We're here with practical information for your business. Learn about business planning, running a business and more.

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.

Managing your time - checklist

Poor time management causes stress, longer work days and can stop you meeting customer expectations. This checklist will help you get on top of your schedule.

  • Stand back and establish your long-term goals. Evaluate claims on your time against these goals and not just immediate problems clamouring for attention.
  • Prioritise actions which are both important and urgent: for example, where other people are waiting for your input.
  • Delegate unimportant activities or drop them altogether.
  • Divide major tasks into achievable blocks of work.
  • Start the day by clearing the decks: quickly scanning new mail and messages, reviewing your schedule, and dealing with small, urgent tasks.
  • Recognise what times of day best suit different activities: for example, calling customers when you are at your liveliest.
  • Schedule your activities, deciding how much time to devote to each task and setting realistic deadlines. Set interim deadlines for major projects.
  • Build tedious, repetitive or long-term activities into your routine: for example, scheduling a regular weekly project review at a set time.
  • Use time-management tools and software: a diary, a to-do list, and project-planning software for long-term projects.
  • Invest time in setting up time-saving systems: for example, a good filing system, templates for standard letters, and procedures for routine tasks.
  • Use technology to make use of ‘dead time’ such as smartphones and tablet computers that allow you to work on the move.
  • Deal with new information effectively ― act on it if necessary, delegate it if appropriate, file it if relevant or throw it away.
  • Collaborate effectively. Ask others to provide what you need, in a form that suits you when you need it, and return the favour.
  • Avoid overloading yourself. Only get involved if you need to, ignore unnecessary detail, and delegate routine tasks.
  • Get rid of distractions: put your phone on voicemail, refuse unnecessary visits and meetings, clear desk clutter and resist time-wasting activities (such as emails and social media) unless they contribute to the achievement of aims.
  • Analyse your time use: log your activities, then review how much time you wasted on unimportant matters and tasks you should have delegated.

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