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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.

Top 20 questions that research could help you answer

Market research can give you insight into your market, your competitors, your products, your marketing and your customers. Here are 20 questions market research can help you answer

  1. Who is currently buying your product or service?
  2. What are these people's lives actually like?
  3. Why are other people not buying it?
  4. Who would be interested in buying it in the future?
  5. How many people like this are there?
  6. What general trends are affecting these people's lives at the moment?
  7. Where would people buy your product or service from?
  8. When, where and how would they use or consume it?
  9. Why would they buy it? What need are they wanting to satisfy?
  10. Who is your real competition?
  11. What image do people have of your brand vs your competitors'?
  1. What would be the ideal image for your brand to have?
  2. What do they think about the different aspects of your product or service (name, packaging, features, advertising, pricing...)?
  3. What improvements could be made to your product or service to meet people's needs even better?
  4. What is the single most important benefit your brand should be seen to be offering - and why would people believe this to be true?
  5. How can you best communicate that benefit to the people you're interested in attracting?
  6. What is the right price to charge?
  7. What other new products or services could your brand offer people?
  8. So what is your vision for your brand?
  9. And what would be the best roadmap for getting there?

Written by Richard Brown of Closer To Brands.

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