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federation of small business

The Federation of Small Business – Benefits of joining

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.

Legal Advice

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.

Car/Van Leasing

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.

Business Insurance

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.

Supporting Local Small Business – #shoplocalknebworth

Supporting Local Small Business

Mrs Mummypenny is a local small business that has evolved over the past year. I started out thinking it would be a great medium to share my money saving tips with the world across my website and social media. I absolutely still do this, but there are lots of extra parts of the Mrs Mummypenny family.

I offer commercial & marketing advice to small businesses. If you need a lesson in social media I can do this for you, if you need a marketing strategy I can do this for you. If you need commercial advice on how to make money from your business I can help. I work with big brands on their advertising campaigns so you will see the occasional collaborative post pop up with interesting new products or services that I think are great value for money. Name check Aldi, Disney, Standard Life, Epson;-)

Why should you shop local?

A new project is #shoplocalknebworth. I live in a beautiful Hertfordshire village with so many local small businesses. I shop in these shops and I love to support local small business. If I need some cheese for a dinner party cheese board I will go to my local Butchers/Deli – Trussells. Or if I need a gift for my friend who has just had a baby I will go to Lucas May to get a cute gift. I also get to work with these businesses, helping out with social media and marketing ideas.

#shoplocalknebworth is all about sharing with you who live near the village about the fantastic local businesses and what you have available on your doorstep. Please visit the high street as often as you can to keep these local small businesses going. We have everything on our doorstep, great quality, fantastic value and amazing customer service.

I will be running this campaign every few months to celebrate local business and give everyone a chance to promote their business. I encourage you to use the #shoplocalknebworth every time you buy something great in the village. Why not tweet a picture of a great find in the local charity shop or beautiful necklace you have found in the bead shop and use the # when tweeting or posting on Instagram so I can find the pictures:-)

The following five businesses are the first to embrace #shoplocalknebworth to promote their businesses with Mrs Mummypenny, please go take a look at their products or services and mention me when you visit, call and buy!!

Trussells Butchers

A butchers can be an intimidating shop, there is a lot of meat and men!! Don’t let this put you off Trussells. Hubby and I have shopped there for maybe 10 years. It has been great to watch Paul & team grow the business and expand into the deli. The cooked meats, cheeses and olives are yummy and Jack, our 3-year-old adores the home made sausage rolls. Here are a couple of meals I or friends have cooked using meat from Trussells.

17-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Trussell butchers217-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Trussell butchers

I love the local sourcing of food and the information you get when you go in. If you want to know how the cows are reared for the 30-day aged sirloin steak just ask the guys behind the counter. I am interested in animal welfare and like to hear about the farm in Saffron Walden where Paul will be getting his turkeys from this year.

And its great value for money and healthy. The meat wont shrink when you cook it, the meat tastes great and you will feel happier eating meat of an animal that has been brought up happy and healthily. I am eating clean and this is the best place to get my turkey, chicken and lean meat from. Handily on a Friday a fish van arrives to sell beautiful products from the carpark to the right of Trussells. Visit their Facebook page here

Putterills Estate Agents

We have moved house twice since moving to Knebworth and we bought our current house 7 years ago from Ricky and the team at Putterills. We have toyed with the idea of moving several times over the years and there has been no hesitation from Ricky to value our house or give us advice on the best things to add to the house to create value.

Ricky has owned the franchise in Knebworth for 24 years and has built up a loyal team around him who take pride in everything they do from photography to chasing down the chain in a sale purchase. They even have a dedicated full time sales progress mgr who will help out with that ‘lovely’ stage between offer to exchange and completion, that we often want to progress as quickly as possible.

Here are a couple of properties for sale at the moment. Why not pop in and ask for a valuation, or check out their website for latest houses for sale you’ll be shocked that the current house prices in the village if you haven’t checked for a while! Here are a couple of properties for sale at the moment in Rabley Heath and Knebworth.

17-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Putterills 17-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Putterills 2

Lucas May Florist

Catherine launched Lucas May in November 2015, the hop is at far end of the high street near the school zebra crossing and 4hair. She offers the most beautiful bespoke bouquets and gifts to suit any budget. Take a look at these 17-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Lucas May2flowers hubby gave me for our anniversary on Thursday last week. Flowers from Lucas May are more expensive than the supermarkets BUT they will last and last with care and love (i.e. change the water every few days!!). I got a bouquet for my birthday back in March and they lasted for 2 ½ weeks!!

I adore flowers and pretty things so this is one of my favourite shops in the17-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Lucas May village. Pop in and take a look at her wide range of cards, candles, vases and oil burners. I suspect some of us have not yet bought a present for your children’s teacher. Take a look at the wide range of gifts for inspiration, I took a few pictures of my favourites this week.

Caffé Vero

Arif took over Caffe Vero 2 years ago. The cafe can be found on station road, near the newspaper shop and ABC end of Pondcroft Rd. We visit often as a family and we always get a warm welcome from Arif and team, a chat and some great food. I also visit quite a lot to use it as an office/meeting place. Sometimes it nice to get out of my home office and go somewhere social to work. Tis important for me who still misses the hussle-bussle of an office sometimes for grown up real-life conversation.

They support local and buy their meat from Trussells, so you know your English breakfast will be top notch with the best sausages ever. I am the most difficult eater in the world at the moment with my eating clean but they will cook me whatever I ask for, last week I had smoked salmon, poached egg and green tea in hard-core week 1 of eating clean.

17-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Cafe Verro17-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Cafe Verro 2

Ross Randall Plumbing and Heating

A great plumber is hard to find!! We did an extension 3 years ago and moved one bathroom and created a new one. Ross did those bathrooms for us and did a professional and great looking job. Handily whenever we have bathroom issues he’ll pop round to take a look and sort it out. It’s important to know trustworthy tradesmen like this and we recommend him time and time again.

Ross has owned his business Ross Randall Plumbing & Heating for 7 years. His mobile number is 07824 394126, do drop him a line for your plumbing and heating requirements. Here are a couple of photos of our bathroom that Ross fitted.

17-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Ross Randall2 17-7-16 #shoplocalknebworth local small business Ross Randall

THANK YOU for supporting #shoplocalknebworth

So there you have it, my first social media campaign to support local business of which I am also one!  So please like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter & Instagram. I WILL save you money with my personal finance and lifestyle advice.

@mrsmummypennyuk on Twitter & Instagram

Mrs Mummypenny on Facebook & Pinterest

MrsMummy Penny on You tube

And please do sign up to receive regular emails from Mrs Mummypenny so you miss nothing.

The next #shoplocalknebworth campaigns will be in September & November. So if you would like to feature in the next campaign please email me on lynn@mrsmummypenny.co.uk.