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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.

Inducting new employees - checklist

Our step-by step guide to inducting new employees into your business, providing everything they need and helping them feel settled.

  • Review the new recruit’s job description, CV or application form and interview notes; identify key training needs.
  • Prioritise: break down the induction plan into the immediate basics, then getting the employee started on useful work, and finally further development.
  • Set an induction timetable, typically spread over the first month.
  • Inform team members of the new recruit’s start date and role, and resolve any potential conflicts.
  • Appoint a mentor or key contact for the employee to provide informal support. Consider what part other team members may play in the induction process (eg explaining particular activities).
  • Prepare a workspace and organise essential equipment - for example, a desk and chair, computer, phone and stationery.
  • Set up the employee’s computer, passwords, phone and email; show the recruit how your communication systems work.
  • Introduce the new recruit to the rest of the team.
  • Show the recruit basic facilities (eg toilets, coffee machine). Provide a company handbook detailing any other information which will help the employee settle in; explain fire and health and safety procedures.
  • Provide background information on the business, including products, services, key customers, business culture and strategic objectives.
  • Provide basic HR information (eg pay, holiday arrangements).
  • Clarify the recruit’s role and key objectives, and the standards you expect.
  • Communicate policies and procedures; make them all available, but focus initial training efforts on the most urgent and important (eg safety).
  • Use a mix of training methods. Focus on hands-on activities, or at least observation of activities, rather than just providing instruction manuals.
  • Involve the recruit in real work (with appropriate supervision) as soon as possible; identify opportunities for early successes.
  • Confirm understanding at every stage, particularly of written information.
  • Hold frequent informal progress reviews - perhaps on a daily basis for the first week, then weekly for a month; encourage discussion.
  • Modify your plans in the light of the recruit’s progress and feedback.

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