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.

How running a business affects wellbeing

12 June 2018

How running a business affects wellbeingMost business owners say that the stress of running a business has had a negative impact on their personal lives, according to a new study.

The Business Owner Welfare report from Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance has found that 46% of business owners feel they miss out on "me time" and 39% say they miss out on family time because of the time they have to spend on running their business.

Of 501 business owners surveyed, 49% said that they had not taken a holiday in the past year. The findings also show that over a third of business owners (39%) rarely take a lunch break and 30% say they regularly check their phone during mealtimes at home.

When asked about the biggest fears and stresses of running a business, more than a third (37%) of business owners said not having enough sales or orders, followed by cashflow (34%) and not delivering work on time (22%).

Older business owners (aged over 55) and sole traders tend to be less stressed and have fewer fears for their business. London is the region where business owners suffer the most from stress, while those in the South East tend to be less stressed.

Andy Dodd, managing director at Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, said: "Running a business comes with considerable pressure ... It is easy to allow the many hats you have to wear as a business owner to subsume any work-life balance you have.

"Surrounding yourself with a great team is important to ensure you have the confidence to take time away from the business to recharge your batteries and meet your personal commitments. Ensure you plan your resources well ahead of intended holidays and that your people have the requisite skills, roles and responsibilities to manage the business in your absence."

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