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How to Start a Business in Berkshire

Free start-up resources and useful local contacts.

Improve your chances of success!

How to Start a Business in Berkshire

Starting a business in Berkshire

If you are thinking about starting a business in Berkshire or would like to grow your existing business, we would love to help you.

Start Your Own Business in Berkshire contains resources and the information that will help give your venture the best chance of success. It also highlights organisations who offer friendly advice and the services that you are likely to need as a new startup or local business owner.

Grants | Networking groups | Business advice | Mentoring | Co-working spaces

Starting a business in Berkshire

Local help for startups

There is plenty of help for startups in Berkshire but where can it be found?

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Whether you're already running a business in this vibrant county or contemplating launching your entrepreneurial venture here, you've come to the right place. Berkshire is a thriving region with a diverse economy, bustling towns and cities, and a range of support services available to help your business succeed.

Demographics

Berkshire has a population of over 900,000 residents, making it one of the most populous counties in England. The county is known for its affluence and high standard of living, with a well-educated workforce and a strong consumer market. The diverse demographics and thriving business environment create ample opportunities for both established businesses and startups.

Major Towns and Cities

Berkshire boasts several major towns and cities, each with its unique advantages and business opportunities:

  1. Reading : As the county town and largest urban area, Reading is a major economic hub. It is home to many large corporations, including global technology companies, and has a vibrant business community.
  2. Slough : Known as a hotspot for innovation, Slough is a thriving commercial center with a strong focus on sectors such as technology, manufacturing, and logistics.
  3. Bracknell : Bracknell is renowned for its technology and research industries. It is home to a number of technology parks and has a growing reputation as a hub for digital businesses.
  4. Maidenhead : With its picturesque location along the River Thames, Maidenhead offers a blend of corporate headquarters, small businesses, and a lively town center.
Local Authorities

Berkshire is divided into six unitary authorities, each responsible for local governance and providing support to businesses in their respective areas. Here are the local authorities in Berkshire, along with links to their business sections:

Business Support Organisations

Berkshire offers a range of support services to assist entrepreneurs and business owners. These organisations provide guidance, funding opportunities, networking events, and tailored resources to help you succeed. Here are some prominent business support organisations in Berkshire:

Whether you're seeking information on business registration, funding opportunities, local networking events, or professional advice, these organisations can offer valuable support and guidance.

We hope this introduction has provided you with a solid overview of starting a business in Berkshire. Stay tuned as we delve into more specific topics and explore the various aspects of entrepreneurship in this vibrant county.

Local partners

We are happy to promote anyone who is prepared to offer friendly support to local start-ups.

Our local partners have been kind enough to help us and are keen to help you too.

Free Startup Resources

Getting it right from the start can help to prevent problems later.

To help you with this we have created a vast selection of resources and they are all completely free!

FREE startup workshops

If you are thinking about starting a business, our FREE three-hour ONLINE workshop is definitely for you!

Open to everyone, our sole aim is to increase your chances of success. We do that by explaining:

The reality of running a business; the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them; which legal status is likely to be most suitable; funding, grants and managing your money; business planning and cashflow forecasting; finding and keeping customers.

Free startup guide

Start Yor Own Business in Berkshire

Download the 2024 edition of our Free Start Your Own Business guide

An interactive step-by-step guide which also includes all of the most important subjects covered in an easy-to-read way with links to useful online articles and relevant contacts.

The idea of starting your own business can be incredibly exciting and who can blame you for being tempted?

However, the sad truth is that far too many new enterprises fail in the early stages. Our aim is to make sure that you don’t become one of them.

This guide explains the key start-up subjects in simple English.

There is also plenty of help available in the area and much of it is free - please do make the most of it.

Read more about what our Free guide contains and how you can download it.
Starting a business in Berkshire

Key Contacts in Berkshire

'You don't know what you don't know' is a phrase that is so applicable to starting a new business.

Berkshire is a great place for start-ups but your chances of success are dramatically improved if you make the most of the support that is available locally. Click on logos to visit their websites.

