Start-ups need family and friends

Small businesses say friends and family provide more support when starting out than banks and government agencies.

Some 54 per cent say this group was the most supportive when setting up a business, compared to 6 per cent who say their bank was the most helpful, 6 per cent their accountant and 4 per cent government agencies.

Jill Pincott, owner of computer business Asckey Data Services, says: ‘We never asked anything from my family, but they were always there being quietly supportive in the background. For us, one of the most helpful things was talking to other small businesses that had been through the process. Government agencies can be useful, but I think they should provide more face-to-face meetings.’

Christine Hogg, director of security company Cams Fire and Security, says when she first started out 25 years ago her bank was quite helpful, but is unsure whether that same level of support would be available today. ‘I think the biggest improvement in terms of help for people starting out has been information now being available online. I find the HMRC and Business Link websites quite useful,’ she adds.

Of the 209 small businesses surveyed, 31 per cent say they were unable to obtain any support when starting out.

Adam Wayland

Adam Wayland

Adam was Editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2006 to 2008 and prior to that was staff writer on sister publication BusinessXL Magazine.

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