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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.

Whatsapp business app is unveiled

23 January 2018

Whatsapp business app is unveiledThe messaging service WhatsApp has launched a business app so that users can keep their personal and company communications separate.

Aimed at small firms, WhatsApp Business is a free-to-download Android app available on Google Play. As well as the UK and the United States, WhatsApp Business is now available in Indonesia, Italy and Mexico. The app will be rolled out around the world in the coming weeks.

According to WhatsApp: "Our new app will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for our 1.3 billion users to chat with businesses that matter to them".

Users will know that they're talking to a business because firms will be listed as a Business Account. Users can continue using WhatsApp as usual - there's no need to download anything new. Business users will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, and report spam.

Key features of the WhatsApp Business app include:

  • Business profiles : Providing customers with information including a business description and contact details;
  • Messaging tools : Smart messaging tools such as quick replies that provide answers to FAQs, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you're busy.
  • Messaging statistics : Simple metrics such as the number of messages read.

In addition, WhatsApp Web allows business users to send and receive WhatsApp Business messages on a desktop.

Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2104. Until 2016 it charged users $1 for an annual subscription; since then the app has been free. However, WhatsApp chief operating officer Matt Idema has not ruled out charges. Idema told the Wall Street Journal last year: "We do intend on charging businesses in the future."

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