01727 837760

Free Business Advice

STANTA runs the Herts Start Up Programme (HSUP) giving

12 hours of advice and training – at no cost to you!


Eligibility to join HSUP:

  • Business age under 3½ years
  • Hertfordshire postcode (home or business), but STANTA specialise in postcodes AL1-10 including Bricket Wood, London Colney, Redbourn, Harpenden, Wheathampstead, Sandridge, Colney Heath. We can also advise Hemel Hempstead postcode busineses.
  • Business registered with HMRC or Companies House

If you haven’t yet registered your business, you can attend an initial meeting to receive advice on the next best routes forward, including registering your business.  Once this is done, you can choose how you ‘use up’ the 12 hours by attending any of our training courses and a follow up one to one business advice meeting.

The 12 hours of support might consist of:

– 2 hr business advice meeting with an experienced business adviser

– Assistance with registering the business with HMRC and Companies House

– Attend Business Planning workshop (6 hrs),  topics covered are:

  • Understand the process of creating a business plan from research, through to preparing, to implementation
  • Understand key strategy issues
  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Understand key financial data
  • Cash flow, profit and loss

– Attend a training course of your choice

– Attend a legal surgery (45 mins) if you have a specific legal query; such as commercial contracts, intellectual property – this is optional, not obligatory

– Final 2hrs – you choose: attend another training course or have a free business advice follow up

At a business advice meeting, you will receive personalised advice and a detailed reference pack, along with a follow-up email indicating the key action points. The advice may include everything you need to set up your business, from practical, legal and financial information through to a thorough analysis of your business strategy. This evaluation will include a review of any competitive advantages that you may have (e.g. useful contacts or experience), potential or current customers, competitors, pricing structure, SWOT* analysis and planned marketing activity.

*Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Read here a testimonial from a happy client who has completed 12 hours of advice and training

Grants available:

Once 12 hours have been completed and you have a business plan and cash flow forecast, HSUP clients are eligible to apply for a grant – for £500 up to £3,000. This is match funded, so if you spend £2,000 the grant will be £1,000.

The funding can be used for one of these items:

  • Marketing/promotional support
  • Website creation/SEO
  • Professional or legal advice
  • Financial planning advice
  • Intellectual property advice
  • Software applications

It can’t be used for capital items such as laptops or for training that is necessary as part of the business

For further information, contact the STANTA office either by email advice@stanta.co.uk or by telephone: 01727 837760.


Established Businesses:

£100 gives you two x 2hr one to one advice meetings, or one meeting and attendance at one training course, over a three month period.


Why seek business advice?

STANTA continually assess the quality of our services and conducted independent research in 2015 and 2018. 95% of respondents rate our advisers as both professional and knowledgeable. 82% feel advice from STANTA has given them the business confidence to succeed. See the full details of our most recent survey:  STANTA 2018 Client Survey Report.  Taking advice from the STANTA advisor will help you to understand and prepare for those unknown and unforeseen challenges that affect every business, regardless of size. An independent, impartial view will enable you to see more clearly what you need to do and when, and to plan for the future.   Contact us today to find out more? 


Resource Centre

Starting up a business or need access to expert information? Want to meet other local business people? We have provided all the practical information you need to successfully start up. Access our information portal here.

Quality Assured Member

I will always be grateful for your support

“I found all the meetings at STANTA very inspirational and I am absolutely certain that I would not have started the company without you. Education support – Jo Maher