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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.

How to make change work in your business

When thinking about business change do you immediately think cost-cutting? The need to save money can be motivating but focusing on cost-cutting alone is a recipe for disappointment or even disaster.

To make change work for your business you must pay attention to profit growth. Under the pressure of change we need to keep our attention on increasing revenue at the same time as managing costs down. After all, the aim is to reap benefits from the change.

So how can you build profitability during change?

1. Get your key performance indicators (KPIs) right

From the start, make your top KPI the increase in revenue and profit; this needs to be central to your change efforts. Be fair and reasonable in the performance indicators you set so they serve the overall interests of the business.

2. Communicate the benefits of change

Focus on communication so everyone in the business understands the need for change. Away-days are a great opportunity to communicate with the whole team and help everyone understand the rationale for change. With a shared business vision people will understand how their roles contribute to making change happen. An away-day will deliver benefits that outweigh the cost.

3. Support your vision of the future

Even small businesses should have well-designed remuneration policies. You want policies to fit with the new vision for the business and support the change. Bonus schemes are a good example. Make sure 80% relates to the overall business performance. You want the scheme to discourage internal competition and encourage cooperation. It should keep everyone focused on achieving the change while keeping customers and shareholders happy.

4. Know when you need additional help

You may need to hire in additional support to make your change happen. Getting work done as cheaply as possible can end up being more expensive in the long run. Look at the overall project and the benefits it will bring, and work out the most effective way to achieve them.

If the project is scoped effectively you'll be able to make informed choices on the cost vs benefit of hiring in help.

5. Keep on track

Don't get caught in the loop of allocating resources to the change process and then cutting those resources back. If you hire contractors on day rates don't then cut the time spent on managing them. All projects needs to be planned and managed from start to finish. Keep the bigger picture in mind. Don't keep making new decisions that will negatively impact your progress.

6. Put your customers at the centre

When you are implementing change it's easy to get self-obsessed. Keep in touch with your customers and keep them at the centre of your thinking. By focusing on your customers' needs, you'll maintain your edge and boost your profitability.

7. Enjoy the job

Who wants to find work dull? If your employees feel empowered and enjoy their jobs they'll put in extra effort to succeed.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2017 Clive Hyman, expert in change management and innovation; he is chair of 528 Advisory.

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