By Paul Lancaster (Content & Social Media Specialist, Sage UK & Ireland).
Before joining the Sage One UK team in November 2012, I spent 7 very happy years working for a not-for-profit local enterprise agency in Newcastle upon Tyne called PNE Group.
Established in the early 1980s in response to the high level of unemployment in the North East caused by the decline of heavy industry, PNE (and others like it) provide a range of services including face-to-face business start-up advice, low-cost incubator workspace, networking, training and consultancy to individuals, small businesses, charities and voluntary organisations.
During its’ incredible 30yr+ history, most of PNE’s services have been provided free or at very low cost due to grants and funding that the organisation has received from various charitable, public and private sector organisations.
Nimble, creative and entrepreneurial
Due to the often restricted and short term budgets, local enterprise agencies are forced to be nimble, creative and entrepreneurial in their approach to developing new products and services and I credit my experience with PNE for helping me to spot opportunities where others don’t see them and to act on them quickly. After working in this environment it’s perhaps natural that I have become, I believe, what some people would term an ‘Intrapreneur’.
The people who work for local enterprise agencies up and down the country are a special breed too. Not necessarily motivated by money or prestige, they tend to be inspired by a ’cause’ or the feeling of giving something back to society and ‘making a difference’. It’s not that the money is bad, it’s just that there are many other intangible benefits which are seen as more important to them.
National Enterprise Network (NEN) and Sage One
It’s for the reasons above that I am personally very excited that we (Sage One) became Corporate Partners of the National Enterprise Network (NEN) which represents local enterprise agencies (including PNE) right across the country.
In my eyes this is a perfect fit as NEN members provide expert business start-up advice to clients coming to them for help and anyone using Sage One Accounts or Sage One Payroll software will also benefit from free 24hr telephone and email support from our award-winning and UK-based Customer Support Team – rightly regarded as the best in the business!
So, if you’re thinking of starting a business (or know someone who is), my number one tip is to contact your local enterprise agency which can be found on the NEN website at: www.nationalenterprisenetwork.org/business-directory/ and then signing up for Sage One from just £5 per month to receive extra support to help your business succeed.
Also, if you’re a business adviser or simply someone sharing information and advice to startups, you can earn extra income for your organisation by joining the Sage One Referral Scheme.
We’ll then give you 20% commission on every business that signs up for Sage One via a unique URL on your website, blog or social media channels. For example, if you signed 100 people up to Sage One Accounts (which is £10 per month) you would earn £200 commission a month and £2,400 a year for the lifetime of their subscription!
Try Sage One for FREE
Take a closer look at our Sage One Accounts and Payroll software at http://uk.sageone.com/products/ where you can buy now from just £5 a month including a free 30 day trial which you can cancel anytime.