Useful Links & Business Resources

Useful Links for Business

Navigating the world of entrepreneurship and small business management can often feel like sailing through uncharted waters. With obstacles at every turn and the constant pressure to stay ahead, it’s crucial to have a beacon guiding you to success. At SMBPilot, we understand these challenges and are dedicated to illuminating your path with practical, insightful resources tailored for your journey. Whether you’re plotting your course through the startup phase, steering through the complexities of daily operations, or charting new territories in expansion, our curated collection of tools, tips, and strategies is designed to navigate you towards achieving your business aspirations. Let us be your co-pilot in this adventure, empowering you with the knowledge and resources to soar to new heights.

Quick Links

Starting Your Business

Opening a new business

Starting a new business in the UK can feel overwhelming, but thankfully, a wealth of support is available to guide you through this exciting journey. Much like preparing for a trip, launching your business requires a clear understanding of your current position, your destination, and the path to get there. This involves meticulous planning and setting precise goals.

To assist in this process, various organisations and publications offer essential resources and information. They aim to keep you focused and on track, ensuring you have all the necessary tools to successfully start and grow your business in the UK market.

Organisations – Your primary source for government services and information, offering comprehensive guides on starting, managing, and growing your business in the UK.

The Prince’s Trust – Supports young entrepreneurs aged 18-30 with business advice, mentoring, and funding.

British Business Bank – A government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses across the UK.

Companies House – Registers company information and makes it available to the public, crucial for all UK businesses during the incorporation process.

The Start Up Loans Company – Offers government-backed personal loans for business purposes to startups and early-stage businesses.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) – Provides members with a wide range of business services including advice, financial expertise, and support.

Institute of Directors (IoD) – Professional organisation for company directors, senior business leaders and entrepreneurs, offering networking, advice, and resources.

UK Business Angels Association – The UK trade body for angel and early-stage investment, supporting companies in accessing finance.

Entrepreneurs’ Network – Offers support, knowledge, and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Enterprise Nation – A vibrant community of small businesses and business advisers that offer support and networking opportunities.

Business Planning

Engaging with a meticulously crafted business plan is not merely about charting a course; it’s about setting the sails correctly in the ever-evolving UK business seascape. A strategic plan acts as your beacon, guiding through the fog of market uncertainties and steering towards growth and success.

MArketing Business Plan

Furthermore, in the bustling marketplace of the UK, where innovation and tradition intersect, a well-structured business plan becomes your declaration of intent. It communicates to investors, partners, and competitors alike that your vision is not just a castle in the air, but a fortress in the making, grounded in research, insight, and foresight.


Department for International Trade (DIT): Offers comprehensive support for UK exporters.

Exporting is GREAT: Provides access to international opportunities, advice, and support.

UK Export Finance (UKEF): The UK’s export credit agency, offering finance and insurance support.

Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT): Professional membership body offering training and qualifications. “Institute of Export & International Trade”.

British Exporters Association (BExA): An independent national trade association representing the interests of the export community.


British Franchise Association (BFA): Sets ethical standards and provides information for franchising.

Franchise Direct UK: Offers a directory of franchise opportunities.

Whichfranchise Specialises in offering franchising advice and opportunities.

Franchise Opportunities for Sale in the UK

The Franchise Magazine: Provides news and franchise information.

Other useful organisations

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): Regulates financial services and offers consumer information.

Small Business Commissioner: Addresses complaints and disputes between small businesses and their larger clients.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB): Provides members with various services, including advice, financial expertise, support, and a powerful voice in government.

Enterprise Europe Network: Helps businesses innovate and grow on an international scale.

TechUK: Represents the technology sector, providing support and networking opportunities.

Online Resources

Real Business: Covers UK business news and provides practical advice for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Business Matters Magazine: Claims to be the UK’s largest business magazine for the entrepreneur, start-up, and small and medium-enterprise (SME).

Growth Business UK: Offers news, insights, and tips for high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs.

UK Tech News (UKTN): For the latest in UK technology news, including start-ups and venture capital investments.

