Skip to main content
We're here with practical information for your business. Learn about business planning, running a business and more.

Search

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.

SMEs to get more government contracts under new plan

12 March 2019

Engineers examining documents on clipboard at construction site against clear skyA new SME Action Plan has been launched to unlock opportunities for smaller businesses to access government contracts.

Under the plan, the government has set a target for £1 in every £3 it spends to be with smaller businesses by 2022. It means that by then, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will have spent an extra £35 million with UK small and medium-sized businesses.

"The UK's 5.7 million SMEs make a massive contribution to the economy. These businesses may be small but their impact is huge, employing 16 million people and accounting for £1.9 trillion of turnover," said small business minister Kelly Tolhurst.

"Key to their continued success is ensuring the government is open and transparent in its procurement processes, giving smaller businesses every opportunity to bid for and win contracts … One important measure we will introduce is to require BEIS Group's biggest suppliers to monitor and report SME spend in their supply chain arising from BEIS contracts."

The plan will also require the government's large suppliers to advertise their sub-contracting opportunities on Contracts Finder.

The SME Action Plan has been welcomed by the National Enterprise Network. Alex Till, chair of the National Enterprise Network, said: "Making more local government contracts available to small business is hugely welcome, and the commitment to ensure £1 in every £3 will be spent with small businesses by 2022 is a good target."

However, he added: "Many small businesses … do not have the time and skills to complete the complex paperwork associated with government procurement and simply find themselves at the end of an unprofitable sub-contract. We will be relying on the government to simplify the paperwork as a key part of the SME Action Plan."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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