Business advice and support. Made easy.

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Support, resources and information

Starting a business

A new business is launched in the UK every minute, and for every soaring success story there’s a cautionary business tale. In this section, we’ll set you on the path to starting a successful business. Whether it’s your first venture or you’re a serial entrepreneur, we’ve looked at the key things you need to know and broken them up into easily digestible, bitesize articles. We’ll look at key personality traits, weighing up whether it’s the right option for you and set your expectations for what’s in store. We’ll guide you through financial processes and legal considerations, and make sure you’re product or service is brought to market in a considered and effective manner.

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The majority of small businesses are run by people without finance skills or qualifications. Research has found that even if you’re financially secure, not having these skills can cost you thousands of pounds a year in tax miscalculations, unpaid invoices and fines. While some parts of business finance may seem daunting, with our guidance you’ll understand the ins and outs in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you. We’ll shine a comprehensive light on what the many financial terms and processes mean and how to deal with them on a day-to-day, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. We’ll also look at broader financial topics such as market research, funding and how and when to seek external advice.

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Business admin

Understanding your business administration requirements and how to manage them is crucial to the success of your business. While you may not be overly excited by this topic, we’re going to give you a comprehensive overview of those requirements and make sure you have the tools and information to run your business in a tight and efficient manner. In this section, we’ll help you stay on top of your legal and financial commitments, and show you how to utilise business data in an ethical way.

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Marketing and sales

While there’s some truth in the statement ‘a good product sells itself’, combining this with a well thought-out marketing and sales strategy will really lift your business profits. Without the right approach you can easily misspend your money and misrepresent your product. In this section, we’re going to help you find a winning formula that will work whatever your business and budget. We’ll show you why marketing and sales are so important, and help you to fine tune your brand and proposition. You’ll find everything you need to know about market research, pricing, building your website and social media presence, customer service and growing your client base.

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Integrated properly, technology can be your best friend. The right systems can save you time and money, provide valuable insights, and help to safeguard your business from cyber crime – amongst other things. In this section, we’re going to guide you through all your technology considerations from the obvious to the often overlooked. We’ll help you to establish your business IT needs, tools and apps to make your life easier and show you how to build an all-conquering online presence.

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Managing people

If only people were as straightforward as your cost and balance sheets. In contrast, they’re one of the most unpredictable variables your business will deal with In this section, we’ll ensure you’re equipped to deal with people around you from the perspective of an employer and a human being We’ll take you through payroll processes and employment law, recruitment and training programmes and look at how you can manage your staff better.

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Managing yourself

Going out into the world of self-employment is a liberating feeling but being your own boss can also present its pitfalls. In this section, we’ll look at the personal challenges and considerations that you’ll be confronted with, and equip you with the tools to succeed on your own. We’ll guide you on how to work on your own, including time-management, and get the best out of yourself. There are tips on when to seek out external support and getting that all important work-life balance.

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Many of us go through life never fully reading the small print or terms and conditions. When you’re running your own business you can’t afford to overlook these legal details. While you don’t need to be an expert in legislative matters, this section will guide you through what you do need to know and how to do it. We’ll take you through the laws that protect you - including copyrights and patents - your staff and your customers, and cover your financial obligations such as VAT and Corporation Tax.

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