As I was initially setting up, I contacted the RIBA, of which I've been a member for many years, but not really used and I was advised by Belinda Irlam-Mowbray to join the SPG (the RIBA NW Solo Practitioners Group. (and the MSA but I'll save that one for another day/year)
A year in, several meetings and the infamous Treasure Hunt later, the SPG has come into it’s own. Not only does it provide CPD, but advice on professional architectural matters and lately an ally who can support me on live projects and provide that essential back-up to clients. We are hoping to update the website http://www.spgnw.co.uk/
Women in property, of course, has provided an invaluable platform, mentoring and access to professional contacts across manchester and the north west.
In addition, I managed to access the last round of the NWDA funding for a business mentoring programme, which I'm in the middle of. Initial business support came from from Phil Bell of Blue Orchid, which stood me in good stead. And accountants Finton Doyle are helping to keep me on track.
So in all as a solo practitioner one is in need of all the support you can get.