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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.

Too many SMEs are failing to plan ahead

8 October 2018

Too many SMEs are failing to plan aheadMany small and medium-sized firms are failing to realise their potential according to a new report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

ACCA 's report highlights how vision and strategy can help small firms to succeed. However, its research indicates that "many businesses start their life with a brilliant idea but struggle to turn it into a star company".

Key findings include:

  • 18% of SMEs don't have a strategy at all;
  • 27% of SMEs don't have a plan that extends beyond the next 12 months;
  • 49% of SMEs do not involve any external experts in their strategy discussions.

The report concludes that while most SMEs are aware of the benefits of strategic planning, faced with limited time and resources, many still fail to make long-term plans and lose out in the long term as a result.

"If you incorporate good practice for running your business from an early stage, your company is more likely to be resilient and is more likely to appeal to external investment," said Jo Iwasaki, head of corporate governance at ACCA.

"There are a lot of daily concerns for the leaders of a small business, and often the biggest challenge is meeting day-to-day operations and cash management needs while thinking about the long-term future of the company," said Iwasaki.

"And while many leaders are keenly aware of the importance of resilience in the rapidly changing business environment and of buy-in from stakeholders, for example funders and employees, there often may not be the time to think or do much about it. I hope that this research helps SMEs in focusing on some of the most crucial issues and can be a resource not just to SMEs themselves but also to policy-makers."

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