Better Business for All brings together businesses and regulators to consider and change how local regulation is delivered and received. Learning is made available through this toolkit. Background on Regulatory Delivery’s involvement with the programme is provided on Gov.uk.
Getting Up and Running, 2012 / Revised 2015 / Updated 2016
This advice lists the 10 key steps to drive your local partnership from concept to reality, which are also summarised below. In both cases, supporting links are provided where appropriate to the other resources in this toolkit. There are also several links to practice examples at the end.
1 Do the necessary groundwork
The recommendations in Starting the Conversation provide the foundation for progress, and should be implemented before proceeding with the other key steps.
BBfA Briefing Note, 2015
This information sheet gives basic details on the programme.
This advice suggests one way to get the right people around the table to discuss better regulation and achieve consensus in terms of taking BBfA forward.
This information sheet summarises the broad approaches than can be used.
2 Identify your stakeholders
There is a core group of people from business and regulatory services who will need to be involved with BBfA at the outset for it to be a success. There is also a wider group – your stakeholders – who should be identified, with the aim of keeping them informed of progress and gaining their support.
This information sheet encourages councillors to become involved with the programme.
3 Refine your objectives
Following the initial discussions of your core group, it is likely that you will already have a basic action plan with some general objectives. The requirement is now to develop more specific objectives tailored to the needs of your local area, to shape a work programme.
4 Create your governance structure
The right structure to deliver BBfA will vary depending on your objectives and existing arrangements but something will need to be put in place. In Leicester and Leicestershire, for example, there are three distinct bodies.
Leicester LEP Governance, 2012
This reference document details the governance structure for the delivery of BBfA in the Leicester and Leicestershire LEP.
5 Produce your work programme
Your work programme will identify the actions required to meet your specific objectives and set their timescales. Once produced, it will need to be reviewed and amended on a regular basis.
6 Resource your activity
Depending on your local circumstances, there may be a case for a dedicated co-ordinator, potentially joint funded by participating local authorities.
This information sheet gives an overview of European funding opportunties.
7 Engage local businesses
Staging a launch event for all local businesses will foster interest in the BBfA programme and provide scope for networking and relationship building. Another way to engage local businesses is to make relevant advice available to them. To this end, the BBfA resources include two templates for use and two information sheets.
Inspection Made Simple, 2012 / Revised 2013
This template leaflet gives businesses basic details on who regulates them, how and why they are inspected, what they should do to prepare, and what steps they can take afterwards.
Business Regulation Made Simple, 2012 / Revised 2013 / Updated 2015 / Updated 2016
This template booklet provides businesses with essential information on the regulatory areas that apply to them at launch: fair trading, fire safety, health and safety, tax and waste. It also covers food safety and licensing. The focus is on practical steps to take, and links to existing business-friendly resources are highlighted.
This information sheet gives background on Business Improvement Districts, which are business-led initiatives to assist the businesses in specific areas.
This information sheet covers the main issues to consider when undertaking local business perceptions surveys and includes a set of sample questions and practical tips. It is based on the experience of surveys conducted by BBfA partnerships.
8 Engage local regulators
Since BBfA is about changing the way that businesses experience local regulation, it can be achieved only by gaining the support of all those working in regulatory services. Six BBfA resources address this requirement.
This information sheet gives background on BBfA and explains what is happening, who is involved, and how officers can take part.
This short presentation outlines the five stages of the standard business lifecycle – planning, getting started, growth, maturity and decline – together with their implications for the support regulators provide.
Business Insights, 2016
This in-depth presentation was originally created by the University of York and highlights four general growth patterns for the standard business lifecycle. It covers the key challenges that businesses face, and the strategies and approaches they use to survive and grow. The slides are suitable for a training course or e-learning, giving context to the operating environment for local businesses.
This template document provides hints and tips about arranging a training event to provide officers in regulatory services with a better understanding of the system they work in, with the aim of more effectively signposting businesses to the advice they require.
This template document gives guidance on arranging a training course for officers in regulatory services that includes a visit to a local business, with the aim of helping them to appreciate what it is like to be on the receiving end of an inspection and the impact their approach can have.
This toolkit was originally created by South Northamptonshire Council to enhance the working relationship between regulatory services and economic development, but its approach can be used to strengthen the links with other business-facing services more generally.
9 Communicate effectively
Your work programme should be accompanied by a communications plan, to guide your efforts to reach your wider group of stakeholders. Some advice on this matter is given in the first three resources. Use of the BBfA brand will also provide weight and coherence to your communications, while the creation of a BBfA Charter can serve as a focus for activity.
Communications Guide, 2013
This advice suggests a simple framework for a communications plan: situational analysis, objectives, strategy, tactics, actions and control.
Case Study Guidance, 2017
This information sheet provides a sample case study of how to communicate with business. Case studies are an excellent way of telling a story about the many ways regulatory services support local businesses. BBfA partnerships say using case studies helps engage senior leaders / stakeholders in the BBfA programme and highlights the business support angle.
Where stories are told from the business perspective (and preferably at different stages of a business lifecycle) they provide a strong narrative about the positive impact of regulatory advice and support.
Case studies have proved very powerful and all partnerships are encouraged to build a suite of these to publish on their websites (and the local Growth Hubs) along with their regulatory offer. This guidance is aimed at helping your partnerships quickly and easily capture the great work you are already doing.
This information sheet outlines potential approaches to this issue.
BBfA Brand Guidelines, 2012 / Revised 2014
Both the toolkit and the brand are managed by Regulatory Delivery (previously BRDO) on behalf of the LEP pathfinders. This information sheet gives the conditions for their use.
Sample LEP Charters, 2012
This reference document provides the Charters of the Leicester and Leicestershire LEP and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP.
10 Get involved with your Growth Hub
Finally, you will need to draw BBfA to the attention of your Growth Hub, which provides a good opportunity for regulatory services to present themselves as a key part of a wider business support solution. Some Growth Hubs are already operational, while others are being established, but every area will have one shortly. Before approaching your Growth Hub, you should be clear what you are offering, and be able to demonstrate how it will help meet Growth Hub priorities and support local economic growth.
This information sheet gives background on Growth Hubs, which are being developed to be the central repository for information, advice and support to businesses within defined local areas.
Business support on local regulation provided on the Derbyshire and Nottingham (D2N2) Growth Hub
Business support on local regulation provided on the Leicester and Leicestershire Growth Hub, including a link to templates to help local authority officers meet their regulatory obligations under the Gambling Act 2005
Business support on local regulation provided on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub, with single points of contact for environmental health, trading standards, licensing, animal health, fire and planning
Business support on local regulation provided by Hertfordshire LEP
Business support on local regulation provided by Stratford on Avon District Council, part of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP