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West Dunbartonshire

We work with businesses at all stages of their development. Whether you have an idea and want to work for yourself or maybe you already run a well established business and have aspirations to grow, we are here to help!

Thinking of Starting a Business?

There are many ways we can help you, even if starting up still seems a way off.

Our website is a great place to begin: we offer market reports as well as handy online guides, plus a business plan template to download when you’re ready. Take part in our workshops to hone your start-up skills – from how to handle the legal requirements to getting your market research right.

Plus use our Planning to Start tool to guide you through the essential steps of starting up. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and then we can then use the details you give us to create your action plan, complete with links to relevant information and support. We’ll also recommend free workshops to help you hone your skills and may refer you to relevant support from our partners.

A business adviser from your local office will also get in touch to see how else we can help at this stage and signpost you to a wide range of other support across Scotland.

With our help, you could be in business sooner than you imagined.

Running a Business?

Maintaining a business or moving up a gear can be more daunting than starting up, so our support continues and grows with your business.

We know that your time is in short supply, so if you can’t get to your local office for 1:1 advice, we’ll come to you. Together, you and your business adviser can tailor a strategic action plan to your ambitions. Need targeted advice on HR, Restructuring, Innovation, Exporting or Digital Marketing? Your adviser can help with that too. And if you need more specialist input, we can connect you with other sources of support.

Use our resources, support and tools to learn new skills, create opportunities and gain confidence.

We run around 3,500 events each year across Scotland, with workshops on topics from bookkeeping to social media.

  • For free, comprehensive business intelligence and market research, you can turn to our Information Service.
  • Browse our online A-Z of over 100 market reports or request a free report if your market sector isn’t covered.
  • Our handy guides explain digital marketing strategy, HR, intellectual property and other essentials.

Get in touch with your local Business Gateway office today.

Digital Business Skills with DigitalBoost

Setting up a website is a great start, but DigitalBoost can help you to make the most of your online presence.

Tap into our free local workshops, 1:1 expert adviser support and online tools and tutorials to help you improve your digital performance. Our DigitalBoost guide has been downloaded 20,000 times and some 1,200 workshops have together attracted more than 14,000 business people.

A DigitalBoost HealthCheck can pinpoint your digital strengths, where you could do more and how we can help. Take five minutes now to fill in our form and discover how to give your business a real boost.

Local Support

West Dunbartonshire Council have a range of start-up and growth grants available to businesses within the West Dunbartonshire area to support their growth and the creation of local jobs. Further information on the grants and support available can be accessed here.

Planning to Start

Find out what support and tools are available to you by answering a few simple questions with our Planning to Start tool. Then get contact from your local office to take your business idea forward.

Tax Advice

At Business Gateway West Dunbartonshire we have access to specialist HMRC tax advisers, who are on hand to help you with everything you need to know.

This includes providing the essential advice and training to ensure you have the necessary knowledge to fulfil your legal commitments, whether you complete your own self-assessment or have a tax adviser.

Give us a call, send us an email, or get in touch via the website to speak to an adviser.

Premises Search

Find the perfect commercial property at the right price and in the best location for you with help from our bespoke search facility.

For our full range of services, contact the Business Enquiry Service on 0300 013 4753 or email info@bgateway.com.

Employability

At Business Gateway West Dunbartonshire we work very closely with the Employability team at West Dunbartonshire Council and are able to identify potential grant funding to support the recruitment of new employees.

Recruiting an apprentice or trainee

Taking on an apprentice or trainee for many businesses is the most viable route to growing a team.

By recruiting an apprentice or trainee, your business can benefit from fresh thinking and someone who is ready to adopt your business values.

Access Customised Training

This service provides access to a range of training opportunities that can support your recruitment processes.

Workforce Development

We can provide access to a range of support mechanisms that can encourage the growth of your business by developing your existing workforce.

There are a number of different agencies that can support workforce development. By contacting us, you will be able to access the support of these agencies through one local point of contact.

Intermediaries

Every business is different and we understand there will be times when you need to access specific support and expertise along the way, in order to grow.

We have a wide range of areas which we can support you on from employing people to protecting your ideas, even developing growth strategies, exporting and much more!

The list is not exhaustive, so if there are other areas where you feel your business could benefit from specialised advice, please speak to us. If the particular area of expertise is not covered by the local team we have wider networks and contacts to bring in exactly what you need.

Below you will find the most popular areas of specialist expertise that businesses in West Dunbartonshire are benefitting from right now.

Employing People

Whether you are an existing employer or you’re thinking about recruiting your first employee, our advisers are here to help! From identifying the skills you need, to assessing training requirements and other considerations for your business, they can help you understand the processes for recruitment and employment. We can help you get the maximum business benefit from your people.

Developing & Protecting Your Ideas

If you have a great idea then the first thing to do is to take advice BEFORE you tell anyone about it! We can help you understand trademarks, copyright and other areas of intellectual property in order that you can protect your ideas and inventions.

Marketing & Growing Your Sales

Understanding your market is essential for the success of any business. We can help you to develop a strategy to target your marketing resources which gives you the best possible chance of success. Good marketing will create opportunities to sell and we’ll help you to turn your enquiries into money in the bank.

