Consider joining a business support organisation…
There are many organisations out there that offer a wide range of business support. This includes The Federation of Small Businesses as well as the British Chamber of Commerce.
In this article I will focus upon the British Chamber of Commerce.
Such organisations were set up to assist businesses across the UK. There is a Chamber of Commerce in 53 areas of the country, and their support ranges from building connections to helping to change government policy on decisions that affect various industries.
Your local chamber should be able to signpost you to different areas of support. They will be aware of what’s happening in your local area and should have access to any financial assistance available, such as grant funding. This has been particularly important following the Covid-19 lockdowns, which have affected most businesses adversely; chambers have been able to guide their members towards grants and support they can apply for.
One of the main benefits that comes from joining your local chamber is that you can build strong connections with other members. By working together collaboratively, businesses can exchange services and therefore gain additional business. There are always networking opportunities, too. All networking is likely to be online at the moment, but this still provides occasions where you can shout about your business and forge relationships.
In addition, all chambers should offer International Trade Services. These are particularly important at this moment in time, as we have now transitioned through Brexit and the process for importing and exporting has become more complicated. Your chamber can help you navigate this minefield of paperwork and legislation.
Many chambers offer assistance to their members through various business tools. These include Human Resources support, legal assistance and various training elements. There will be a wide range of courses available via your chamber’s training department as well training provided by other chamber members. If your business provides such support, you may be able to offer your services to fellow members.
I have also heard that the Chambers of Commerce offer a credit report service. In these uncertain times, this could prove invaluable. You don’t want to carry out work for an organisation that cannot pay you, thereby leaving you with a bad debt and putting your business at risk of bankruptcy. If you can check that they’re credit worthy beforehand, this will give you peace of mind.
There is probably more to the British Chamber of Commerce than you ever thought. If you’re looking for additional business support in your local area, with the added benefit of building relationships with other members, explore your local chamber.
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