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Can your family give good business advice?

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In the first year of business, business owners are said to get at least £4000 of advice from family members for free, according to Sage One. The quality of that advice, however, is up-for-debate.

One in 10 of business leaders say they have a ‘family first’ policy when it comes to business.

Head of Sage One, Claire Carter, said: “Our research suggests that the majority of firms are taking advice to navigate the complexities around legislation. When starting a business family and friends offer an invaluable network of support and guidance, but when it comes to legislation, speak to a specialist.”

Changes in legislation (see: Real Time Information and Auto Enrolment), were named the greatest challenges for businesses today, followed by advice on finance, and HR.

Of those who do turn to experts, accountants are by far the most popular, 56 per cent; while at 9 per cent, marketers are the least popular to seek for advice, suggesting surprising confidence in marketing.

Jules Quinn, managing director at the TeaShed, recalls her experiences: As with many startups, when we first got going we relied a lot on help from friends and family, for both packaging tea and advice. 

“But there comes a point quite early on when you need to look for external guidance and expert help. One of the best things we did was get an accountant and good accountancy software early on.”

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