Better Business for All

Toolkit of resources associated with the 10 steps taken by effective local partnerships.

Better Business for All (BBfA) brings together businesses and regulators in local partnerships to identify the issues facing local businesses and provide support to them. Most local authorities are involved with the programme, preparing and implementing action plans and sharing good practice.

BBfA was initially developed in 2011-2012 and is endorsed by the Office for Product Safety and Standards. The nature of our support for local partnerships as they evolve is clarified in the BBfA journey (PDF, 144KB, 1 page). For example, at the outset we can bring all stakeholders to the table and stage introductory workshops.

We also manage the BBfA toolkit, drawing on good practice and materials developed by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and regulators. Its resources can be adapted for local use and are associated below with the 10 steps taken by effective local partnerships. For each one, the year of production or last major revision is indicated.

1) Do the necessary groundwork

Starting the conversation (ODT, 48.7KB) advice, 2012

Briefing note on BBfA (ODT, 56.4KB) information sheet, 2018

Briefing note on business engagement (ODT, 59.9KB) information sheet, 2016

Business improvement districts

2) Identify your stakeholders

While a core group of people will need to be involved with your local partnership at the outset, other stakeholders should be identified, with the aim of keeping them informed of progress and gaining their support. They will reflect the nature of your area, but could extend to, for example, representatives from major businesses, local business organisations, local government services in general (such as building control and planning), and any national regulators with a regional presence.

Briefing note for councillors (ODT, 57.5KB) information sheet, 2015

3) Get involved with your Growth Hub

Briefing note on Growth Hubs (ODT, 119KB) information sheet, 2014

4) Refine your objectives

Following initial discussions with your core group, it is likely that you will already have a basic action plan, with a number of general objectives. Typical examples are:

  • reduce the regulatory burden on businesses
  • promote dialogue between businesses and regulatory services
  • improve the business perception of regulators
  • encourage the right balance between encouragement, education and enforcement
  • develop a joint offer of support from regulatory services for businesses
  • link regulatory services to your local Growth Hub

More specific objectives tailored to the needs of your local area should now be developed.

5) Create your governance structure

The right structure will depend on your specific objectives and arrangements.

Leicester LEP governance (PDF, 346KB, 8 pages) reference document, 2012

6) Produce your work programme

This will identify the actions required to meet your specific objectives and set their timescales. Quantified targets for the assessment of progress should be included where possible. Once produced, your work programme will need to be reviewed and amended on a regular basis.

7) Resource your activity

There may be a case for a dedicated co-ordinator, potentially joint funded by participating local authorities. The role will vary from area to area, but is likely to involve representing your local partnership, managing its meetings, implementing your work programme, monitoring progress and communicating with stakeholders, including your local Growth Hub.

8) Engage local businesses

Staging a launch event for local businesses will foster interest in BBfA and allow networking and relationship building. Schedule it over breakfast or in the early evening and keep it concise, so that it doesn’t take much time out of the working day. After a brief introduction to BBfA, focus on your work programme, highlighting its benefits to business. Always draw on the experience of the business leaders in your core group to help organise and promote any events aimed at the wider business community.

Another way to engage local businesses is to make relevant advice available to them.

Inspection made simple (ODT, 129KB) template leaflet, 2013

Business regulation made simple (ODT, 138KB) template booklet, 2016

Briefing note on business perceptions surveys (ODT, 81.4KB) information sheet, 2017

9) Engage local regulators

Briefing note for regulatory services staff (ODT, 51.4KB) information sheet, 2012

Regulation and the business lifecycle (ODP, 243KB) short presentation, 2012

Business insights (PDF, 4.15MB, 40 pages) in-depth presentation, 2016 - Originally created by the University of York

Organisational awareness training (ODT, 47.3KB) template document, 2013

Business awareness training (ODT, 227KB) template document, 2013

Working with economic development and other business-facing services (ODT, 5.71MB) toolkit, 2016 - Originally created by South Northamptonshire Council

10) Communicate effectively

Your work programme should have a communications plan, to guide the efforts to reach your stakeholders. Use of the BBfA brand can underpin your communications, while the creation of a BBfA Charter can serve as a focus for activity. Case studies produced from the business perspective can be an effective way to show the positive impact of regulatory advice and support, and capture the good work done by local partnerships.

Communications guide (ODT, 96.7KB) advice, 2013

Demonstrating the impact of BBfA (ODT, 49.5KB) advice, 2017

BBfA brand guidelines (ODT, 377KB) reference document, 2014

Sample LEP charters (PDF, 491KB, 2 pages) reference document, 2012

Case study guidance (PDF, 190KB, 1 page) advice, 2017

Published 1 November 2011