Free business advice should be maximised by companies

Free business advice is widely available and should be capitalised on by businesses of all sizes and at all stages, says Adams Moore

Whether considering or embarking on business start-up or looking for information on how to take your firm to the next level, there is an array of free business advice available that owners may not be tapping into enough.

The rise of the internet means more than ever, business owners can turn to forums, online advice articles and networks, as well as making the most of free consultations with professional services providers. Here are three ways to access free business advice.

Make full use of networks – there are a variety of business networks that can aid businesses when it comes to advice on a wide variety of queries. Networks such as the regional Chambers of Commerce, although charge a membership fee, can really offer value in terms of the resources available to members such as newsletters, information and access to professional services. The National Enterprise Network offers a variety of free services to eligible social enterprise clients, and the government’s Business Support Helpline also offers free advice. Search for your local growth hub to source advice on funding, training, recruitment and more – there is an option to filter the search to just find free services.

Free consultation offers – many professional services providers offer free business advice via initial consultations, and are a great way to access advice and get a feel for whether the provider is one you’d like to work with on an on-going basis. For business services such as accountancy where is it likely you will have a continual requirement, it’s certainly worth taking up the offer of a free consultation if available, as not only can you get some great advice for free, but it will also give you the chance to find out more about solutions you may not have considered or even known about. Even if you are an established business, getting a new perspective on a service could be the breath of fresh air your business needs.

Online advice articles – there are so many websites dedicated to bringing advice and guidance to businesses of all sizes, at all stages and on all manner of topics. One simply has to just Google ‘business advice articles’ and an array of options will be available. Some of the best, in our opinion, include Real Business, Entrepreneur and the Guardian’s Small Business Network. They offer categories such as start-up, funding, sales and marketing, and tax. Most of the articles are written by business journalists and consultants, so the information is all bona fide.

Not many things in life are free – what are you waiting for!