Skip to main content
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.

Will Freedom Day see a rush back to the office?

6 July 2021

The government will remove the vast majority of COVID restrictions from 19 July - although it is urging people and businesses to remain cautious - but not everyone thinks a mass return to the workplace is a good idea.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that after 19 July, the government will no longer instruct people to work from home and it will be up to businesses to manage a safe return to the workplace for their employees.

However, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has urged businesses not to go back to the way things were before COVID once restrictions are lifted.

Peter Cheese, CIPD chief executive, said: "Freedom Day shouldn't signal a mass return to workplaces, but it could signal the start of greater freedom and flexibility in how, when and where people work … Businesses shouldn't rush to simply revert to how they used to work now we have experience and evidence that it can be done differently, and with positive impacts on employee health and wellbeing, inclusion and productivity."

Cheese also urged employers to be careful, saying: "Regardless of any changes to official guidance from 19 July, employers should continue to ensure that they have the necessary measures in place to give confidence to workers that their workplace is safe … This will be particularly important in these early weeks while the vaccination programme is still ongoing."

However, a new survey of over 2,000 office workers by Find Out Now for Ezra suggests that many workers are keen to get back into their workplace. Its findings show that 30% of office workers have already returned full-time and a further 24% have returned on a part-time basis. Workers polled were asked what positive impact a return to the workplace has had on their lives - 29% cited work-life balance, 23% said their productivity had improved and 13% said returning to the workplace had improved their opportunities for career progression.

Even so, 26% of office workers surveyed said they would be willing to take a reduced level of income in order to maintain a flexible working lifestyle and the same number said they would look for another job if their employer failed to offer flexible working.

"It seems as though the shine is starting to fade on the working from home culture with more and more of us choosing to return to the office, perhaps with a little encouragement from our employers in some cases," said Nick Goldberg, founder of Ezra. "The process of going to a place of work allows us to define clear boundaries and allows us to switch on and off more effectively when it matters. As much as we need to perform professionally, the ability to rest and recuperate at the end of the day is also incredibly important and this is something we've lost since our homes have become our offices."

Interestingly, it seems that the number of cyberattacks on UK companies has fallen in the past three months since workers started returning to the workplace. It is the first drop in cyberattacks in the UK for almost three years according to a new study by Beaming.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, said: "Cyberattacks on businesses surged when the UK went into lockdown last year as criminals sensed the opportunity to take advantage of under-protected home workers… These new normal working practices are inherently insecure and increase the risk of a breach."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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