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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.

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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.

Guidance for employers during heatwave

26 June 2018

Guidance for employers during heatwaveWith temperatures set to remain high all week, Acas has issued guidance to help employers manage workplace challenges in the hot weather.

It was the hottest day of the year so far yesterday and the Met Office has predicted that the hot weather will continue for the rest of this week.

John Palmer, Acas senior guidance adviser, said: "The sizzling weather may be ideal for the beach but staff getting into work during one of the hottest weeks of the year may not feel the same way.

"Certain workers may be adversely affected by the extreme heat such as pregnant women and elderly employees. The heat can also impact public transport too which can affect employees commuting into work."

To help businesses handle the effects of heat in the workplace, Acas has issued the following advice:

Manage workplace temperatures: Health & Safety Executive (HSE) advice is that the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings must be "reasonable". The HSE offers advice on how to carry out a thermal comfort risk assessment if staff are unhappy with the temperature.

Keep cool at work: Switch on fans or air conditioners to keep workplaces comfortable and use blinds or curtains to block out sunlight. Staff working outside should wear appropriate clothes and use sunscreen to protect themselves from sunburn.

Stay hydrated: Employers must provide staff with suitable drinking water in the workplace. Workers should drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.

Dress code: Employers are not under any obligation to relax their uniform or dress code requirements during hot weather but where possible it may be advisable to for employers to relax the rules for wearing ties or suits.

Getting into work: Public transport could be adversely affected by the hot weather, so staff should check timetables in advance.

Vulnerable workers: Some workers may be more affected by the hot weather than others - including the elderly, pregnant women or those on medication. Employers may wish to give them more frequent rest breaks and improve ventilation.

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