Find out whether there's a market for your product or service. The Tees Valley Combined Authority has information about key business sectors in the Tees Valley.
Use the Buy Local Tees Valley directory to look for similar businesses.
Tees Valley Business Hub provides useful resources, including business support articles.
Set up your business
If you're thinking of starting your own business in Middlesbrough, taking time to develop a business plan is key to success. GOV.UK has example business plans and cash flow templates to help you understand what you'll need to do, how to register for tax with HMRC, and which type of business structure to set up.
If you need help with putting your plans together, support is available to guide you through the process. The North East Enterprise Agency offers free support to those setting up a business. You can talk through your idea and work through your plans with their experts. Enterprise Revolution offers free one-to-one business planning support to help you get your business idea off the ground, as well as ongoing training to help your business grow.
Middlesbrough Libraries in partnership with Business and IP Centre Tees Valley offer free one-to-one support every Tuesday to start-ups and existing businesses. The services available include:
- business mentoring
- intellectual property awareness (copyright, trademarks, designs, patents)
- access to a wide range of online databases including: market research, grant finder, business factsheets, premises identifier
To make an appointment, contact Maria Lannon by calling 07983 529139 or emailing email@example.com
Teesside University's business support service helps innovative businesses with big ideas and ambitions.
Marketing your business
Attending networking events provides a wide range of opportunities to build up your contacts and expand into new markets. The Invest in Middlesbrough website lists upcoming business events. Organisations which provide business support may have mailing lists you can sign up for, to find out about events, as well as news and advice.
You can also ask your start-up support agency about how to market your business using social media.
The business support agencies listed above can offer advice about financing your business. There are also a range of loans and grants available.
TEDCO Business Support has a team of experienced business support experts who help enterprising individuals start and grow companies. They are the north east partner for Virgin Start-Up Loans.
Ask your business advisor for more information about the government's Start Up Loans programme. You can borrow up to £25,000, repayable over 1–5 years. You'll also get 12 months of free mentoring.
Tees Valley Business offer the Start-Up, Scale-Up programme. A dedicated business consultant will work with you to understand your business goals, then develop a package of support for your unique start-up needs. You could also be eligible for a Start-Up, Scale-Up grant of up to £10,000 to directly support the creation of new jobs.
Specialist support is available to help new digital technology, software, and gaming businesses get set up and grow. To find out more, contact Dan Watson, Digital Sector Manager, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.