Small firms should attempt to find a mentor who can lend them business advice, it has been suggested.

According to Adam Wayland, editor of, people involved in running such companies should identify a businessperson who possesses knowledge of the relevant sector.

He said: "If you can, it’s always preferable to get some sort of mentor in place, someone who’s been through the process of setting up a business."

The expert went on to say that this is preferable to going it alone as people who opt to pursue such an isolated path "always find it more difficult".

According to research published recently by Barclay’s Bank, more businesses started up in 2007 than in any year since records began in 1988.

Reportedly, the north-east and the West Midlands saw the biggest increases in start-ups compared to 2006, with the establishment of firms in the regions up 11 per cent.