Print

Printroom Group
Printroom Group has three locations, Bracknell, Camberley and Reading. Servicing the South East for various printing needs including: Business cards, printed brochures, leaflets, poster printing, graphic design, training manual printing, white paper printing, large volume photocopying, confidential photocopying, full colour printing , business stationery.
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Web design

DigiF9 Ltd
We are a website, app, and branding agency, with an emphasis on cyber security. Why cyber security? Because nowadays being hacked is a real possibility regardless of size and business industry. If you process or store personal information, being hacked will do more harm than just reputational damage. But there’s where DigiF9 comes in, with a team of experienced developers, security professionals, designers and marketers - we offer solutions that not only look good but help keep you, your clients, staff and partners safe. Contact us at sales@digif9.co.uk to see how we can help you.
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Networking

Thames Valley Women in Business
Thames Valley Women in Business is a business networking and mentoring group for women in the Thames Valley area. Whether you have an established business or a new venture, it is important to network with and to surround yourself with business people who understand what it is like to run their own enterprise. As women we are often poor at making time for networking for business. Professional women’s networking groups can help introduce us to the world of professional networking and to learn from other entrepreneurs and business people.
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Online Marketing

Digital House Marketing & Design Agency
A House Full Of Digital Marketing Experts…. Here at Digital House, we all love digital marketing! We’re passionate about doing it better than anyone else. With Digital House you don’t just get a design agency, you get a whole team of digital experts supporting the growth of your business in the right direction. We understand your business with a passion. Our team are dedicated to our promise of delivering an increase of enquiries and to building your business to the next level. The combination of our expertise and the way we work is what sets us apart from others. We’re refreshingly honest and our customers stay with us because they want to – we have no tie-in clauses. We are Google Partners, Buy With Confidence (Trading Standards Approved) and a member of CheckAProfessional (where reputation matters) Based in Tadley near Reading, covering Berkshire. Free Digital Insight Workshop Free digital insight workshop to get more from digital marketing. We take the mist away from what is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), AdWords, Social Media, E-Newsletters, Google Maps and Google My Business, giving you plenty of tips on how to make digital marketing work for you. Venue: Our offices at Heath End House, Tadley, RG26 3SD
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Marketing

Let's Do Marketing
Let’s Do Marketing is a subsidiary of Let’s Do Business Group that is here to help small businesses grow through marketing. Focussed on providing affordable and accessible support to new and small businesses, they offer consultancy and marketing services that can help you to achieve your big marketing ideas. Whether you’re just starting out with a brand new business or looking to grow, we can give you the guidance to create a marketing strategy that matches your goals. Let’s Do Marketing can also provide training to help you take control of your own marketing strategy, from learning new software and tools to creating award winning campaigns! Find out more about our services https://www.letsdomarketing.co.uk/ Want to chat about how Let’s Do Marketing can help you to level up your business? Get in touch at https://www.letsdomarketing.co.uk/contact or email us at hello@letsdomarketing.co.uk!
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Networking

Networking Groups in Berkshire
Networking in Berkshire and the Thames Valley, both face-to-face and online, is still an important way to meet new customers, business contacts, suppliers, partners, investors and future employees as well as generally raising the profile of your business. This page on the Business Growth Hub website contains a list of some of the networking groups and business organisations covering Berkshire:
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Funding

Access business finance up to £150k
Let’s Do Business Finance offers funding to both start-up businesses and businesses wanting to grow and invest in their future. Start up finance We’re one of the official Business Support Partners of the British Business Bank and Start Up Loan Company. We can offer loans from £500 up to £25k with a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum, and that includes 12 months of free mentoring to help you get off to the best start. Could you be eligible? Find out more https://www.letsdobusinessfinance.co.uk/lets-start-up Business loans Let’s Do Business Finance are able to offer business loans to help established businesses to grow. We’re accredited lenders of the Recovery Loan Scheme under the British Business Bank, and we’re able to lend from £25,001 to £150,000 on terms from 3 months to 6 years. This business finance can be used to help you secure anything from new premises, equipment, and capital, and our team can help you to assess your cash flow and finances, build your marketing strategy and more with our built-in business support which is tailored to your needs. Want to learn more about business loans, and see if you’re eligible? Visit our website https://www.letsdobusinessfinance.co.uk/ or send us an enquiry https://www.letsdobusinessfinance.co.uk/contact-us
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Networking

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce
Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group is the voice of business in the Thames Valley. On behalf of micro to multinational organisations, we aim to drive better economic conditions and new opportunities for members and the wider community. Through our recognised centre of excellence for global trade and inward investment, we provide services that promote and create opportunities for the Thames Valley business community. We do this whilst protecting trade and the local/national economic environment. We offer local engagement, regional representation and global opportunity.
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Coaching

