Business Link is one of the most useful online services in England that caters to businesses, offering them with useful information, relevant tools, an interactive portal, and advice. A non-profit service founded in 1993, it continues to provide business support to thousands of companies throughout the country. The helpline readily provides the necessary support and answers to questions that a company might have regarding the service or anything relevant to business.
In the Philippines, there is no doubt that a lot of people have entrepreneurial skills. Simple examples are small time businesses that sprout along the roadside and online shops that proliferate on Facebook or other web-based portals.
A lot of these small-time businesses are doomed even before they open shop. Why so? The system of “utang (loan)” continues to be popular across small-time stores in the country. Another thing, did you ever notice that when one shop is thriving, a similar one is sure to sprout right next to it the following week? For online shops, there are also a lot of risks involved, including so-called bogus buyers and dishonest suppliers.
Moreover, we can’t deny the fact that most of these shop owners have no background in marketing and running a business. Oftentimes, they use the money from the shop to meet personal needs, driving the need for a new capital when it is time to buy new stocks for the store. Also, families and friends tend to abuse sellers, asking for rock bottom, no-profit prices for their purchases.
It is the small- to medium-sized businesses that often suffer in the market, especially because big players are able to easily provide a large capital, have the means to create major ad campaigns, and have the knowledge and resources in running a company. If they don’t have firsthand knowledge, they hire a team of advisers to do the dirty job. Still, even big-time companies could use the help of such a service created by a team of experts and advisers. Perhaps the best example of that was the very popular but now defunct Multiply site.
This is where Business Link comes to the rescue: for those who belong to the lower half of the business tier and just about anyone that needs help. England’s government invested millions of pounds to create and maintain this business advice center. If the Philippines were to have this kind of service, it would truly uplift the businesses of many shopkeepers.
Most of the companies helped by England’s Business Link turned out into freelancers and private consultants who benefited the most from the advice provide by the service. Surely, the service would be quite useful in the Philippines if done correctly.
As a free one-stop shop for businesses, the service offers a wide range of options, including interactive tools and various transactions. With these tools, it becomes easier for businesses to calculate their profit or taxes they owe or any other option available. Moreover, a plethora of guides ensure that they get plenty of relevant information to help them build and run their business.
Right now, a portal similar to Business Link is a necessity in the Philippines. We could only hope that the government is willing to shell out money to create and maintain this useful service, not just create more dole outs for the poor. Remember the Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for lifetime.”