Support Services for New Business Startups

Support services are vital for the success of any new business since few startups can afford to do everything by itself. The British Government, many not-for-profits, academic institutions and other trade and commercial organisations makes available many support services to promote entrepreneurship. Such schemes provide startup entrepreneurs with technical expertise, manufacturing know-how, marketing information, legal compliance help, opportunity to benchmark, platform to network, access to low cost infrastructure and more.

Government and Not-for-Profit Backed Schemes

Business Link provides just about any possible information that a startup entrepreneur require including information on upcoming fairs and events, and information on how to find customers. The range of resources available in the Website helps the entrepreneur organise and manage finances, human resources, marketing and taxation. It also allows the facility to apply for licences online and comply with environmental legislation. An interactive tool provides a step by step guide on how to set up and grow a business in London. Subject experts from both within the government and the industry contribute extensively to this Website.

The "Business Boot Camps" scheme, situated in London WC1 (nearest tube stations: Russell Square, Goodge Street and Euston Square) is an intensive training programme to help entrepreneurs in technology, fashion, hospitality, entertainment, bio-tech and other sectors develop their skills. The programme consists of courses tailor made for the specific sector and equips the entrepreneur with comprehensive technical information, industry trends and more.

The Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI)
backed "Get Mentoring Scheme" provides entrepreneurs the opportunity to get mentors for themselves. Such mentors help the entrepreneur to benchmark peers, undertake market research, plan investments, train the workforce and perform other crucial activities that ensure the success of their venture.

The Barking and Dagenham Small Business Centre (BDSBC), established in Barking, is a borough-level agency that offers their expertise to would-be entrepreneurs develop business plans and manage functional activities such as accounting.

The London Development Agency backed Enterprise Enfield, situated in the North London area of Enfield offers lectures and seminars on a series of entrepreneurship relevant topics. Attending such seminars allow startup entrepreneurs an opportunity to enrich their practical knowledge and network. The centre also offers startups access to low cost premises.

Health4Work is part of the Government's Health, Work and Well-being Strategy. The scheme offers entrepreneurs free advice and information on health issues affecting the employee.

The not-for-profit Carbon Trust, which has offices in London, SE1 (nearest tube stations: Waterloo and Southwark), provides specialist support to help business cut down their carbon emissions and save energy. It also provides help in commercialising low carbon technologies.

netRegs offer free guidance to help businesses comply with environmental regulations and use resources efficiently. Among other information, it provides a list of licensed waste sites to dispose or recycle business waste.

Business Incubators

Business Incubators offer services very often indispensable when starting up a new business from scratch. Such incubators provide startups with office space, computers, machinery, secretarial pool and more.

The UK Business Incubation (UKBI) operates many commercial clusters offering plug and play facilities for entrepreneurs starting their new business. The range of support on offer extends from office space to research and development centres and from social regeneration projects to programme disseminating technical, scientific and research resources among entrepreneurs.

Accelerator, a specialist business incubator in Shoreditch (nearest tube stations: Old Street, Liverpool Street and Hoxton ) delivers Innovate London, a free programme funded by European Regional Development Fund. This scheme helps small businesses improve business performance and environmental management, and encourage innovation.

Many other incubators also offer valuable and innovative services for businesses. The Google and Financial Times backed TechHub, for instance, is a networking centre for tech entrepreneurs and offers desk space starting £10 a day. A similar centre, Innovation Warehouse (nearest tube stations: St Pauls, Farringdon and Barbican), backed by the City of London Corporation offers space in the historic Smithfield market and access to micro-finance from business angels. The UKBI estimates over 300 such hubs in the UK supporting more than 12,000 young businesses in all sectors.

Many academic institutions in London offer startup businesses office space, computers and communication systems. Entrepreneurs should make the most of the management and consulting advice offered by such institutions.

Web hosting company CatN offer a range of cloud hosting services that are well suited for technology start-ups. Their openstack cloud hosting service is used by numerous start-ups because of its flexibility, and the 30 day terms and no upfront costs keep the bottom line healthy.

In the age of cut-throat competition an informed entrepreneur who makes full use of the available support services stand in good stead to establish the business and succeed.