December 9, 2022

6 resources to help UK small businesses thrive

Even the most venerated B-school grad knows that an entrepreneur’s education is never complete. It doesn’t end with a degree, a product launch, or even an IPO. There is always another lesson to learn—and almost without fail, it will crop up when and where you least expect it.

Whether you’re a serial entrepreneur with a slew of startups under your belt or a first-time business owner just learning the ropes, there’s no shortage of online resources for investigating everything from the intricacies of Self Assessment to the power of peer networking. 

As May is Dell’s Small Business Month in the UK, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most useful resources worth exploring for meeting other entrepreneurs, finding SME insights and perspectives, and developing a toolkit for whatever learning curve your small business has in store.

For solutions-focused networking: Peer Networks

Backed by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Peer Networks is a solutions-oriented programme available to small- and medium-sized businesses in England. The platform, which launched as part of the government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, offers free networking sessions facilitated by experts. It’s a non-competitive, collaborative forum for discussing everything from tax questions to adapting to a post-Brexit business environment. 

Interested applicants simply fill out an enquiry form to determine eligibility, and if they’re accepted, they’ll be matched with 8-11 peers facing similar challenges or opportunities. Groups meet fortnightly, and the programme gives quite a return on your time investment—you’re sure to learn loads in just a few hours.

For female entrepreneurs: Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network

The Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) encourages women business leaders to connect with each other for support, insights, and networking opportunities. The global organisation includes members from 50 countries, and provides access to inspiring female founders through a series of events and programmes. 

A few of the benefits of a DWEN membership include joining a thriving community of other women entrepreneurs, inventors, and subject matter experts, as well as receiving custom-tailored technology resources that can help your business reach the next level—whatever that might be.

For helpful content: IPSE + FSB

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) and the National Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are two not-for-profit organisations that provide support for and lobby on behalf of freelancers, gig workers, contractors, and small business owners. Even if you don’t plan to join either of these groups as full-fledged members, their websites offer a variety of useful resources and how-to articles on topics like invoicing clients, creating business plans, and paying taxes as a self-employed worker. IPSE also produces a podcast called Freelance Corner that covers everything from freelancer IT to securing a mortgage as a self-employed professional.

For entrepreneurship 101: Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation is a free networking group that provides advice to hundreds of thousands of small businesses each year. With in-person meet-ups, lunch and learns, and a variety of virtual online networking events on the docket for 2021, Enterprise Nation offers the opportunity to exchange ideas with likeminded professionals in a casual, low-pressure setting. Members get a personalised dashboard to track their support and find tools that are applicable to their business and its stage of growth. The group has also published a free ebook, The StartUp Kit, to help guide new business owners through the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

For when your HR department is a team of one: Human Resource Solutions

Though it’s not the prettiest or most modern-looking website on this list, Human Resource Solutions offers invaluable resources for small businesses in the form of free, downloadable guides—employee handbook templates, equality policy verbiage, and health and safety audit questionnaires, among many more helpful documents. All of the resources listed on the site are free. It’s a great starting point for small business owners who aren’t yet at the stage of hiring a dedicated HR professional.

For small business owners seeking support, educational materials, or a community—either on or offline—there are dozens of avenues to explore. No matter how you tap into the resources listed above, it helps to have the right hardware. 

This Small Business Month, Dell Technologies are hosting a unique virtual event series from the 4th-27th May. Turn Off, Tune In is a series of masterclasses, talks and workshops designed to help small businesses rest, recharge and come back, ready to take on what’s next. Find out more and register here.

What’s more Dell is also rolling out special offers all month long, including deals on laptops, desktops, workstations, and more. Visit this link to learn more

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