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Liz McNaughton's Member Story

Kent-based, award winning website design and development agency, Ecce Media, have been members of the Kent and Medway branch of the Federation of Small Businesses since early on in their company life.

FSB member of seven years Liz McNaughton explains how they have found support from the FSB invaluable in the day to day running of the business.

Liz takes up the story: “Firstly, the free FSB banking via the Co-operative Bank integrates with our new Xero accounting software perfectly, which has helped us streamline our financial processes considerably.”

Liz continues: “Like many small business owners, we often find ourselves working into the weekend and evenings, and it still doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day sometimes. So anything that saves us time and hassle is of huge significance to us.”

“But perhaps the most useful aspect of FSB support to us has been the free and unrestricted access to the extensive online documents. When we were looking at employing our first apprentice last year, it was FSB employment documents that helped cut through the red tape and navigate us through a minefield of paperwork.”

They also made use of the excellent health and safety templates available.

Now looking to take on a second apprentice, the web development agency will no doubt make use of the legally compliant and updated documents again. With an extensive library online covering everything from property and tenancy contracts to partnership and corporate agreements, the document library is at the disposal of every FSB member.

Working with the FSB first and foremost is about support. Having the backup of a major federation and the extensive and conglomerated knowledge and experience that comes with it is very reassuring for a small business.

One such aspect is the free legal helpline. Traditionally an expensive aspect of running a business, the FSB not only offer legal advice to its members over the phone, but also back that advice up with representation if taken and still necessary. It provides the confidence to take things on in the safe knowledge that you are not on your own.

Liz comments: “It’s not easy running your own business. You spend a great deal of time fire fighting, so having an easily accessible and comprehensive resource that covers the minute details, especially the aspects you might not have thought of yet, helps bear the load considerably.”

Liz adds: “We would definitely also recommend attending one of the many local events and meetings held by the FSB. Engaging in the community and talking to other businesses has really helped us, be it comparing service providers to find a personally recommended option, to simply enjoying a sense of camaraderie over a shared issue. We’ve even picked up potential clients.”

It is working with not only small and independent businesses, but also these regional and nationally recognised bodies and companies that gives the FSB one of its greatest strengths, a broad reach in the corporate world. Businesses like Ecce Media have shown that FSB membership is a useful and vital part of their operation.

Whether its lobbying government for the perfect environment for a business to operate in, or comprehensive advice and free tax investigation insurance, the FSB provide members like Ecce Media with the big company support every small business needs.

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