re at in your business journey, it has everything you need to ensure you’re heading in the right direction. Maybe you’ve just started out and need help writing a business plan. Or you have the foundations for a business, but need to source financial support. Or you’ve made your mark on home soil and want to do business abroad. Either way, GOV.UK is your go-to.

Business Support Line

If you’re frustrated with trawling the internet for information on how to start and maintain a business, the Government Business Support Line offers an ideal solution. Not only can you benefit from expert advice (on everything from company tax returns to exporting), it’s expert advice in an easy to understand format; you can go straight to the person with the answers. What’s more, as a regional service, the information is tailored to your area.

Local Enterprise Partnerships

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and local private sector businesses. With thirty-eight LEPs across England, no matter what village, town or city your business is in, there’s help on your doorstep. To date they’ve delivered £7.6 billion of private sector investment, supported over 196,000 businesses and created over 180,000 local jobs, proving their worth in driving business, and the nation’s economic growth.

Great Business

Covering finance, employment, markets and regulations, the Great Business platform is your one stop source for business advice, support and inspiration. So, if you’re a wannabe entrepreneur wanting to turn your idea into a business, you can access the numerous articles, case studies and videos featured on the website. Digest the information the way you want, when you want. It’ll take you from your business’ registration, through the scale-up process, to a valid and successful business.

Start Up Loans

On a mission to make entrepreneurship a viable career for financially-struggling individuals is the Start Up Loans company. Through government-backed loans and business support, it could help you to start and grow your dream business. With more than £350 million worth of loans, supporting over 50,000 business ideas, its value is obvious. As a successful applicant, you could not only benefit from a £25,000 low-interest loan, but free mentoring from the entrepreneurs that have been there and lived it.

Using any one of these resources is a sure to way to begin your start-up journey and to keep you on track to becoming the proud owner of a thriving business – all the information you need is at your fingertips.

With the Government issuing business owners (hopeful and existing) a wealth of advice, have you ever considered a government collaboration? Read our article to find out why you should and how it could drive your business’ innovation, growth and success.