The resources that are required to run a business can usually be separated into a handful of categories.
- Financial – the money and funding required to either launch or scale the venture.
- Human – the people (employees, co-founders, shareholders, advisers) who are involved.
- Educational – industry knowledge, news, training, reports, research, thought-leadership etc.
- Physical – the tangible assets (workspace, premises, equipment) required for operation.
- Emotional – a support network of friends, family, mentors and professional connections.
As the owner of a flourishing business it’s essential to find sources of sustenance which will nourish and feed each of these requirements. They are all crucial elements of running a business.
In this article we’re going to focus on the educational bracket, but will also touch upon other resources to help you run your business.
HM Revenue & Customs is an essential stop-off for any business owner, whether new or established. You’ll find information to help you with writing a business plan, details about government support initiatives, and guidance on everything from VAT to Self Assessment. This is certainly a resource you’ll want to bookmark.
Chamber of Commerce
You can either browse the British Chambers of Commerce website, or seek out your own local Chamber of Commerce online to unlock a wealth of invaluable business support.
Not only do the Chambers provide financial and educational resource, it also feeds into the human requirements we discussed earlier. Connecting with your local Chamber puts you in touch with a network of people and businesses who can support, advise and mentor you. It’s good for networking, too.
With the tagline ‘a national campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs’, you can be safe in the knowledge that Startup Britain is decent source of information for newbies.
Here you’ll find a collection of blog posts, articles and advice pieces, alongside other resources which help connect local businesses. There’s also an interactive events map to keep you up to date with your industry’s event calendar.
Your accountant’s website
There is much more to an accountant than simply filing tax returns and dealing with the payroll. These days a good firm will also have a website or blog that is an absolute goldmine of invaluable finance advice, business tips and industry insight.
Staying abreast of ongoing updates to regulations, deadlines, schemes and news can be tricky when you’re contending with a never-ending to-do list. Your accountant’s website could be the perfect one-stop source.
The wonderful world of podcasts
Speaking of never-ending to-do lists and being short on time, podcasts are the perfect solution for those who prefer to squeeze their information-gathering into the morning commute, a lunchtime walk or a weekend stint on the treadmill.
Reading articles, rooting out reports and checking in on websites can sometimes be just that bit too time consuming. Instead, you can plug in and press play on a podcast to listen along whilst multitasking.
Hearing from those who have been there before and learning from their experiences is often one of the best ways to educate yourself and steer your own approach.
Some great podcasts we recommend listening to:
- How I Built This (With Guy Raz)
- HBR IdeaCast by Harvard Business Review
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- StartUp Podcast
- Masters of Scale
Of course, you know better than anybody what skills you’re lacking and where you could benefit from some additional support. Just make sure that the sources you’re absorbing your knowledge from are reputable ones delivering factual information.
Top tips to ensure good quality resources
- Check when the article you’re reading was published – is it still relevant, or out of date?
- Look out for .gov, .ac or .org websites as these are often credible sources.
- Steer clear of websites with suspicious pop ups requesting your details
- Stick to sources which specialise in your industry, or business advice as a wider topic
If you’re looking for some professional help with your business, check out our price comparison for online accounting packages.