Guiding you to a better future

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.

Four-hour days: how we'll work by 2050

6 December 2017

Four-hour days: how we'll work by 2050A new study predicts that the four-hour working day will be the norm within 30 years as technology revolutionises the way we do business.

The report by futurist James Wallman and Yell, Future Gazers: the next 30 years in business, concludes that the 9-5 work day will come to an end in most industries within 30 years, thanks to technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and the internet of things. It also predicts the rise of "cobots" - where humans work collaboratively with robots.

The traditional eight-hour day, it says, "was set up to squeeze as much as possible out of workers when they performed routine tasks in factories and offices". This is a "suboptimal" way to work it concludes. "As robots and cobots perform more of the routine tasks, humans will become more creative. And the best way to be creative is to work around four hours per day."

Other key predictions include:

  • With regulation change and the rise of fintech firms, money will become "far easier to get hold of and manage";
  • More businesses will reduce their overheads by choosing remote and co-working models and operating as cloud businesses;
  • Thanks to Big Data, businesses of all sizes will be driven by data;
  • In an era of ethical consumerism and transparency, businesses will move from a single-minded concern for profits, to a broader interest in "three more Ps: people, planet and purpose";
  • In future, all firms will compete through ever better customer and user experience.

The authors of the report also spoke to business owners to get their views on the future of work in the small business environment. Sarah Slade, co-owner of candle brand, SevenSeventeen, said: "As business owners, there will undoubtedly always be the unavoidable call at 9pm or having to pop in to the office at the weekend - but ultimately, it's flexibility we see as being the most important game changer in the future of business."

News type:

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