This may sound obvious – but it is startling how few companies effectively use the resources freely offered by the government to support business growth.
Whilst most people use the site for its advice on key legal considerations (such as tax, imports / exports and licensing), there is also ample opportunity to use this information to expand your company.
By using the designated Business Portal, you can search by location, size and activity to locate the relevant government-backed grants, finance, loans, support and funding available to you.
This is a business development website you might not expect; but it can certainly be effective in helping you gain a better understanding of your market.
When it comes to the media, there are so many great resources for startups out there that it can be hard to narrow them down.
What is less common are the business help websites that dedicate editorial to business growth (at any stage).
This unique business development website asks the hard-hitting questions – Where do you go when you have had your first big success?
How do you maintain momentum and avoid the pitfalls? The site gives you the key news, articles, research and interviews that should help answer some of these queries.
Being the largest professional network site, LinkedIn is hard to beat when it comes to finding the right people for your business.
Most people would be forgiven for treating it as a glorified CV library, however it is so much more.
On LinkenIn, you can search very specifically for the people who hold the exact skills that you need and connect with the companies that you think would be beneficial to your company’s growth.
LinkedIn is one of the best business to business websites – with Inmail functions allow you to message people directly, and numerous groups to join and become active within.
These groups also allow you to post and share content and you will find a great deal of advice and useful sector specific resources.
Find out how you can use LinkedIn better than your competition.
The Guardian dedicates a large section of their website to supporting the plight of young and growing companies.
Their Small Business Network hosts regular Q&As about industry trends, issues and predictions that businesses can either take part in as experts, or by asking vital questions.
On this business development website, The Guardian’s specialised ‘hubs’ are packed full of information, news and advice for specific themes.
They also support many events and initiatives; their latest was the Guardian Small Business Trade Mission, and they actively encourage SMEs to take part.
It pays to learn from those entrepreneurs who have reached the top – how did they develop their business into the multi-million-pound success story it is today?
Richard Branson is perhaps the UK’s greatest living entrepreneur and his business development blog is not only informative, but also deeply insightful.
It provides access into the mentality of a strong business leader, and is revealing about what he finds most important.
It may inspire you to start your own business development blog – but at the very least it should give you some food for thought on how you too can reach the top.