Posted: Mon 22nd Apr 2013
Sign up to the Enterprise Nation Club for just Â£20 a year and you'll get access to more than Â£500 of really useful offers from great brands committed to helping small enterprises start and grow. Enterprise Nation's marketing whiz Lorna Bladen takes a look at how our partners can help your business.
Are you turning your passion, hobby or skill into a business? asks Lorna (left). Or maybe you've already launched your enterprise and you're looking to find ways to grow your business on a budget? We know what it's like to bootstrap a business and we know what sort of support small enterprises appreciate. So we've negotiated on your behalf with some of the UK's leading small business brands and put together an impressive bundle of benefits that can help take your business to the next level.
Here's a small selection of what we've got and how it can help you - and we're adding to our member benefits all the time.
1. Get your business name out there
Coming up with a business name is one of the first steps every new business takes. It's a fun process but can also be challenging - not least because nowadays you need a name that can also double as your website domain name and stand out on social networking sites.ÂÂÂÂÂÂ If your desired name is already taken on these platforms, you may have to go back to square one and come up with an entirely new monicker for your enterprise.
An efficient way to check whether your desired business name is available as a website URL and across multiple social networking sites is to use a tool such as NameChk.Once you've got a name that's available, reflects your brand and is easy to spell and remember, join our Club and claim your free domain name with 1&1. 1&1 are also offering Club members nine months of webhosting and six months of their My Website builder - for free. All in all, the bundle is worth more than Â£120.
2. Get help with the admin and accounts
When I became self-employed at the beginning of the year, I had loads of questions that I didn't really want to be asking Google as I preferred to speak to a real person.So I rang up Enterprise Nation's accounts guru Emily Coltman (left), who was super helpful and friendly. You can get advice from Emily, too, as she is now hosting regular webchats for Club members. Em's happy to answer your questions on finance and accounting issues, such as:
deciding which company status suits you best
understanding tax returns and VAT
what you can claim for and what you can't
and so much more!
Club members also qualify for FreeAgent accounting software FREE for one month - then half price for a further 12 months, a total saving of Â£126.
3. Network in style
We hear again and again from small-business owners about the importance of networking. It's essential to get yourself out there and meet as many potential partners and customers as possible. Of course, if you're networking, you'll need business cards. As an Enterprise Nation Club member, you'll get a free pack of business cards from MOO with your business details backed by inspirational tips from our founder Emma Jones. Once you've gone through your first pack, you'll qualify for a 30 per cent discount of future orders.
A great way to mark the launch of your business - or any noteworthy occasion - is to run your own event. Join the Club and you can claim Â£100 of Eventbrite credit to manage, promote and sell your event.
4. Arrange meetings with potential clients and partners
Though we encourage people to run businesses from home, your living room is not necessarily the best place to meet customers and clients. With the EN Club, you'll be able to book 10 FREE visits to any of 1,500 Regus Business Lounges. This benefit alone is worth Â£200.
As you get busier, you may not always be around to pick up sales calls. We've negotiated a free two-week trial with virtual PA service Moneypenny. If you join after that, you'll get a 50 per cent discount.
5. Focus on what you do best and outsource the rest
The business is growing, time is precious and you need help with projects. The quickest and most affordable place to get it is from other small businesses, freelancers and contractors who can get the job done with minimal fuss. Whatever skill you;re looking for, the chances are you'll be able to find the person to help you on the global outsourcing platform Elance. By joining the Club, you'll be able to claim $50 towards your first online Elance hire.
6. Monitor your marketing and grow your customer base
As a marketing professional, I know it's not enough to simply put together a good email or social media campaign, get it out there and keep my fingers crossed. Monitoring and analysing digital marketing campaigns is essential if you're to learn more about your customers and grow your customer base. Sign-up.to enables you to manage, monitor and measure email, SMS and social media marketing campaigns from one place. Club members qualify for a free trial then 20 per cent off Sign-up.to's monthly packages.
The above are just a selection of the benefits that we're making available to Enterprise Nation Club members - and we're adding to the portfolio all the time. Remember, it's just Â£20 for hundreds of pounds worth of useful savings, PLUS we're offering discounts on our own books and events. Join hundreds of other start-ups and growing enterprises and sign up today!