Free small business resources not to be missed

Below we’ve compiled a list of free small business resources to assist UK based start-up and scale-up businesses. There are so many things to think about when starting a company so here are some invaluable tools and templates we’ve found along the way

Before launch

When starting a business, some people spend too much time on deciding a name. Moving fast and taking advantage of an opportunity is much more important. That said, it’s still important to ensure you’ve not chosen a name that may cause problems down the line.

Search on Google to see if there are any businesses in your chosen industry or location if there are then you may be best looking at other ideas.

If you are going to be a sole trader check companies house to ensure you wouldn’t have any problems incorporating the name at a later date.

Use namecheckr to search dozens of services at the same time such as domain names and social networks.

Getting organised

Whether working remotely or in the same room, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of files, tasks and who is working on what.

Google Docs includes 15GB of free storage and cloud-based document, spreadsheet and presentation creation software. It opens and saves Microsoft Office files for great compatibility and as it’s all in the cloud, you never have to worry about manually backing files up.

Trello is an excellent management tool for tracking the status of certain tasks within a project and offers a free version for small businesses to save your team some real time.

Marketing

Graphic design is everywhere in business, logos, business cards, leaflets, online ads and much more. Canva is an amazingly intuitive online business tool for making graphics, it helps with layouts and even provides colour inspiration.

Even with the popularity of small businesses launched from social media alone, it’s hard to argue against the fact that having a website will make you look much more professional.

There are tons of free services such as Wix and Weebly, but we’d recommend ucraft. It has a great balance of usability and flexibility. It includes free Google Cloud hosting plus e-commerce and blog options.

Moving day

Ensure you publish your location on Google My Business and fill out as many fields as possible. This will help your customers and potential customers find you and all the information they need on a platform that most people use. It also has great SEO benefits.

If a UK business employs more than 5 people, UK guidelines state that you must assess fire risks. Take a look here to download a free fire risk assessment template from Surrey Fire & Safety Ltd. It’s available as a PDF or a Word file and includes guidance on how to fill it out. This is essential for not only keeping your employees safe from fire but also property and contents.

There’s likely to be a few more costs to keep track of when moving to an office or retail space. This handy financial tracking template allows you to evaluate expenses against budgets to ensure you’re not spending too much in the new workspace.

We hope this collection of free business resources will be useful for small businesses based in the UK. It can feel daunting at the beginning but don’t try and re-invent the wheel, there are lots of free to access materials out there for all kinds of needs.

Marketme

Marketme

Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.

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