Running a small business can be challenging no matter what industry you are in. You might find yourself needing a helping hand, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been running your small business for years. Whether it’s financial advice, industry-related advice or just to talk to like-minded people, it can be beneficial to your business.
There is a significant percentage of businesses that fail in their first year. By joining a small business association, you might uncover a network of fellow entrepreneurs to help your business succeed.
With that in mind, here are just a few small business associations that you may want to consider joining, and the benefits of doing so.
Joining the Federation of Small Businesses
The Federation of Small Businesses is specifically aimed at smaller businesses within the UK, offering members a huge range of services. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been established for a while, the FSB will support you in achieving your ambitions.
The FSB works across the UK with regional arms of the association. They offer bespoke membership packages to suit your business needs. Join and take advantage of services including financial expertise and business support. The Federation of Small Businesses has a powerful voice in government and hosts annual awards to celebrate small businesses across the country.
The FSB offers support on everything from health and safety to legal protection schemes and debt recovery advice. Their online publication, First Voice, includes articles that are crucial to small business owners, whether it’s changes in government or topical information on cybersecurity and marketing.
Joining the Association of Small Businesses
The Association of Small Businesses was created by a group of voluntary small business owners, which has now expanded to a community of people with a common goal. Whether it’s sharing helpful contacts or seeking out business opportunities for peers, members of the ASB can benefit from free membership.
The ASB aims to reduce the number of businesses failing within the first 5 years, as well as actively providing opportunities for further business. The ASB is home to a strong business community that ensures small businesses benefit from increased profitability.
Joining is a simple matter of providing some basic information on your business and needs, and an informal chat!
Joining the Institute of Directors
The Institute of Directors was founded in 1903, and within 3 years it was awarded a Royal Charter to support and represent business leaders across the country. The IOD is a business association found within all the major cities.
They offer different memberships depending on your needs and industry. This includes a network especially for young business owners and entrepreneurs. The Institute of Directors offers training courses, including bespoke in-company programmes, official qualifications and open courses. The Institute also hosts several events throughout the year, such as conferences and networking events.
The Institute of Directors is particularly helpful in making sure your views are taken into account when the government is reviewing policy and legislation.
Joining Your Local Chamber of Commerce
The British Chambers of Commerce is the ultimate destination for small business advice. It sits at the heart of the business network across the UK, with regional Chambers that you can join. With the opportunity to connect your business to other businesses and decision-makers, the Chambers of Commerce brings together firms to build lasting relationships.
The BCC’s opinions are regularly sought by policymakers and parliamentarians. The BCC has been helping to shape the UK’s business agenda for over 100 years. They aim to represent the best interests of British business, with specific support for the likes of international trade.
The British Chambers of Commerce carries out an array of lobbying and representation work, as well as offering business owners advice. Whether you’re trying to increase sales, save money within your business or explore new opportunities, the BCC can help you do it.