So you’re taking the plunge and starting a new business? Congratulations! It’s an exciting process, but there’s a good chance it’ll feel like a daunting one as well. Luckily for you, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Find out below where you can find support for new business owners so you can start your new venture with a bit more peace of mind.
You can’t start a business without the proper funds. And although you’ll probably chip in a lot of your own money, this often still won’t cover all the expenses that come with a new business. That’s why you need to find financial support for your new business.
Fortunately, once you start up a new business you (often) automatically become eligible to receive financial new business support from the UK government. This support is regulated in the form of over 200 different government grants that you can apply for.
Before you apply for government grants to support your business you should ensure that you’ve read the specific T&Cs of each grant. Alternatively, you can get in touch with someone at the relevant government body first. Your new business probably won’t be eligible for all grants, and even when eligible you might have to use the grant for a predetermined purpose.
If you aren’t eligible for government grants, or wish to seek additional financial support, you can look for organisations (government or private) to provide loans or funding.
Many of such organisations are aimed at supporting a specific demographic or industry, so you will need to spend some time finding the right organisation that fits you and your new business. Alternatively, banks offer loans and overdrafts tailored to new businesses as well.
There are loads of dedicated networks and organisations that support entrepreneurs and start-ups in setting up their new businesses. Again, many of these are aimed at a specific group, so investigate where your business fits in. For example, if you are a female entrepreneur, you might find support through networks like Prowess or Everywoman.
Such networks often have a wealth of freely accessible blog content aimed at entrepreneurs that need support for setting up their new business. Many of these networks offer (paid) membership-exclusive content as well.
If you’re just starting out, paying the often relatively small monthly fee can really pay off. Some even help you connect with a dedicated (free or paid) business support mentor.
What better help than someone who has done it all before? Finding a mentor to guide you as you venture into the world of start-ups can help you avoid the pitfalls that they didn’t know of when they first started. But how do you find that special someone?
Of course, ideally, you have a good friend or uncle who can teach you the tricks of the trade for free.
What if you don’t know any entrepreneurs yourself?
Luckily, there are several dedicated business mentor websites where you can find either free or paid-for mentors. The best-known place for this in the UK is mentorsme. Furthermore, when you join a network specific to your type of business, you may sometimes find a mentor through that network.
Lastly, a quick note on the current coronavirus pandemic and what this means for new business support.
To help businesses in need, the government has set up multiple different financial support schemes to help struggling businesses. As a new business owner who is already trading and who is affected by the coronavirus crisis, you too may be eligible for financial support. To find out more, we advise you to have a look at the official government website.
If you haven’t yet established your business and are still looking for funding for your new business, the government has set out a special Coronavirus Future Fund, issuing loans to innovative new companies that are facing issues with financing because of the coronavirus crisis. To find out more or to apply, please visit the relevant government guidance.
Good luck with finding the right support for your new business!