British Business Bank: Provides financial support and advice for small and medium-sized businesses.

The Guardian Small Business Network: Offers news, advice, and opinion pieces for small businesses.

Financial Management

In the complex world of business, mastering financial management is pivotal. This discipline encompasses everything from budgeting and expense tracking to financial forecasting and investment strategies.

Financial Management for Startups

Effective financial management safeguards a company’s fiscal health and empowers it to thrive in competitive markets by making informed decisions. By understanding and applying sound financial principles, businesses can optimise their resources, minimise risks, and maximise returns, setting a solid foundation for sustainable growth and success.


Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA): Specialises in offering education and qualification in management accounting.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): Regulatory body overseeing the financial services industry to ensure fair practices.

UK Finance: Represents the banking and financial services sector, providing policy, guidance, and information.

Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA): Offers support and qualifications for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their accountants.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): Provides qualifications and support for accountancy professionals.

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA): Focuses on public finance and governance, offering qualifications and resources.

Institute of Directors (IoD): Offers resources and networking for directors, with a focus on governance and leadership.

British Bankers’ Association (BBA): (Now part of UK Finance) Served as the leading trade association for the UK banking sector.

The Society of Professional Accountants (SPA): Supports qualified accountants in small practices with resources and networking opportunities.


HSBC (Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation): One of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations, HSBC operates globally with a significant presence in the UK. It offers a wide range of banking and financial products and services to individuals, businesses, and institutions. HSBC UK

Barclays: A multinational bank with a rich history dating back to the 17th century, Barclays provides banking, investment, and wealth management services. It operates across various sectors including retail banking, corporate banking, and investment banking. Barclays UK

Lloyds Banking Group: As one of the UK’s leading financial services groups, Lloyds Banking Group includes well-known brands such as Lloyds Bank, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland. It offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial products to individuals and businesses. Lloyds Bank

NatWest Group: Formerly known as the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, NatWest Group operates under the NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland brands in the UK. It provides banking, insurance, and investment services to customers across the country. NatWest

Santander UK: Part of the Spanish multinational banking group Banco Santander, Santander UK is a major retail and commercial bank in the UK. It offers a wide range of financial products and services, including current accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, and loans. Santander UK

Marketing & Sales

The cafe's owner working on a laptop at a modern coffee shop.

Focusing on strategies, trends, and practical advice is crucial for insights into marketing and sales. Engaging content that covers digital marketing, sales techniques, market analysis, and customer relationship management can provide businesses with the tools needed to grow their customer base and increase revenue. Look towards industry leaders and organisations renowned for their expertise in marketing and sales for the most current and impactful information.


Market Research Society (MRS): Offers resources and standards for market research professionals.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA): Regulates UK advertising to ensure its fairness and accuracy.

Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM): Provides guidance and advocacy for promotional marketing and brand activation.

The Content Marketing Association (CMA): Focuses on advancing the interests and influencing the practice of content marketing.

Social Media Institute (SMI): Specialises in social media marketing education and certification.

Online Resources

Smart Insights: Offers digital marketing strategies and planning tools.

Econsultancy: Provides insights on digital marketing and e-commerce.

Content Marketing Institute UK: Focuses on content marketing education and training.

Marketing Week: Covers all aspects of marketing news, opinion, and analysis.

Digital Marketing Institute (DMI): Offers courses and certifications in digital marketing.

HubSpot Blog: A resource for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service content.

Moz Blog: Specialises in SEO and marketing analytics.

Social Media Examiner: Share social media marketing strategies and trends.

Social Media

Facebook: Primarily for personal use, but businesses can thrive here by setting up their own pages and utilising precise ad targeting.

Google+: No longer active, so consider focusing on other platforms for content sharing within your networks.

LinkedIn: A professional hub offering both free and premium memberships, ideal for networking and advertising.

Twitter: Enables you to have both personal and business accounts, broadening your social media footprint.

Design resources

Google Fonts: Offers a wide selection of web-friendly fonts for free.

