An independent survey carried out by Business Link in the East of England has revealed that entrepreneurs that seek advice from the service when starting out have an 84% survival rate beyond three years, compared with a 64% national average for those that choose to go it alone. This percentage increases even further, to 96%, when in-depth support is provided by a Business Link adviser.

As Global Entrepreneurship Week (15th-21st November) kicks off, Business Link is urging enterprising Hertfordshire residents to get in touch and take advantage of the free help available to help them start a sustainable business.

Pat Smith, Chief Executive of Business Link in the East of England said: “Global Entrepreneurship Week is about inspiring and supporting people to start a business; a movement that I back whole heartedly. To ensure that these new businesses have the best possible chance of long-term survival and growth, it is important that they are encouraged to access the support they need and for it to be provided when and how they want it. And that’s where Business Link comes in.

“What’s clear from the results of this survey is that Business Link is helping more new businesses to survive and that this survival is linked to the availability of high quality support. This is good news for Hertfordshire entrepreneurs and for the local economy.”

Last year, Business Link in the East of England helped create over 3,400 new businesses, leading to the creation of 5,626 new jobs. Businesses and entrepreneurs are extremely satisfied with the support they receive from Business Link; in the first half of this financial year, overall customer satisfaction was rated at 91.7%. High customer satisfaction scores show that when it comes to finding the right level of support, Business Link is a valued service.

The information and advice that Business Link provides not only supports people to make a start in business, but also helps entrepreneurs make the right decisions when starting out.

Some tips on starting up successfully:

1. Research the market – your customers, your competitors and your business operations.

2. Focus not on what you want to offer, but on what your customers want to buy - build a customer profile detailing who they are and their wants and needs.

3. Do the maths. Before you start, put together a forecast of the income you expect to generate and all the costs you expect the business to incur. Make sure your pricing is viable.

4. Be realistic – becoming profitable can take longer than expected. Build a safety net into your start-up budget.

5. Spread the word – use the most cost-effective media that are likely to be seen or heard by potential customers.

6. Don’t go it alone – starting and managing your own business will involve some tough challenges and difficult decisions. Use the support networks available to you - using the help offered by Business Link could improve your likelihood of success by 20%

7. Pull everything together into a concise, focused WRITTEN Plan

About Business Link in the East of England:

  • Business Link… the place to go for business support
  • Business Link provides information, practical advice and support to help people to start, run or grow their businesses
  • Our clients fall in to two main categories:
  • Those running or working in established small and medium sized businesses
  • Those who want to start their own business
  • Both client groups can access independent, impartial and, in most instances, free help and support from Business Link in the form of:
  • Free one-to-one help from an experienced Adviser (established businesses) or Enterprise Awareness Manager (start-ups)
  • Workshops and briefings on a range of business subjects such as business planning, sales and marketing, legislation, developing people
  • Telephone and online support through our Regional Information and Intelligence centre
  • Business Link supports businesses and entrepreneurs in the 6 counties in the East of England: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Business Link is a government initiative to promote enterprise, funded in the East of England by the East of England Development Agency, who offer an extensive portfolio of business support in the region.
  • T 08457 17 16 15 E