The Federation of Small Business – Benefits of joining
I joined the Federation of Small Business (FSB) a year ago. An accountant friend and I were chatting whilst sat in the doctor’s surgery and she recommended this as a brilliant thing to join to help with all advice and admin you must do as a small business owner. It’s a necessary evil, it must be done and you can’t afford in the early days to outsource it.
I met up with Charlie from the FSB who had me sold at free business banking (I was paying at least £6 per month with Barclays) and the free legal advice (I have needed advice on partnership agreements and documents, trademarks and employment law in the past year, all included in membership). There is plenty more included in the membership which I will list at the end of post, but I wanted to share with you an incredible event hubby and I attended a few weeks back.
Hubby is starting a new business
Setting the scene, hubby is starting up his own bathroom showroom business. It’s been dream for around 6 years!! Now he is going for it, with a bit of help from me on the accounting and marketing sides of the business, my expert areas. It has also prompted a series of small business posts on how to save money, and what you need to get set up in what order, as there is a fair bit.
We attended a local small business fair, this wasn’t small businesses like us, it was companies who can support small businesses. I didn’t know what to expect and had never been to one before so thought why not give it and try and see what it was all about.
The fair was hosted in a huge warehouse in Huntingdon, Wood Green animal shelter. We walked in and saw hundreds of stands, this looked good.
We had Jack with us as it was a non-school day, imagine his joy when he saw sweets on every table, and drinks, and toys and he could help himself to.
We wandered from stall to stall, seeing what grabbed our attention. It was perfectly aimed at people running small business. There were banks, legal, insurance, mobile phone companies, accountancy, car leasing, stationery providers, sign makers, you name it, it was there.
The first stand that grabbed my attention were the ones giving away the best freebies (I never change, I love a freebie, even a pen). I stopped at a legal firm and got chatting to one the women who worked in employment law, not for me, but her colleague was a property lawyer so we had a great chat about hubby’s potential new business premises and the type of things we could negotiate in the contract. He also told us if your business premises have a rateable value of less than £15k the rates are free! This man could potentially have saved us ALOT if money. #grateful.
We chatted to the car leasing guys from Toyota and spoke about selling our current car for a cash flow boost and leasing a new car for the family and then a van for hubby. We are now in discussions about buying a hybrid, and Jack got a heart sponge and some stress squeeze hats (happy days).
Business Lending & Grants
I found a man who was an expert in business lending and grants and had a great chat about what funding we could both get, me 18 months in and hubby as a start-up. I also spoke to Barclays and NatWest about lending, NatWest seemed very keen for our business.
We popped over to the FSB stand and met the guys in charge of the fair. Hubby will be joining the FSB for his new company. I ended up chatting to a legal expert who handily also knew about insurance. It’s a grey area subject for bloggers, should we have it or not. The conclusion was yes, I should have public liability insurance. If I am going to meetings in client’s offices I need to insure myself if I was to cause any accidents when there. Professional indemnity was probably not a requirement as what I write about is my view and my view only. Hubby also need public liability for a retail shop.
I was astounded at the amount of free advice we got at the event, as well as about 10 pens, toys, sweets and keyrings;-)
Benefits of Joining the Federation of Small Business
I highly recommend joining the FSB if you are a small business. Charlie Smith is the man who can help you to decide if its right for you. A quick highlight of some of the benefits
- Free business banking with Co-op
- Discounted insurance broker
- Discounted contract hire on vehicles
- Free legal advice and template documents
- Free cover if you have a tax investigation
- Free crisis PR
- Free financial planning advice (I have used this for business planning)
- Free health & safety advice
- The list goes on and on.
The cost and how to join
There is an annual membership fee, which is £172.50 for the first year and then £142.40 for year 2 onwards. Here is a link to get more information and to sign up online or feel free to call Charlie Smith on 07801 333480.
Disclosure – I will receive a small referral fee if you join up through this link.