For business support organisations

Business support organisations

As a business support organisation, you face constant pressure to provide high-quality information and training for your clients, with the ongoing challenge of funding those services. When you win contracts, you have to be fast on your feet, providing the contracted services and materials at the right quality, often with little time to create them.

Quality products, affordable prices and flexible payment

Over the past ten years, we have helped many agencies and organisations support their clients and deliver their contracted services. Our off-the-shelf information guides and training workbooks can be used as they stand, or can be customised for your own organisation or to meet funders’ requirements.

Browse the list of publications below or call Phil Ashford on 01273 569249 for more information about how we can help.

Quote panel marks 2I have used the Essential Business workbooks for training and business advisory work on more than one occasion. I have trained hundreds of individuals, in workshops — mostly in Croydon, as part of the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) and also for Working Links in Brighton. They are without doubt the best business start-up materials on the market. They make training enjoyable and they ensure your trainees not only love your workshops but guarantee that they cover all the essential areas when starting a business.


When used alongside the Essential Business Guide, when using these materials you can excel as a trainer and a business adviser. I highly recommend them.

Lorraine Bell, Business Support Manager, University of Brighton

For your pre-start clients

Publication-bulletThinking of Starting a Business

Thinking of Starting a BusinessThis full-colour workbook is aimed at people who are wondering if starting a business is the right choice for them. It provides a wealth of practical material and is ideal for working with groups of people who are considering self-employment.

It is intentionally ‘light touch’ and prompts clients to consider the realities of starting and running their own business.

Business support organisations who buy this workbook:

  • use it as learning material for one-day, pre-start-up courses
  • give it to clients who are not sure whether business is right for them
  • customise it with their own content, colours and brand
  • use it as ‘off the shelf’ learning material for contract fulfillment
  • like the style and tone of the writing and illustration.

The workbook takes a simple, step-by-step approach and includes 12 integrated worksheets that build towards a simple business action plan.  Find out more »

Publication-bulletEssential Start-up Guide

The Essential Start-up GuideThis 24-page booklet covers the things your clients need to do when they first set up their business, such as choosing a business name, registering the business, and so on.

Business support organisations who buy this guide:

  • use it as a gift for their start-up clients
  • buy bespoke versions with their logo and content added
  • like the full-colour style and design of this handy guide.

Volume discounts and customisation options are available. Find out more »

For training start-up clients – one-to-one or in groups

Publication-bulletPlanning and Starting a Business

Planning and Starting Your BusinessThis workbook has a simple aim: to help your clients avoid rushing into a business idea without thinking carefully about it first. It takes them step by step through the important first stages of their new business, helping them answer questions such as: What is your vision for your business? What skills do you need? How will you find customers? How much will it cost to start up?

Business support organisations who buy this workbook:

  • use it as learning material for business start-up courses
  • use it as support material for one-to-one business support
  • provide it to distance learning clients
  • use it as ‘off the shelf’ learning material for contract fulfilment
  • customise it with their own content, colours and brand
  • like the step-by-step approach and use of plain English.

The workbook includes 34 worksheets that help your clients develop a business plan they can actually understand. If you buy multiple copies, these worksheets are also supplied as Microsoft Office® documents). Find out more »

All the information that I received on this workshop was everything and more that I needed. Questions that I needed to be answered were covered… I wish [the workshops] could have been longer. We were provided with training books and hand-outs which were extremely informative and straightforward and I find that I still refer to them.
Dionne Paris, start-up workshop participant workshop

Publication-bulletEssential Business Guide

The Essential Business GuideAll the small business information in The Essential Business Guide is clearly written and easy to follow. It assumes no prior knowledge of business or business terms, so it’s the perfect reference guide whether your clients are just starting out, or if they’ve been in business for a while. We take complex information and make it readable and quick and easy for them to find.

Business support organisations who buy this guide:

  • offer it as prizes for business start-up competitions
  • use it as a reward for completion of business training courses
  • buy bespoke versions with their logo, colours and content included
  • put it on coffee tables in reception areas and enterprise hubs
  • like the colourful design and the ‘dip in and out’ nature of the writing and layout.

The Guide is also a useful reference guide to be kept on the desk of advisers and support staff. 
Find out more »

Quote panel marks 2The Guide is an excellent reference tool on a range of diverse topics that the small business owners simply has to know about. It is easy to read, provides invaluable advice and practical tips, and most importantly, provides information on complicated issues in an easy to understand format, taking up the minimum amount of valuable time. Lord Digby Jones while Director-General of the CBI

Publication-bulletUnderstanding Your Business Finances

Product-page-UBFThis wirobound workbook provides expert guidance on everything from raising finance to managing money. The author, Johnny Martin FCA, is an experienced finance director who has hands-on experience of the nitty-gritty of small business finance. With integrated worksheets, practical examples and step-by-step guidance, this comprehensive workbook provides ideal learning material for finance workshops and courses.

Business support organisations who buy this workbook:

  • use it to deliver post-start-up business financial training
  • are working with the Start Up Loans Company
  • use it with their high-growth clients
  • like the interactivity, real-life examples and clear explanation of a complex subject.

The 12 integrated worksheets help your clients understand the three main financial reports: cash flow forecast, profit and loss report and balance sheet. Find out more »

Quote panel marks 2Brilliantly written by someone who understands the needs of the small business community…”
Dr Stephen Fear, Entrepreneur in Residence & Ambassador, British Library

Essential Business in your business support organisation

Volume-larger Essential Business guides, workbooks, courses and resources offer a cost-effective way to acquire tried and tested materials that can be customised to reflect your brand. Discounts are available on volume orders for licensed professional use.

To buy single copies (for personal use or review), visit our retail website. If you would like to place a bulk order or find out more about bespoke publishing options, please take a look at those pages on this website or call Phil Ashford on 01273 569249.