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For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Building your team - checklist

This checklist will help you to set up, organise, motivate and support successful teams within your business.

  • Establish the purpose of the team, and the range of knowledge and skills required; consider the value of a mix of styles and approaches.
  • Limit the size of the team - more than a dozen may be unmanageable; if necessary, create smaller sub-teams instead, with narrower objectives.
  • Assemble the team. Discuss the team’s purpose and use this to agree individual team members’ roles and the contribution each will make.
  • Clarify how the team will operate: for example, how you will tackle projects, run meetings and make decisions.
  • Encourage a culture of honest and open communication, in which team members express their views freely and listen to what others say.
  • Agree how problems will be tackled; encourage team members to try to resolve disagreements between themselves before involving you.
  • Organise the team’s activities: agree measurable, realistic objectives and deadlines, and ensure the team has the necessary resources.
  • Regularly review progress and performance in short team meetings; update objectives and identify any changing resource requirements.
  • Motivate the team: be enthusiastic, praise and publicise achievements, encourage everyone to contribute and lead by example.
  • Foster team spirit: recognise everyone’s value to the team, avoid favouritism, and encourage collaboration.
  • Offer training, support and an open door for individuals with problems.
  • Take responsibility: be prepared to tackle problems and to make unpopular decisions.
  • Avoid becoming isolated; encourage collaboration, communication and socialising with members of other teams.
  • Recognise when the team has served its purpose. Plan a formal ending to maintain motivation, then disband the team when its work is done.

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