Guidance, tools and resources for businesses
Business advice, guidance and support
We can offer help and support to individual businesses, for example by helping you with business planning, marketing strategy, or providing general guidance on the local economy and local business sectors. We can also put you in touch with key partners that might be able to help you with a range of topics, including the financial and legal aspects of running your business, providing training and skills and apprenticeships, managing personal development and accessing mentoring services.
To help you identify possible partners, clients or suppliers, we provide a list of businesses in West Berkshire [709kb], updated periodically.
If you're considering exporting goods, you can meet with your local government contact for help and support. In West Berkshire, our Export Finance Adviser is Stuart Stoter. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building networks of contacts can help support your business, find advice and give you a say in decisions that will affect your industry.
West Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is a good place to start - they exist to represent and further the interests of businesses in the area.
Buzz Start up and Connect Business Network is a new network, intended for new and recently established businesses. Their aim is to provide networking opportunities, workshops and events that will help to develop your business further.
The network has been formed by private sector partners, West Berkshire Council and supported by the Berkshire Business Growth Hub. You can register your interest or sign-up for membership online.
Business support from the government
The Great Business website is a single portal for businesses seeking support from the government.
At the core of the website is a new online tool, 'My Business Support', to help businesses identify their needs and direct them to the most appropriate public and private sector support.
Business Support Helpline
The Business Support Helpline offers advice and guidance for new and existing businesses. A team of specialist advisors can provide an in-depth personalised service for complex business issues.
Telephone 0300 456 3565, Monday to Friday (9am to 6pm) for help on starting and running a business.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Webinars
HMRC have designed "webinars" (online seminars) especially to provide help and support on self-employment. Please visit the Gov.uk website to view them, or for more information.
Growing Your Business
The Growing Your Business section on the Gov.uk website provides information and guidance to help your business succeed.
There's advice and support on a number of topics including:
- Planning for Growth
- Getting extra funding
- Increasing sales to existing customers
- Attracting new customers
- Improving and developing new products and services
- Hiring and training staff
- Working with a mentor
A business mentor can help a business develop ideas and grow. The 'Mentorsme' portal contains over 115 mentoring organisations, who provide access to around 27,000 business mentors, recruited and trained by the 'Get Mentoring' initiative.