Adobe Stock: Provides high-quality images, graphics, and photos.

Shutterstock: A vast collection of royalty-free images and videos.

Creative Market: A platform for handcrafted design content from independent creators.

Dafont: Features a vast array of fonts available for personal and commercial use.

Unsplash: Offers high-resolution photos free to use under the Unsplash license.

Pixabay: A resource for free stock photos, illustrations, and videos.

Vimeo: Known for its high-quality video hosting aimed at creative professionals.

Small Business Legal Structure

Navigating the intricate world of UK business law requires reliable, expert guidance. Understanding the legal landscape is paramount whether you’re drafting contracts, setting up a new company, or navigating compliance issues. This introduction to legal resources and companies in the UK offers a gateway to essential legal advice, firm rankings, and government regulations, ensuring businesses and individuals can find the support they need to make informed decisions. These five websites are invaluable tools for anyone seeking legal clarity in the complex, ever-evolving UK market.

The Law Society of England and Wales: Offers a “Find a Solicitor” service and legal practice guidance.

Legal 500 UK: Provides rankings and information on law firms and solicitors.

GOV.UK: Offers government-provided legal resources and guidance for both individuals and businesses.

Citizens Advice: Provides free, confidential information and advice on legal issues.

UK Legal Advice: Offers resources for legal advice and services across various law areas.

Operational Management

Managing Cash Flow

In the fast-paced landscape of UK business, effective operational management serves as the bedrock for success. From streamlining processes to optimising resources, mastering the art of operational management is essential for driving efficiency and achieving organisational goals. This introduction delves into the rich tapestry of resources available to businesses in the UK, providing invaluable insights, tools, and frameworks to navigate the complexities of operational management. Whether you’re seeking to enhance productivity, improve quality, or drive innovation, these resources offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise tailored to the unique challenges of the UK market. Join us as we explore the realm of operational management and unlock the pathways to sustainable growth and success.

Chartered Management Institute (CMI): Provides leadership and management training resources.

Institute of Operations Management (IOM): Offers professional development in operations management.

Operations Management Portal by GOV.UK: Government resources for operational planning and efficiency.

British Quality Foundation (BQF): Focuses on operational excellence and quality management practices.

Lean Competency System (LCS): A university-backed framework for lean and operational improvement training.

Human Resources

Businesswoman Giving Cheque To Businessman

Navigating the complexities of human resources (HR) management is vital for businesses aiming to thrive in the UK market. From recruitment strategies to employee training and management techniques, ensuring the effective handling of HR matters is essential for sustained success. This introduction unveils a curated selection of resources tailored to provide expert guidance on hiring, training, and managing employees within the UK context. Through these resources, businesses can access invaluable insights, best practices, and tools to optimise their HR processes and unlock the full potential of their workforce. Join us as we explore the realm of Human Resources, where strategic decisions shape organisational success and employee well-being is paramount.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD): Provides HR professional development, best practice guides, and research insights.

Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service): Offers free, impartial advice on workplace relations and employment law.

GOV.UK – Employing People: Government guidance on all aspects of employing staff, including recruitment, contracts, and training.

HRZone: Online community and resource hub for HR professionals, offering articles, webinars, and discussion forums.

People Management: Magazine and website covering HR news, insights, and best practices.

Final Words

In the bustling landscape of British finance, the top five banks stand as pillars of stability and progress, shaping the nation’s economic narrative with their steadfast presence and unwavering commitment to service excellence. From the globally renowned HSBC, with its extensive reach and diverse portfolio, to the historic legacy of Barclays, each institution offers a unique blend of tradition, innovation, and reliability. Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest Group, and Santander UK further enrich the banking landscape with their comprehensive suite of financial solutions tailored to meet the diverse needs of individuals and businesses alike. As guardians of wealth and stewards of prosperity, these banks symbolise the resilience and dynamism of the UK’s financial sector, embodying the quintessential values of trust, integrity, and customer-centricity that define British banking at its finest.

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