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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.

Also in the news this week - 16 September 2016

16 September 2016

Arrogance is biggest turn-off in job interviews

Most managers and employers (67%) find arrogance the biggest turn-off when interviewing candidates for a new job according to a new survey by LyteSpark. On a more positive note, the most impressive qualities in job candidates are: the ability to interact naturally (58%); preparation (50%) and eloquence (42%).

Just how long will the new £5 notes last?

It may be made of plastic and able to withstand a washing machine cycle but the new £5 note may not have a very long shelf-life if a new survey of consumers is anything to go by. A poll by Worldpay has found that a third of Brits believe cash will be obsolete by 2020. And, by this date, 54% of Brits also think phones will have superseded cards as the most popular payment method. "The shift that we are seeing in terms of consumer preferences and what shoppers now expect from the high street is seismic and paying with cash is an inconvenience for many of today's shoppers," said James Frost, chief marketing and commercial officer at Worldpay.

Why charity begins at work

Jobseekers increasingly prefer to work for companies that are socially responsible according to a new poll by Regus. It found that 45% of UK professionals said that it was important for their employer to be involved in charity work; and 37% would choose the more charitable company if confronted with two equal job opportunities. Richard Morris, UK ceo of Regus, said: "Corporate social responsibility has perhaps been regarded as a nice-to-have by many businesses rather than an essential element of business strategy. But, for today's jobseekers, charitable and community initiatives are incredibly important."

New Acas guide on improving productivity

Acas has published new guidance aimed at businesses of all sizes to help them become more productive. The guide focuses on leadership, people management and improving organisational skills. Stewart Gee, Acas head of guidance, said: "Poorly trained front line managers are bad for business and productivity. People skills, setting team goals and planning work ahead are just some of the essential skills that managers of well-run companies need."

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