Small Business Advice Week: how can IPSE help you?

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To mark Small Business Advice Week, IPSE will be contributing to the discussion with a series of advice blogs written exclusively with the small business community in mind. For more information on Small Business Advice Week visit the website or join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #SBAW. 

When IPSE began life as PCG in 1999, we did so as a single issue lobbying group created in opposition to the IR35 legislation. Since then we’ve broadened our horizons and now aim to support and campaign on behalf of the broad spectrum of self-employment. This dynamic labour force are often the least resourced and most isolated segment of the workforce, therefore we exist to ensure they have the support and advice they need to thrive.

Here are some of the ways IPSE can help you:

Expecting the unexpected

Our members are resilient, particularly during turbulent times. However, there are many things you can’t predict or prevent, therefore a safety net is always welcome. If you’re unwell; we’ll help cover some of your lost earnings. If you’re given jury duty; we’ll reimburse you for up to two weeks. And if an agency breaks their contract; we’ll provide financial support for that too.

Ready to help

Engaging with professionals such as accountants and lawyers can be both daunting and expensive. Through IPSE membership, however, individuals receive access to the relevant advice, support and tools from industry experts - so that you always have peace of mind that someone is fighting your corner.

Making sure you’re not caught out

For many small businesses, it can be tempting to think that a perfectly polished website and an award-winning logo is the most important thing. Actually, writing a good contract is arguably one of the most important places to start. At IPSE, we make sure your contracts are absolutely watertight, providing you with a detailed report offering appropriate amendments. With the logistics in place, then you can enjoy that perfect website!

Saving you money

The IPSE Advantages Scheme grants you access to over 2,000 consumer discount offers at any one time - from hardware to software, groceries to lifestyle shopping. Regularly taking advantage could make you savings far in excess of the initial membership fee in the first place!

Sharpening your skills

Investing in your skills may not be an immediate priority – after all, time spent training is time spent not earning. When your sales department, marketing and HR teams are you; it can be difficult to find spare time for training. You may also be concerned about the cost implications.

Have no fear though, IPSE Academy allows members to access thousands of training courses from leading training providers at a heavily reduced rate. We believe freelancers, contractors and independent professionals need flexible, relevant and affordable courses to maintain pace with industry developments, shifts in trends, new technologies and skills demand.

Making your voice heard

IPSE’s policy team constantly engage with decision-makers in Westminster and Holyrood to ensure the voice of our members is heard. Having visited Downing Street five times in 2016, and winning the Most Effective Voice Award at the Association Awards, we continually endeavour to ensure small businesses come first.

Preparing for your future

Saving for the future is not always easy, with pensions and life assurance being costly - especially when there’s no employer to contribute. IPSE recognise this, and our members benefit from a discounted rate with a specialist pensions provider, plus discounted life assurance and private medical insurance. Who said it has to be complicated? 

Stuart Sanderson is IPSE’s press and PR intern. Stuart works for Hudson Contract Services and is currently studying at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Meet the author

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IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.