Are you thinking about starting your own business or are you already setting up on your own? Use our selection of books, articles, links and guides to find more information on all aspects of starting a business.
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Here's why staying small can benefit both your company's profit margins and your state of mind. Bear in mind that growth could detract from your company's purpose, is expensive and can bring increased legal responsibilities.
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Business start up, 2014
(Pearson, 2013, 488 pages)
This Financial Times guide is designed to take you through every important aspect of starting and running a business.
To borrow this book please contact the Library.
The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.
Financial Times guide to business start up 2009
Williams, Sara (22nd ed. Pearson Education UK, 2009)
This annual publication covers all aspects of starting your own business, including the initial planning, how to build and develop a customer base, choosing premises and equipment, sourcing finance and hiring staff.
Growing your business: Making human resources work for you
Baron, Robert A.; Shane, Scott (Business Expert Press, 2008)
If you are an entrepreneur starting a new venture, this book provides the information you need to choose your initial team of cofounders and employees. It shows you how to piece individual skills, talents and abilities into a cohesive structure that is prepped for success and follows with advice on how to continue using the same principles beyond the founding team far into the future.
Starting a successful business. The Sunday Times Business Enterprise Series
Morris, Michael (6th ed. Kogan Page, 2008)
This book intends to be a textbook covering 'all the important things you need to read and absorb before starting in business as well as a reference-book for once you are in business, to help brush up your operations.' The book exclusively introduces the PLG Programme which aims to help entrepreneurs to prepare, launch and grow their business successfully.
Good small business guide: How to start and grow your own business
Belbin, Meredith (2nd ed. A & C Black, 2006)
This practical guide 'is aimed at anyone thinking of starting or growing a business in the United Kingdom'. It provides practical help on a range of topics with an easy-to-read action list per topic, answers to frequently asked questions and tips on how to avoid common mistakes.
Accounting and finance for your small business
Bragg, Steven M.; Burton, Edwin (Wiley, 2006)
Aims to help "small business owners, managers, accountants, and consultants navigate through all of the key accounting and financial information required to operate a small business."
Read more eBooks on SME management
Directors' Briefings and Start-Up Briefings are four-page guides written for the busy practitioner, director and entrepreneur providing concise, practical advice on core business issues.
The How To Do It guides from Atom Content Marketing are a collection of checklists providing a step by step approach to key business issues.
Disclaimer: These publications from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.
Articles are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.
How you can help SMEs boost growth
A blog post by ICAEW Chief Executive Michael Izza on the ICAEW's pro-bono Business Advice Service, which allows SMEs to receive a free advice session from an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.
Special report: Starting a business
An ICAEW Finance and Management Faculty 2013 report aimed at people starting their own business. Covers areas of concern to both new and established businesses, including marketing, employment law, funding sources and the basics of establishing a presence on the web.
Starting your business
This ICAEW website section offers advice to start-ups, including practical information on tax, legal issues, essential accounting records, insurance and more. It shows you how to find a chartered accountant participating in the ICAEW Business Advice Service – and receive an initial consultation at no charge.
A guide to government support for small businesses
A quick guide to government support for SMEs from Clive Lewis, ICAEW Head of Enterprise.
Help and support for businesses (HMRC)
Information about the range of support HMRC offers to business start-ups and small businesses. Here you will find guidance on what you need to do for tax and National Insurance purposes when you start up a business as a self employed person, a partnership or a limited company. There is information on return filing and paying deadlines and what records you must keep.
Small business: GREAT ambition
A December 2013 Department for Business, Innovation & Skills report promoting the government support available for small businesses. Highlights financing schemes and changes being made to simplify and reduce legislation affecting SMEs.
Growing your business: a report on growing micro businesses
This May 2013 review by Lord Young (a follow-up to his 2012 'Make business your business' report below) investigates the reasons why SMEs struggle to grow, including confidence to develop during tough economic times, strength of ambition, capability and skills, coherence of help on offer and opening up government procurement to SMEs.
Make business your business: Supporting the start-up and development of small businesses
Report by Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s adviser on small business and enterprise, which was published in May 2012. It provides 'an assessment of the landscape for supporting entrepreneurs and new businesses including help and advice on offer from the public and private sectors'.
Two practical guides for start-up businesses were published with the report:
Setting up a business (Gov.uk)
Comprehensive guidance from the government on starting a new business. There are many links and resources, including the Business Support Helplines, which offer support and advice over the phone. When you have set up your new business, there are useful tips to help the growth of your company – there is guidance on finding finance, mentors, increasing sales and developing products and services.
The British Library: Business & IP Centre
The British Library's Business and Intellectual Property (IP) Centre incorporates services and information aimed at entrepreneurs and small business owners, including expert advisors to talk through your ideas and a wide range of essential information to help you research your market and start your own business.
The independently run ByteStart site aims to give "no-nonsense" advice and news on starting and running a small UK business.
Cobweb is an independent publisher of practical and easy to understand information for business start-ups and small business owners, and for the advisers, professionals, and organisations that guide and support them.
Complete Business Reference Adviser (COBRA)
COBRA is a comprehensive, versatile and continually updated research resource from Cobweb for business advisers, information professionals and support agencies who are advising or working with start ups and small business owners. (Subscription required)
ICAS Guide to starting a business
A step by step guide to starting and financing a new business. It has been written by ICAS members who have set up or invested in successful new businesses.
Online resource for those starting or running a small business. The website includes startup guides for over 50 different business sectors, business startup news, case studies of successful business startups and a forum to share your ideas with others in your situation.
An independent website endorsed by Oftel, set up to provide small UK businesses with information and advice on using telecommunications and the internet including an overview of products and services on offer. The website includes a range of information sheets on various topics as well as case studies and feature articles.
Tom's Law: Legal Documents Online (FiSMA)
An online library of legal templates relevant to entrepreneurs and investors from not for profit organisation FiSMA. The site aims to 'facilitate communications between entrepreneurs and investors' and has been developed by Tom Mackay, former head of the legal department of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Included in the collection are draft documents covering AIM companies, incorporation, company administration, confidentiality, employment and the sale and purchase of shares. The site includes a warning notice that should be read before using any of the documents in the collection. Registration is required to access some of the documents.
Federation of Small Businesses
The 'UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms.' The FSB publishes the annualVoice of Small Business Survey in cooperation with ICM Research which 'seeks the small business perspective on key issues from the economy to employment'. The FSB and CEBR also publish the quarterly Voice of Small Business Index which provides 'a macro-economic picture of the UK economy from the point of view of the small business owner'. The index looks at employment, revenues and the confidence of small firms and provides information on regional businesses with a breakdown by sector across the UK.
Forum of Private Business
Not-for-profit membership organisation which provides guidance and support for SMEs and aims to 'represent small businesses views and be their voice in government'.
Institute for Family Business
The IFB is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation supporting the UK family-owned business sector. It aims to 'promote the vital contribution that long-term family businesses make to the UK economy and the issues that family firms face' and offers courses, conferences and research publications.
Business Population Estimates for the UK and Regions
Annual statistics on SMEs in the UK published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Previously called 'Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Statistics for the UK and Regions'.
European Commission: Small and medium-sized enterprises
Portal for EC information and resources for SMEs, with business-related links and guides to EU legislation and regulations on relevant issues, advice and practical information.
Doing Business (World Bank)
Laws and business regulations, country profiles and economic rankings for 183 countries compiled by the World Bank for SMEs. The Starting a business section provides information on the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a new firm in each of the countries covered.
If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by fax on +44 (0)20 7920 8621 or by email at email@example.com.