Cumulus Coaching
Business, leadership, and interview coaching for individuals or teams to help you push past barriers. Results-based coaching.
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Advice

Berkshire LEP
Berkshire LEP is a strategic collaboration between business, local government and academia focused on accelerating sustainable and economic growth, job creation and raising workforce skills within Berkshire. Working with our partners, we provide leadership for a connected, collaborative, skilled Berkshire economy in order deliver growth in our area and the UK. Berkshire LEP drives economic growth throughout Berkshire. We secure national funding to deliver strategic investment programmes which improve the areas economic performance. We collaborate with public and private sectors, working together to bring about greater prosperity, with a part to play for all our residents.
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Marketing

Frog Marketing
Frog Marketing is based in Wallingford and offers a professional, flexible and reliable service to local business. Frog offer a comprehensive range of marketing services including; copy writing, graphic design, Website design, search engine optimisation, email marketing and direct marketing. Operating across Oxfordshire and Berkshire Frog Marketing can offer marketing and communications support through out the Thames Valley reign. The company offers a range of marketing services to business in the local area. The philosophy at Frog Marketing is to offer creative design solutions at affordable prices. Frog Marketing seeks to build partnerships with all its clients, offering a personalised ongoing service. Advice is offered freely and client satisfaction is of paramount importance. Frog Marketing has a variety of clients, situated around Wallingford and throughout Oxford and Berkshire. Clients include electric companies, tack shops, competition livery yards, Oak framed builders, gardening companies and more.
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Advice

Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership
hames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership is a business-led, multi-sector partnership mandated by government to lead activities that drive local economic growth. To date we have secured and allocated £182m of UK and European public funds to deliver a wide range of initiatives in the Thames Valley Berkshire area.
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Advice

Berkshire Growth Hub
The Berkshire Growth Hub delivers the government funded business advice service and supports small and medium sized enterprises in Berkshire to achieve sustainable business growth. We offer a range of services from our valuable support guides to our business support tool which can give you access to tailored business resources.
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Networking

FSB Thames Valley
FSB Thames Valley is the local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). It was formed in 1974 as the National Federation of Self Employed and represents the interests of small and medium-sized businesses locally and nationally. They offer a great package tailored to your needs if you are thinking about starting a business in the area.
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Advice

Let's Do Business Group
With the ability to help businesses across all sectors, our team can offer business consultancy services to help you achieve your goals. The Let’s Do Business Group can provide virtual business consultancy services through our team of business professionals and quality assured consultants. Whether its developing a business plan or strategy, coaching or mentoring of senior staff and business owners, or just being a sounding board our team are here to help. We offer a free initial consultation so that we understand your needs, and you get to know us. We will then agree how we will work together and our fees – this could be from a one off session, a short support programme or a longer term project. We also have access to a range of other business specialists to help you with anything from Marketing to HR – so whatever your need, we can find a solution. Contact the team today at https://www.letsdobusinessgroup.co.uk/contact-us or email info@ldbgroup.co.uk
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Networking

The Lonely Middle Club - From Startup Hive
Starting a business is exciting, and succeeding is rewarding, but what about the bit between? You know, that bit that’s full of self-doubt, endless repetition and feelings of being out of your comfort zone? We call it ‘The Lonely Middle’ and it’s one of the hardest parts of creating a successful business. We know, we’ve been there. So, we created The Lonely Middle Club to help you through it. Each month you get exclusive content to help give you the knowledge and inspiration to succeed. Plus, you get access to a private members-only Facebook group where you can get advice and network with small business owners who are going through similar challenges to you. If you want even more, you can download our 51 worksheets, guides, and journals all designed to do one thing, and one thing only… help you get through ‘The Lonely Middle’ and achieve your business goals. Visit our website today to join the club and benefit from our members price lock and full no questions asked money-back guarantee.
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Networking

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group works with businesses across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Swindon to help them achieve their full business potential. We do this by offering members a range of services including business advice, networking events, training and international trade support. Address: Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group, 150 Edinburgh Avenue, Slough, SL1 4SS
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Start-up articles

100's of free startup articles

We have created a collection of 100s of startup articles to help anyone with whatever stage they are on with their business journey. Hundreds of thousands of people have gone before you and we can learn from what they got right and avoid the things that have been proved not to work so well.

You can see the full list of 'articles' at: How to start a business