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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.

Negotiating a purchase - checklist

Many people are unsure when it comes to negotiating purchases - but you could be allowing suppliers to walk all over you. Read our tips on negotiating with a smile on your face.

  • Decide how much you want the deal; identify how much it is worth to you and what alternatives you have.
  • Find out as much as possible about the supplier’s position: how much they need your order and what their priorities are.
  • Work out what you could offer, if necessary, that the supplier would value — a large order or prompt payment, for example.
  • Set your objectives; decide what your targets are for price and other terms, what your priorities are and what would be acceptable.
  • If possible, choose the right time for the negotiation: when you will be under no pressure to reach a deal but the supplier will.
  • Before the negotiation begins, prepare yourself to be firm but fair, aiming for a deal that will suit you but also keep the supplier happy.
  • Restate the specification of what you require and agree with the supplier the key points to be negotiated.
  • From the outset try to get the supplier to state a starting price which you can negotiate downwards.
  • Do not reveal your negotiating position; focus on asking questions and sounding positive without giving information away.
  • Undermine the supplier’s price: focus on weaknesses in what the supplier is offering and ask for trade or bulk discounts.
  • Ask for other concessions, such as better payment terms; make sure that any concession you are offered is of genuine value to you.
  • Confirm every concession the supplier makes.
  • Only make concessions yourself in exchange for something you value.
  • Be alert to any tactics the supplier uses, such as trying to create a sense of urgency; be prepared to postpone a decision if you need time to think.
  • Follow up with a written agreement.

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