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Mark Duerden's Member Story

Kent-based digital agency, Beyond Local, has been transforming web-novices into web-masters, as well as providing innovative digital apprenticeships for the past three years.

Specialising in helping small businesses get to grips with the internet and held in regard for preparing the next generation of website developers, graphic designers and digital marketing professionals; Beyond Local has built a desirable reputation, led by online application developer of 15 years and Director of Beyond Local, Mark Duerden.

After meeting a Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) representative at a local event, Mark realised how much the FSB philosophy of supporting the growth of small businesses mirrored his own and the opportunity to have expert business advice and support at his fingertips made an appealing combination.

Mark takes up the story: “As a Seven Oaks Chamber of Commerce advisor, I had heard of the FSB, but it wasn’t until I talked to the FSB representative that I appreciated how our shared aims of supporting small businesses were almost identical.

At Beyond Local, we aim to help small businesses to grow by helping them get to grips with the internet and provide young people with real commercial experience. When looking at membership, the ethos of the FSB and its local networking events provide the perfect platform to exchange ideas and share knowledge with fellow business owners.”

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As Mark is part of an organisation that has been supporting the UK’s small businesses for over 40 years, he gets access to a range of benefits that help him run his business, such as the FSB’s legal and tax protection insurance scheme, 24/7/365 legal advice, health and safety and HR online support, as well as specially negotiated products and services that will advise him, whilst helping to grow his business.

These products include a workplace pension auto-enrolment solution, business banking, a fuel card, in addition to a vehicle leasing scheme and other products and services specifically designed to advise members, as well as helping them grow and save money.

When Beyond Local experienced some potentially serious issues with their terms and conditions, Mark contacted the FSB Legal Helpline who offered him practical advice on how to tackle the problem.

Mark continues: “The legal team were able to give me the advice I needed to rectify the situation. I accessed the online documents available on the FSB’s website and created processes, as well as water-tight terms and conditions.

FSB Membership provides me with a safety net, catching my fall if I slip whilst navigating the tricky path being a small business owner takes.”

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