Helping your business to Start, Grow and Develop.

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.

Developing new products - checklist

Use this checklist to help to develop new products, from developing new ideas to setting budgets, deciding on product specification and prototyping.

  • Generate ideas for new and modified products - for example, from customer feedback, employee suggestions and technological developments.
  • Assess how these ideas fit with your strategy, market position and skills; confirm that you have the resources to devote to development.
  • Research the market, assessing customer requirements and sales potential; identify key risks and plan your marketing strategy.
  • Research the competition and potential competition; learn from competitors' successes and failures.
  • Form a project team covering all the key skills (eg marketing, design, production, purchasing and finance) led by a product champion.
  • Plan the critical path, identifying which activities must be undertaken in sequence and which can happen in parallel.
  • Set budgets, objectives and timescales; be prepared to regularly assess progress during the project and, if necessary, modify plans.
  • Assess risks to the project such as technical hurdles, availability of cash and other resources and whether you can secure intellectual property rights.
  • Define the basic product specification and translate specific features into product requirements; identify your key selling points.
  • Estimate the likely selling price and set target production costs; assess likely actual costs of development and production, allowing for contingencies.
  • Design the product, taking into account marketing, production and purchasing requirements.
  • Develop a prototype to iron out technical and production issues and to test market reaction; make any necessary changes.
  • Gear up for full-scale production and launch the product.
  • Continue to monitor the product's success and look for opportunities to further develop it.

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry