Guiding you to a better future

For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Slow broadband and mobile blackspots blight SMEs

19 December 2017

Slow broadband and mobile blackspots blight SMEsMany UK small firms continue to be held back by slow broadband speeds and poor mobile phone coverage, according to the latest research by Ofcom.

Ofcom's annual Connected Nations report reveals that about 230,000 small firms still cannot access what it calls "decent broadband" (10Mbps), with around 500,000 unable to access superfast broadband. The problem is especially serious in rural communities and in business parks, where 65,000 small businesses cannot access a connection of 10Mbps.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the Government to make a decision to either deliver the Universal Service Obligation (USO) or take up Openreach's offer to expand services.

Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: "While it's good to see superfast coverage has continued to improve, half a million businesses still don't have access to superfast broadband. Businesses want to embrace digital technology to compete and enhance their productivity, but to do this they need a decent connection and good quality service. Two years on … still no decision has been made about how to deliver this. Government needs to step up and make a decision without delay. It's essential that small businesses do not continue to be left behind due to poor broadband."

The Ofcom report also highlights significant problems with UK mobile coverage - it says that calls and text messages could not be sent on all four mobile phone networks in 30% of the entire UK landmass.

Lord Adonis, head of the National Infrastructure Commission, has written to Ofcom, saying: "In an age when access to a mobile signal is regarded as a must-have, it is deplorable that even in areas previously considered to have strong coverage, operators are still delivering such poor services that customers can struggle to make a quick phone call."

Telecoms expert Dave Millett of Equinox said: "Given today's statement by Lord Adonis, will the Government now revisit the 2014 deal agreed with the network operators to improve coverage? Under the agreement all four of the mobile networks collectively agreed, amongst other things, to guarantee voice and text coverage from each operator across 90% of the UK geographic area by 2017. The networks have obviously failed to deliver their side of the bargain - so will the Government now enforce free roaming within the UK at no cost to users?"

News type:

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry