Starting a business in Camberley 2023
In 2022, Camberley was recognized by Enterprise Nation, the UK’s leading small business network; as a town providing outstanding support for entrepreneurs in the local area.
It’s reasonable then that you are interested in starting a business in Camberley or within Surrey Heath.
Buckle up, and we’ll give you the low down on where to look for help, advice and support in the UK’s Top Town for Business 2022 – Camberley.
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Surrey Heath Economic Development Department
Surrey Heath Borough Council are the local authority with responsibility for growing our local economy and ensuring businesses are provided with the right support to grow.
Whilst most of us wouldn’t read the local Economic Development Strategy for fun on a Sunday afternoon, it does provide us with great insight into where the local authority see our local business community developing over the coming decades, where their employment priorities are and where funding is likely to go.
For the budding entrepreneur, this can highlight a whole host of opportunities that most wouldn’t do the research on.
You can find Camberley’s Economic Development Strategy here.
Sitting just above Surrey Heath’s Economic Development team in the planning and policy strategy framework is Enterprise M3 and Surrey County Council.
The thought process behind a lot of the economic planning on a local basis is set by funding priorities from the national government and an interesting read of how we’ll build our way out of Brexit is covered in “Building a Britain fit for the future’.
When you are planning or starting a business in Camberley, it’s a great idea to get in touch with the economic development team. They can advise on a wide range of strategic topics. Surrey Heath Borough Council maintains a list of empty commercial property within the borough and start-up business spaces, if you are relocating to Camberley or need factory space, it’s a great place to start.
If you are starting a business in Camberley that is a food or catering business, serves alcohol, or provides health and beauty treatments then the local Environmental Health team will be able to provide information on what licencing requirements there are for your new business.
Many start-up businesses fall foul of planning regulations when they start to take on a commercial property or outgrow working from home. From change of use to licencing for leisure purposes, Surrey Heath are the guys to help you understand the planning requirements for your business.
Lastly, if you plan on locating you business within the town centre of Camberley, it’s important to get to know the Camberley Business Improvement District team – Collectively Camberley.
Across the country BID teams are responsible for marketing town centres, suggesting and implementing improvements and generally making town centres great places to spend time.
Camberley BID team, Collectively Camberley, put time and energy into making the town a fun place to be, with town centre businesses contributing to their work by means of a precept. Something that definitely needs to go into the start-up business budget, but building that relationship can really help with marketing your start-up.
Collectively Camberley also provide low cost training courses for businesses in the town centre, inline with public initiatives. Low cost first aid, British Sign Language and Dementia Friend training has all been delivered as part of the scheme.
So, you’ve got your business ideas and decided Camberley is a great place to start your business.
What are the next steps…
Start-up business support in Camberley
Camberley is a great place to start a business, remember – we’ve proved it by winning UK’s Top Town for Business 2022.
With over 7,500 in the local area employed as managers or directors, there’s a huge wealth of expertise in the small business sector, right on our doorstep.
There are lots of opportunities for help and advice when starting your business, we’ll cover a few here.
Surrey Chambers of Commerce
Surrey Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Login Business Lounge and Surrey Heath Borough Council provide a 10-lesson business start-up academy that runs with sessions throughout the year.
Covering key topics, one each month, from the co-working space in Park Street, Camberley, it gives start-up business owners a grounding for what they’ll expect to encounter as a business owner.
The chambers of commerce have pulled together experts from HR, IT, Finance, Social and other sectors to provide an overview in the 2-hour sessions.
Business Coaches and Business Mentors
Across Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire there are hundreds of business coaches and business mentors that work with start-up and growing businesses to help them tackle the challenges they face.
As a new business you may need help and support with business planning and financial plans, through to learning to market your business correctly, or taking on your first member of staff.
Business coaches, mentors and consultants can provide tailored training, coaching and workshops that meet your specific business needs.
When looking for a business coach or business mentor, we’d recommend you check:
- Business Experience
- Professional Qualifications
- Industry Body Accreditations/Membership
- Adherance to a Code of Ethics
- Professional Insurances
Great places to start looking for business coaches and business mentors?
The Association of Business Mentors (ABM) is the only professional association working to improve and professionalise business mentoring across the UK.
The IoD is a thriving membership community for directors in the UK and beyond, where you can connect with other leaders, develop your skills and be heard. At a time when great directors have never been more important, the IoD offers professional development, valuable connections and influence.
As experts in business, the Federation of Small Businesses offer our members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice heard in government.
Enterprise Nation has grown to a community of over 120,000 people, all of whom are doing amazing things. Enterprise Nationa are passionate about supporting people to start and grow their own successful businesses and representing their views to the government and media.
Co-working spaces in Camberley
Right at the heart of Camberley is one of the greatest resources for the business start-up or work-from-home professional – The Login Lounge.
The Login Lounge provides co-working space, desk rent and small office spaces for businesses, along with coffee and lunch.
The bright and trendy venue has become a great local business resource hosting regular TEDShed thought leadership and networking events, after-hours live music and comedy nights.
Well worth checking out for coffee, or heading to for a day away from the home office.
Business Networking Groups in Camberley
You’ve got your business idea and you want to get out and tell the world about it.
It’s likely you’ll start with business networking events.
You’ll find lots of resources within our blog on how to get the best from networking, but here are a few local groups to get you started:
- First Friday Business Networking
- Camberley Entrepreneurs Night
- Basepoint Business Centre Networking
- BNI Blackwater Valley – Camberley
- Surrey Heath Small Business Networking Group with Enterprise Nation
Finding great staff and developing apprenticeships in Camberley
Building a great workforce is one of the challenges for any small business owners.
Several years of COVID disruption have really impacted schools’ ability to build relationships with the business community to get school leavers to work experience and apprenticeship placements.
It’s a great way that business owners can develop a workforce to expand with the needs of their business if they build apprenticeships into their business plan.
The Job Centre and Surrey Heath Borough Council have worked together to provide a job resource to help young people looking for work, or needing career development and advice, called The Workshop.
Located within The Square, the main shopping centre in Camberley Town Centre, the unit provides young people with workshops, training and one-to-one mentoring to help them get into meaningful work.
Wait a minute, what’s that got to do with business owners? Well, if we want a workforce to develop with the right skillsets and attitudes we have to encourage and support this by interacting with the education providers and careers centres.
I highly recommend booking a visit to The Workshop, talking about your business idea and they types of talent you’d love to welcome into your business there are so many hidden gems out there that just need some support to shine.
The next step strategically is to head to schools to give a talk about your company, what you do and the types of jobs that are coming up.
Many schools welcome these careers style talks or interviews, both in person or via zoom, as they have a government target to meet business interactions throughout the year.
They also have empirical data to show the more interactions students have with business, the more likely the student is to leave and head into full-time employment.
In Camberley and surrounding towns, the Enterprise Advisor role links businesses with schools and facilitates better Enterprise Education in schools. This is a role our business coach, Jamie Morgan has had in the past working with Collingwood College and Enterprise M3.
Find out more about becoming an enterprise adviser in the Enterprise M3 zone.