Harness the Power of the Web

If your business doesn’t have a cohesive online strategy then you may well be losing out. Trading online and using social media effectively can transform your business. Our industry specialists can help you to use the web to grow your business and manage your online reputation.

Developing a Strategy for Growth

Many businesses find they experience ‘growing pains’ as they expand. Our advisers have experience of developing larger enterprises and can help you to keep the growth and momentum going. Using short, sharp, meaningful tools such as Growth Strategy Workshops and Business Development Reviews they can help you to see beyond short-term obstacles and focus on delivering real growth in your business.

Developing International Markets

Taking the first step towards trading internationally can seem daunting, but our specialists can help you to develop an effective and controlled strategy. We partner with organisations such as SmartExporter and SDI to help you target your international sales.

Improving Energy Efficiency

Reducing your overheads is essential to ensure your business can trade profitably and grow efficiently. By partnering with specialists such as the Crichton Carbon Centre, our specialists can help you manage your costs and reduce your environmental footprint.

Young entrepreneurs

We recognise that young entrepreneurs often have great drive and enthusiasm. They see opportunities where others see problems, but can often face bigger barriers.

At Business Gateway West Dunbartonshire we have strong links with Youth Business Scotland and Young Enterprise Scotland, which means we can help you access the best support and advice.

Funding

West Dunbartonshire Council is committed to facilitating growth in the local economy, providing a wide range of funding and support interventions for local businesses as they develop. Through its partner organisation, Business Gateway, the council offers free advisory services and expert help to enhance access to local and external funding initiatives to support business expansion and increased employment.

Finding Business Premises

Is working from home really the best option for you or would it be better to source a small office space? Maybe you need premises to start trading. Either way, we can assist you in finding vacant industrial and commercial units to meet your needs in the West Dunbartonshire Council area. Not only that, there may be support available which your local adviser will be able to provide more information on.

Business Continuity Planning

Experience shows that businesses are far more likely to survive a disaster if they have thought about it in advance, and planned accordingly.

Protecting the future and reputation of a business, whatever the size, has to be the number one priority for every business owner.

The smaller your business, the more important it is to have a contingency plan in place.Any incident, no matter how small, is capable of impacting on your business and affecting profitability.

Even a sole trader is advised to have systems in place to be able to continue their work in case of theft, flooding, fire, IT and utility failures.

What is a Business Continuity Plan?

A Business continuity plan will identify all the requirements which are essential to keeping your business running. It provides a set of instructions on what to do at a time of crisis and should set out clear roles and responsibilities. It should list the actions that will allow key business activities to continue in the most difficult circumstances.

Types of risk
  • Floods/storms/high winds
  • Fire
  • Loss of premises
  • Loss of telecommunications
  • Loss of power
  • Disruption to fuel supplies
  • Loss of/reduction in staff
Possible Effects
  • Failure of business
  • Loss of Income
  • Damage to reputation
  • Loss of customers
  • Legal/regulatory penalties
  • Loss of trained employees
  • Increased insurance penalties
Business Continuity Basic Checklist

1. Have you made a list of important telephone numbers (customers, clients, suppliers, employees)?

2. Do you store your vital computer information on back up disks or servers away from your premises?

3. Do you have an asset register?

4. Do you and your staff know the location of stopcocks, valves and electric mains switch?

5. Have you considered alternative arrangements in order to continue operations (locations, suppliers, equipment etc.)?

6. Do you have an emergency pack that includes a plan of the site, spare keys and contact details?

7. Is it stored in a safe place that is known by your key personnel?

Useful links

We have put together a list of useful links for local and national organisations.

West Dunbartonshire Council
http://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/

The Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce
http://www.dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk/

The Tell Organisation
http://www.tell.co.uk/

The Lennox Partnership
http://www.thelennoxpartnership.org/

Skills Development Scotland
http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/

PTYBS – Youth Business Scotland
http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/about_the_trust/in_your_region/scotland.aspx

Young Enterprise Scotland
http://www.yes.org.uk/

Companies House
http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/

HMRC
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/

Firstport
http://www.firstport.org.uk/

Cultural Enterprise Office
http://www.culturalenterpriseoffice.co.uk

Smart Exporter
http://www.smartexporter.co.uk

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
http://www.fsb.org.uk/k

West Dunbartonshire Council for Voluntary Services
http://www.wdcvs.com/

West of Scotland Loan Fund
http://www.wslf.co.uk/

DSL Business Finance
http://www.dsl-businessfinance.co.uk/

Supplier Development Programme (SDP)

SDP is a public sector partnership which delivers a variety of FREE tender training, via classroom style workshops working in conjunction with Local Authorities across Scotland, digitally via webinar and also provides a range of online resources connecting businesses with the Scottish public sector. Registration for SDP events is free for Scottish SMEs, and will connect your business with your local authority’s SDP Rep who can offer your business additional support.

Find your nearest office

Business Gateway Clydebank

Titan Enterprise
1 Aurora Avenue, Queens Quay
Clydebank
G81 1BF
Get directions
0141 435 7560

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00